history of the chateau gaillard

A short but insolent history of the Château Gaillard

If you’ve ever visited the Château Gaillard, perched majestically atop a tower-like rock overlooking the Seine river in Normandy, you would understand the title of the article. Richard the Lionheart ordered the construction of the château and likely laid a few bricks himself in his rush to have it finished, and was so enamoured at its completion that he is recorded as declaring “C’est un château gaillard!” It’s an old word, gaillard, and not easy to translate, but the closest we can get in this context is “What an insolent castle!” Strong and arrogant, bold and …