Dominated by the imposing form of the emblematic Château-Gaillard Castle, the small town of Les Andelys, made up of two neighbourhoods that were once clearly separated, Petit-Andely and Grand-Andely, occupies one of the most remarkable sites in the Seine Valley.
Built in 1196 - in just one year! - by Richard the Lionheart, Duke of Normandy and King of England, with the aim of keeping watch over the valley and protecting the city of Rouen from the attacks of the King of France Philip Augustus, the hillside remains of the impressive medieval fortress of Château-Gaillard offer a superb view of the meanders of the Seine, flanked by limestone cliffs, and the picturesque riverbank of Petit-Andely. Take a tour of the premises to discover the lower courtyard (open all year), the upper courtyard (open to the public from mid-March to mid-November), where the main keep stands, as well as the history of the fortress, including the famous siege and capture of the castle by Philip Augustus in 1203-1204, which later signalled Normandy's attachment to France.
Beneath the fortress, be sure to take a stroll along the banks of Petit-Andely, along the pleasant walkway by the Seine!
Also worth seeing is the Collegiate Church of Our Lady in the Grand-Andely district, a beautiful Flamboyant Gothic and Renaissance-style edifice, which contains splendid stained glass windows from the 16th century, an Entombment and a magnificent Renaissance organ case made of carved wood.