NORMANDY EURE Les andelys chateau fortLes Andelys (pop. 9,000) sits on a bend in the Seine River. This largely green town is spotted with white chalk cliffs and valleys that have been carved by the Seine River flow. As the name implies, the town is split into two parts – Grand Andelys (east of the river) and Petit Andelys (along the river). These former fishing villages, which slowly merged to form the modern-day town, were important religious centres during the Gallo-Roman period. Its strategic location also made it a much contested political spot.


The crown jewel of the town is the Château Gaillard [+33 232544193, ad/ch €3/Free] - a hill fort built between 1196 and 1198, by Richard the Lionheart (Duke of Normandy and King of England). Despite its fine military architecture, it failed to hold off French attacks in 1204. After gaining brief control over the fort again during the Hundred Years War, the English destroyed and abandoned it in 1603, as it became obsolete. Currently, the fort ruins offer sweeping panoramic views of the town and river below.