Château Gaillard, a 12th-century fortress in the Seine Valley, France
© Francis Cormon/age fotostoc
Ruins near Rouen. A silent witness to history
About 40 kilometres south-west of Rouen, on the way to Paris, the ruins of Château Gaillard still stand over the river Seine. King Richard I commissioned the castle in 1196, when England occupied portions of modern-day France. The British and French fought for control of the castle for roughly 400 years — a span including the Hundred Years War – before Henry IV of France ordered it demolished. Today, the outer walls (called baileys) are open to the public year-round, while the inner baileys are open during the summer months.