Normandy, France

Fortress of Arques-la-Bataille

Location: Arques-la-Bataille, Dieppe

In 1035, the duke of Normandy Robert the Splendid one dies in crusade. He leaves for heir child a 7 year old, Guillaume the Bastard one, who will have to face the revolt of his paternal uncles: Mauger archbishop of Rouen and Guillaume, count d' Arques.

more »

Fortress of Dieppe

Location: Dieppe

Built on the hill which dominates the city and the sea on the side of the west, it was high in 1435 by the rebellion of Caux, raised then against the English occupation.

more »

Fortress Gaillard

Location: Les Andelys, Rouen

Constructed in the 12th Century in little more than 12 months by Richard I of England (”The Lionheart”), Chateau Gaillard was an imposing castle upon the French landscape, built to deter King Philip Augustus of France from invading Richard’s Norman territories.

more »

Fortress of Rambures

Location: Rambures, Dieppe

Since the XIth century, when the name of the lords of Rambures appears for the first time, their fortress is watching the hearth of the Vimeu, close to the border of Norman.

more »

The castle Mesnieres

Location: Bray

more »

Fortress of Arques-la-Bataille

Location: Arques-la-Bataille, Dieppe

In 1035, the duke of Normandy Robert the Splendid one dies in crusade. He leaves for heir child a 7 year old, Guillaume the Bastard one, who will have to face the revolt of his paternal uncles: Mauger archbishop of Rouen and Guillaume, count d' Arques.

Located at one mile and half in the south-east of Dieppe, the castle of Arch rises on a hill arid and rocky dominating two vallees and surrounded of an immense ditch, dug hand of man. He was surrounded in the beginning of a palisade of protection. The construction of the castle would have taken place between 1040 and 1045 per Guillaume of arch. Built of wood and ground, it rises on this natural hillock. This feudal mound could be 10 meters top. Hardly built, its William the Conqueror nephew besieges the castle of his uncle felon in revolt, that the famine makes capitulate in 1053 after one year of painful seat. This event will remain marked in the spirit of the duke of Normandy which will always take care to secure fidelity of this fortified town.

In 1123 young person wire of William the Conqueror become Henri 1st king d' Angleterre reinforces the castle with a square keep and a wall. In 1355, the keep is restored, the well feeding the castle has a depth of 106 then measure. In 1145, Etienne of Boulogne and Geoffroy Plantagenet dispute the Duchy of Normandy under its walls. In 1204, Philippe Auguste annexes Normandy and seizes the castle with Richard Lion Heart: it is the last fortress Norman to be gone to king de France.

In 1367 Charles V makes make "new bridges and a neufve carries to the chastel of Arch" (back bridge levis). During the one hundred year old war, the citadel is the place of many confrontations, passing from the one with the other on several occasions. Talbot and Warvick seize on January 27, 1420 it. In 1431, it is the Bouteiller captain, who delivers Jeanne d' Arc to the torturer. Charles the bold fire the borough in 1472, but the castle resists.

In 1544 and 1545, king Francois Ier accomplishes frequent stays with Arques to monitor work of the artillery bastion of the entry of the castle, with his four reinforced towers. The Duke of Bubble, driven out dieppe by the Protestants takes refuge there May the 5, and 6 1562. In 1589 Henri IV will install his batteries there to beat the duke of Mayenne. (By error the guns destroy the porch of the church.)

In 1708, Louis XIV declares the old citadel "unsuitable with the service". Given up militarily since 1668 the dismantling of the building starts at the beginning of the XVIII century. Louis XVI closes down the citadel whose inhabitants are authorized to take the stones. In 1793, the monument is sold like communal good.

In 1836, a black band proposes to ensure the complete demolition of it and to resell materials of them. A movement of interest for this formidable ruin is organized around Achille Deville, Mr. Jules Reiset and Mrs. Reiset (owner) impassioned amateurs, buy it to avoid this destruction to him. In 1860, parts were arranged in museum.

In 1868, the state becomes about it owner and Historic building classifies it in 1875. This museum still existed with the day before of war 14-18, and even afterwards, but closed definitively in 1939. During the second world war it was occupied by the German army. It was used as station of monitoring with D.C.A and an ammunition dump was even installed there.

The castle is at times closed due to reconstruction, but is still visitable (book in advance)

Fortress of Dieppe

Location: Dieppe

Built on the hill which dominates the city and the sea on the side of the west, it was high in 1435 by the rebellion of Caux, raised then against the English occupation.

While the castle of Arch had remained English, as well as Pollet with its bastille and its forts, Dieppe had shaken the yoke and was never taken again. To defend oneself, it builds the castle which remains still today. It is a square of buildings flanked of four stone circular towers, built and flint and whose whole is surrounded by deep ditches.

Architecture lost any distinctive character. The history alone testifies to the foundation and attests the origin of this imposing mass which was never destroyed.

The Museum was established in 1923 in the ancient fortress rebuilt in the XV century on the West cliff to defend the city, and is organized into separate sections with the overall theme of the sea and everything connected with it.

In the collection of paintings now found hanging on the walls of the Chateau, such as the one above, represent the many artists who came to work on the Norman coast. Is also a fine collection of still lifes of fish and over a thousand ivory objects evoking the production of many craftsmen in the fifteen the century worked this area in Dieppe. The museum has also hundred prints by Georges Braque. It is easy to spend the entire day so go prepared; you won't want to tear yourself away!

One still shows a window by which one claims that in 1650 the duchess of Longueville, organizing from the Sling in Normandy, went down to run away herself in Pourville and from there in Holland.

As we already said, XVI century added to the castle the tower of the bell-tower of the old Saint-Remy cheese church.

Fortress Gaillard

Location: Les Andelys, Rouen

Constructed in the 12th Century in little more than 12 months by Richard I of England ("The Lionheart"), Chateau Gaillard was an imposing castle upon the French landscape, built to deter King Philip Augustus of France from invading Richard's Norman territories.

The stronghold was placed along the Seine River on a cliff extending above the towns of Grand and Petit Andelys, and built such that an invading army could only assault it from one direction, from the strip of land linking the rocky spur to the plateau beyond.

The castle had three wards: an inner ward laid out at the end of the spur near the cliffs and housing the living quarters and keep; the middle ward that included two towers protecting the entrance, a large chapel, latrines, and other mural towers; and the triangular outer ward that served essentially as a barbican, for to gain access to the castle, attackers had to go through the outer ward first.

A dry moat separated the middle and outer ward, the two connected by a fixed bridge.

Open 15 Mar - 15 Nov. Everyday except Tue, Wed. 9-12, 14-18.

lesandelys.com/chateau-gaillard

Fortress of Rambures

Location: Rambures, Dieppe

Since the XIth century, when the name of the lords of Rambures appears for the first time, their fortress is watching the hearth of the Vimeu, close to the border of Norman.

During one thousand years, three castles were built under the order of the same family. The construction of the present castle began between the ending of the XIVth and the beginning of the XVth century, in the background of the one hundred years war. Today, it represents a rare example of the military architecture from the XVth. Indeed, even after six hundred years, it keeps his original appearance.

We suppose that it was David of Rambures, a Shakespearian hero, "Great Master of the crossbows" in the French army, who constructed the castle. It was an exceptional place for an exceptional lord. Indeed, it was the first castle of France which could resist against artillery with its rounds towers and its special construction make of bricks and stones. Moreover, with 70 soldiers and 16 canons, it was a fortress almost impregnable.

Your visit will begin in the reception room where different exhibitions are organized each year. Then, during a guided tour, you will discover the inner of the castle and the secrets of the daily life in this fantastic place.

Interior of the fortress
With a guide (possibility of having an English comment/tour) you will visit different rooms. During one hour, you will travel through the ages, six hundred years during which Rambures was inhabited by the same family.

The dining room, the medieval bedroom, the library and more other rooms will allow you to discover the daily life and history of the family during centuries.

A visit always appreciated by the visitors.

Park and rose garden :
The park of the castle of Rambures is a vast romantic space of 10 hectares, labellized "remarkable garden" since 2006. The modifications started during the XVIIth century, when the fortress was transformed into family residence.

Imagine you visit a place maintained since centuries by the successive inhabitants who all searched the same goal: calm, serenity and Romanticism. By traversing the alleys, one imagines the Marchioness easily planting Catalpa there. Further, the current Count de Blanchard still maintains his alleys Everywhere, the authenticity prevails. Enter; you are invited to discover the garden of the Count and the Countess of Blanchard. Several zones are to be discovered which allowing you a voyage out of time:

The Rose garden
Installed since 2003 in a field of 3200 square meters, the rose garden of Lady Helene embellishes more still each year. In 2009, it is nearly 420 varieties of old and modern roses which enchant all the visitors. Between Monday and Friday, you can even meet the gardener who maintains with passion this rose garden with the reputation which is not any more to make.

It is flowered of June to September with period of flowering in the second fortnight of June.

The collection of ferns
Innovation 2007, this collection proves that this plant is not as harmful as it is thought. And yet, this ancestor of all the plants in the whole world have thousands different varieties. In the park of the castle a zone was arranged where it is nearly 50 varieties which are offered to the contemplation of the visitors.

The medieval garden:
Next to the rose garden, a small garden allows you to discover plants which were always used to treat injuries or diseases, to put on perfume or which have other utilities since the antiquity. Each flower is thus described accompanied by its uses.

The romantic park
The park was converted during the XVIIth century, when the castle was transformed into a residence. Originally, it was a formal garden but during the XVIIIth century, it became a romantic park in the manner of English. The trees chosen by the owner were brought back from Asia or America and are centenarians.

Some are rare, like the Sequoia, taken back by a companion of Lafayette, a giant walnut tree or a white mulberry tree from china, the only tree of that variety in the north of the country!

The chateau and its park are open all the year (closed on Wednesdays)

The castle Mesnieres

Location: Bray

Visit the castle and its beautiful garden maintained by students

Visit the park's animals and gardens, greenhouses and aviaries.

Open from Easter to Halloween weekends and holidays from 14:00 to 18:00 and from July to August, every afternoon.

Rates:
Full tour: 4 €
Park only: 2 €