Thursday, 14 September 2017

The fortified-castle of Gisors

The castle of Gisors is an ancient castle-fortress of XIth and XIIth centuries,  the castle still possesses its remains, they stand there, near the city, in Eure department and Normandie region, land english,royal, and for royal domain the over side. The castle has been classified historic monument in 1862.

Denomination : Fortified-castle

Location :  Place de Blanmont , 27140 Gisors, Department of Eure.

Region : Haute-Normandie

Year of construction :  XI th century 

L'architecture : 

The castle of Gisors is located at the end of the city toward the road of Rouen , On a small mountain upstream of the river of Epte. It has somes vast remains of the its ancient fortifications, we recognize   still perfectly the enclosure which, thus of the castle, developed in the plain of Epte,  it perceive far off by large towers.
 One of them, remained is still there, measurement 30 meters in height, for a diameter of 10 meters. This castle was to be one of strongest which existed, in its time, time or one did not know the use of the powder. Two distinct enclosures there were noticed.

- The first was intended to receive the garrison; we could accommodate there more than thousand men safe from a formidable wall flanked of towers. From there, one penetrated, by two doors armed with harrows and drawbridges. Two covered galleries were flanked several towers, the ones almost round, others in half-moon and some square.

- The second enclosure built on the top of the rock, dominated the first and had only one entry. In the center of this fortress rise an dungeon of octogonal form which the height exceeded 40 meters, it was joined of a turret with a spiral staircase equipped of 72 steps.
  The walls and the whole of the castle of Gisors, are still rather well preserved, they almost entirely exist, a chapel of Gothic style was built there. One of the apartments was inhabited by Blanche de Castille, mother of Saint-Louis.

Tradition tells us that at the castle of Gisors, this princess learned that a gentleman was held prisoner in a room below his apartment, having been the lover of his sovereign and supplanted near her by the present governor of the castle, he was kept under secrecy according to the orders of the same officer. Blanche of Castille, informed of the existence of a knight whom she had loved, facilitated her escape, and procured her the means of living honorably away from her rival. This prisoner had engraved on a wall the history of the Passion with a nail.  

The castle of Gisors is reputed for its links with the history of the order of the Temple, notably for having served as prison to the last Master of the time, Jacques de Molay, as well as to three other dignitaries of the order. 

Matériaux : Stone. 

Historique :

The origins of this fortress date back to the second half of the 11th century. A castle was built in 1097 by Robert II of Bellême, on the orders of the King of England William II the Roux (1087-1100), regent of the Duchy of Normandy. This was completed one year later by a wooden dungeon, probably girded with a palisade.

In 1113, this fortified site, dominating the valley of Epte, welcomes a meeting between the sovereigns Louis VI of France and Henri I Beauclerc of England. It knows its first ordeal in 1120, during the rebellion of the Norman lords against the English tutelage. The stronghold, defended by the governor Robert de Chandos, would have held out well, but this serious alert would lead the English sovereign to think it safer to rethink the fortifications, which will be resumed as early as 1123.

This first reconstruction campaign will see the addition of an octagonal-shaped stone dungeon surrounded by a large-scale bulwark (the lower enclosure). Henri I Beauclerc disappears in 1135 without leaving a male heir. His daughter Mathilde the Emperor, the widow of the Germanic Emperor Henry V, was married to a noble Angevin, Geoffroy Plantagenet, who thus became Duke of Normandy, while at the same time the throne of England was entrusted to Etienne of Blois. The death of the latter in 1154, without male heir, made the son of Geoffrey the new king of England, and ushered in a new era: that of the Plantagenets.

King William II of England ordered Robert of Bellême to build the first castle at Gisors. Henry I of England built the octagonal stone keep surmounting the motte; his work at Gisors was part of a programme of royal castle building in Normandy during his reign to secure the region against the aspirations of the French crown. It saw the construction of more than 25 castles. In 1193, while King Richard I of England (also Duke of Normandy) was imprisoned in Germany, the castle fell into the hands of King Philip II of France. After Richard's death in 1199, Philip conquered much of the rest of Normandy and Gisors thereafter lost a good part of its importance as a frontier castle. The castle is also known for its links with the Templars. Put into their charge by the French king between 1158 and 1160, it became the final prison of the Grand Master of the Order, Jacques de Molay, in 1314. Although it has been estimated that the bailey could have housed 1,000 soldiers, in 1438 (during the Hundred Years' War) the English garrison numbered just 90. By 1448, this had decreased to 43. Located in Vexin normand in a part of department of Eure, at the gates of Ile de France region, the castle of Gisors is one of the oldest in the region.

 In 1066, Guillaume le Conquérant seize power of the England crown. Be worried, the duke of Normandie decide to fortified the frontier between the France and the England. In 1096, Guillaume le Roux, king of England and son of Guillaume, confide to Robert de Bellême the job of build a fortress borderland to face up to the french stronghold of Chaumont, Trie and Boury. One year later, a dunjeon of wood is constructed. The dunjeon is managed by Thibaud Païen, Which will become owner in 1101.

From 1158 to 1161, the Templars have the custody of the castle. In 1193, Philippe Auguste recovers it. He undertakes large work: construction of the Tower of the Prisoner, replacement of the Tower of the Governor to which he adds the Tower Blanche Richard Coeur de Lion, takes back the control of Gisors in 1196, then the castle returns to the hands of the French at the time of the conquest of Normandy, around 1200.

The area will remain French until 1419, when the English army takes back the control of the stronghold. The castle returns to the crown of France in 1590 after the battle of Ivry.
Repurchased in 1809 by the city, Gisors, is the old capital of Norman Vexin, with the confluence of Epte, Troesne and Révillon. Its possession caused frequent fights between the Dukes of Normandy and the Kings of France.
3 Three treaties were signed there between France and England in 1113, 1158 and 1180. Blanche de Castille had Gisors at the 13th century, then Blanche d'Evreux with 14th and Renée de France, daughter of Louis XII, at the 16th century. The County of Gisors was erected in Duchy in 1742. The town of Gisors was surrounded successively by two urban enclosure.

 - The first enclosure is built during second half of the 12th century, primitive construction is put in work by Robert de Bellême and started in 1097 under William the Conqueror, it is continued during the period of Henri Ier in first years of the XII century years.
The enclosure follows the course of Epte perfectly, the river being used of natural ditches, but also as border between the Anglo-Norman and French kingdom. The wall wrapped the historic center, then bored few narrow alleys. There remains about it only one tower and some sections of wall joined to the Tower of the Prisoner.

 - The second enclosure is built at the 13th century, constructions of Henri II of 1161 to 1184 are characterized by a Romance style and a little Gothic. Indeed, once the city taken by the French, the border materialized by Epte does not have any more any utility. The city will extended towards the east, beyond the river, formerly border. Some vestiges of this second enclosure are still visible.

 Philippe Auguste, of 1193 to 1204, probably implemented constructions of the third period of Gothic time, fourth is posterior with the invention of artillery. In 1090 Thibaud Payen, Lord of Gisors, outline the fortifications of the city. In 1097, Guillaume-le-Roux (son of Guillaume-le-Conquérant (the Conqueror)) and Robert de Bellême begin the construction of the “fortified-castle” of Gisors to defend the Door of Normandy.

 The fortress was already important since a fortified enclosure surrounded a three-hectare "Place".

 Three important dates marked the evolution of the castle of Gisors....

Read more....

The Mystery of the Neaufles Tower:

The castle of Gisors has been connectedserait relié by an underground tunnel of 4000 meters of lenght to Neaufles tower located in Neaufles-Saint-Martin. This one, maintains a myth, a legend would like this tower, vestige of the old castle of Neaufles called castle of the white queen, holds the treasure of the Templars.

From the lower room, whose ground was six meters deep, anchored in the heart of the root ball, the tower formerly comprised four levels, outside the top terrace. The door of this dungeon opened on the first floor, six meters above the ground.

 continue on :

Description of castle:

Visit of Castel:

On the website of the town

The fortified-castle:

In French:

Historic of fortified-castle:

Architecture of fortified-castled:

Tourism in Eure department

The town of Gisors

The duchy of Normandie:  

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