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“Chateau Gaillard - great views of the Seine and bringing Richard the Lionheart to life 1,000 years later” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Chateau Gaillard

Chateau Gaillard
France
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Ranked #133 of 453 attractions in Normandy
Type: Historic Sites
Attraction Details
Grafton, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Chateau Gaillard - great views of the Seine and bringing Richard the Lionheart to life 1,000 years later”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

Regardless of how you arrive here, Les Andelys is a lovely little town, and the climb to the Chateau Gaillard is worth the effort. From here, Richard the Lionheart controlled the Seine River as it flowed from Paris, with stakes and rocks strategically placed in the river, and from the commanding views of the river from the castle. Although the castle was "recycled" into other projects in the area, you can see the magesty of the site. Supposedly, Richard was the architech of the building, the influence of the Chateau was seen in castles in the insueing centuries. It was also supposed to be his favorite home.

Visited October 2012
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Columbia, South Carolina
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19 reviews 19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Amazing medieval ruin!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012 via mobile

Château Gaillard at Les Andelys offers a stunning perspective of The Seine River as Richard the Lion Heart must have viewed it. Although he only occupied the Castle 1year, it contains a wealth of history. The climb is worth it! Although many of the building blocks were carried away in the 31st centuries after its completion in 1167, enough remain to give you a real sense of what it felt like then.

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Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Awesome Medieval Castle Ruins”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

You don’t have to have an interest in medieval European history (like I do) to appreciate this fantastic ruined castle in the Normandy region of France. I was staying for a week in Paris and convinced my boyfriend we should rent a car to make a day trip to see this castle about 1.5 hours away on a day trip. It was built in the late 1100s by Richard the Lion Heart of England as a stronghold to help keep Normandy in English control. It didn’t work, but the castle has a long history since then – you can read about it online and at the castle itself – all very interesting stuff! There’s no end to the amazing pictures you can get here – great angles and silhouettes everywhere you look.

I recommend bringing a picnic to the first parking area – there’s a big hillside area there to sit and admire the castle in the distance. Then pack it up and head down to the second parking area where you can then walk up to the castle itself and explore. You can access most of it for free and it’s only a few euro to enter the main keep and see the dungeon below. They were doing some work on the outside while we were there so there were lots of scaffolds on the one side, but I’m glad to know they are taking care of the place – it really is a unique experience.
Note: the bathrooms are located only at the first parking area and they are pretty rough, so bring your own tissues and prepare for no toilet seats. And definitely go before you head down to the castle itself as it’s pretty difficult to go back to the first parking area once you’ve gone past it – the street is one way so there’s really no backtracking. If you’re in the mood to hike, you can certainly just leave your car at the first parking area and hike down and then up again to the castle.

If you’re in the Rouen/Les Andelys area, I highly recommend taking a couple of hours and visiting Chateau Galliard – I wanted an impressive old castle ruin and I got it!

Visited August 2012
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La Verne, California
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
49 attraction reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Richard the Lion Heart's Castle - Why would you NOT visit this?”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

Driving from Paris to Normandy, make sure to stop by Chateau Gaillard, Richard the Lion Heart's Castle. This is a wonderfully preserved historic site, which is being restored. You can get a really great idea of how a medievel castle looked and worked. Overlooking the Seine, the views are breathtaking. You can drive up through Les Andelys to the parking lot (follow the signs), or you can hike up the hill. Not to be missed!

Visited July 2012
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Cold Bay, Alaska
Top Contributor
302 reviews 302 reviews
112 attraction reviews
Reviews in 146 cities Reviews in 146 cities
309 helpful votes 309 helpful votes
“Not open in March, but you can still walk the grounds”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2012

The sign said open April-September, but that doesn't mean you can't walk the grounds for free. Pretty amazing location, on a bluff overlooking the Seine. A ruined castle on a hill of green grass, I couldn't help but feel a bit like Robert Plant. There are two car ports, one on top of an adjacent hill, where you get a great view but you'd have to walk down and then back up to get to the castle. There's also another parking lot that sits on the bottom of the castle. At least in March, it was free parking. If you want a cheap lunch idea (we did this), go to a boulangerie in Les Andelyes and pick up some macorons and quiches/sandwiches, and have a picnic on on the castle grounds!

Visited March 2012
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