Medieval

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 …

1000 years of pilgrimage: Mont-St-Michel and the modern pilgrim

One of the most iconic and photographed places in France, the steeple of its ancient stone church rises majestically into the clouds, whilst its feet sit firmly in the shifting sands and resist the relentless tides. Popular with tourists all year round and overrun in the warm summer months, would it surprise you to know that…

history of french cooking

8 surprising facts in the history of French cooking

What comes to mind when you think of French cooking? Snails cooked in butter? Fried frogs legs? Haute cuisine, or the rustic and hearty dishes of the countryside like coq au vin and bœuf bourguignon? Here are 8 things in the history of French cooking that may surprise you.

Is Château de Veauce the most haunted house in France?

The year is 1984. A French radio journalist and his crew have descended upon the Château de Veauce, in the village of the same name, the tiniest village in the Allier department. They are hoping to catch a glimpse of the famous Lucie, the White Lady who materialises in the medieval tower at midnight, making the château one of the most haunted houses in France.

Top 5 Historical Sites in france – Château of Blois

There are so many beautiful châteaux in the Loire Valley, it’s difficult to choose which to visit. The Royal Château of Blois is not the prettiest, but it has been the home of no less than seven French kings and ten queens, and its imposing architecture represents four distinct architectural periods. “The châteaux of few country towns can boast so many and so important events, so long a list of illustrious inmates, or so large a collection of historical recollections, as that of Blois”.

Top 5 historic sites in france – Strasbourg Cathedral

For over 200 years the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg, or Strasbourg Cathedral, was the tallest structure in the world. When you stand at its doors and glance upwards, the carved Gothic figures tell you a story, they bring to life the medieval world in which they were created. The Strasbourg Cathedral was one of the first in France I visited, and it has left a lasting impression.

The medieval Abbey des Vaux de Cernay

Of all the medieval abbeys in France, the Abbaye des Vaux de Cernay is my favourite. Well to be honest I haven’t been to that many, but even if I had, this would still be my number one. Snuggled in the Valley of the Chevreuse, surrounded by verdant forest, walking through the remains of the medieval abbey will…

Scroll to Top