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-  A silent witness to history  (© Francis Cormon/age fotostock)

About 40 kilometres south-west of Rouen, on the way to Paris, the ruins of Château Gaillard still stand over the river Seine. King Richard I commissioned the castle in 1196, when England occupied portions of modern-day France. The British and French fought for control of the castle for roughly 400 years—a span including the Hundred Years War – before Henry IV of France ordered it demolished. Today, the outer walls – called baileys – are open to the public year-round, while the inner baileys are open during the summer months.