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Hidden gems of France you probably don't know about

Love Exploring Logo By loveEXPLORING staff of Love Exploring | Slide 5 of 27: Following the Norman Conquest, English king Richard the Lionheart built the imposing Château Gaillard, perched above a meander in the Seine, to block Philip II's ambition and protect his duchy's access to the river in 1198. The vast ruins that remain bear testament to its enormous size: it was a truly awe-inspiring fortified castle, a model for all those that followed in the 12th century. However, in 1204 – the year of the Sack of Constantinople – it fell into the hands of Philip II. Take a look at stunning images of Europe's eerie abandoned castles

Château Gaillard, Normandy

Following the Norman Conquest, English king Richard the Lionheart built the imposing Château Gaillard, perched above a meander in the Seine, to block Philip II's ambition and protect his duchy's access to the river in 1198. The vast ruins that remain bear testament to its enormous size: it was a truly awe-inspiring fortified castle, a model for all those that followed in the 12th century. However, in 1204 – the year of the Sack of Constantinople – it fell into the hands of Philip II.

Take a look at stunning images of Europe's eerie abandoned castles

© Richard Semik/Shutterstock

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