In the 12th century, there was still no Andelys, in the plural. There was the Grand Andely or Andely the old on the one hand and the Little Andely or Andely the Young on the other. Geographically, both were on either side of Le Vivier, a huge swamp. The Grand Andelys would have been populated by a tribe of Gauls, the Véliocasses, then Romains later came to take their place, or to unite with those who remained. Excavations undertaken by the prehistorian Coutil have been able to prove this cohabitation, the pieces not destroyed are preserved in the museums of Rouen, Evreux and Saint-Germain.
Several illustrious figures of history would have passed there. Among them are the King of the Merovingians Clovis and his wife Clotilde, nicknamed the Holy Queen, who built a monastery between 497 and 510 dedicated to the education of young girls. There is also Philippe Auguste, Saint-Louis or King Henry IV. The Grand Andely passed into the hands of several people. First, it once belonged to the archbishops of Rouen, but the Grand Andely was ceded to Richard the Lionheart, then to his brother Jean Lackland at his death. Philip Augustus removed it to him, in 1204, but Henri IV took again the village in 1591.
The little Andely is also called the double Grand Andely. It was created in the 12th century with the Château Gaillard, to serve as a dwelling for the workers who worked on its construction between 1196 and 1198. Petit Andely is officially attached to the Grand Andely after the French Revolution, the Andelys has since chosen the motto "Fecit Ultra Umum" which means "the two are one." To ensure your arrival in the city, we provide our professional transfer service of high quality.
World War II affected the structure of the Grand Andely. In June 1940, it is heavily bombed by German aviation and is destroyed 80%. After the war, a reconstruction is required, but it is a brand new city that comes out. The city will expand on its eastern facade and can accommodate more population, still taking into account the cliffs on which it litters.
In 1960, Rouen became an important grain market. The town of Andelys actively takes part in feeding its big neighbor and sends every month nearly 900 tons of grain. The population is not, however, agricultural. With nearly half (47%) under 30 years old, the population of the town of Les Andelys is young and tends to turn to the deployment of tourist activities in this part of Normandy.
The Andelys is ideally located to entice its tourists to get lost in a cultural walk and nature discovery. Two particular sites attract tourists: the Collegiate of Andelys and the Château Gaillard. Whether you are traveling in the city for business reasons for a tourist stay, know that we can provide a day rental service.
What to visit in Andelys?
The Gaillard castle
This castle takes its name from its "gaillard" aspect. Thick walls, deep and wide moats, it gave the impression of being impregnable. Richard Lionheart, King of England and Duke of Normandy, was to protect Rouen and Close the Seine to the French. He then chose a location 100 meters above the river, the rock of Andely, to build a fortress. Thus he built Chateau Gaillard in only one year, which he proudly called "his one-year-old daughter". After six months of sieges however, the castle was taken by the troops of Philippe Auguste, in 1204. Gaillard castel later became a jail for Marguerite of Burgundy and a place of asylum for a Scottish monarch in exile, a certain Bruce king. Today, at the foot of the impasse Pauget, an immense canvas represents the castle at its origin.
The Fountain Sainte-Clotilde
Until the end of the 19th century, the Fontaine de Sainte-Clotilde was a place of pilgrimage throughout Normandy. Indeed, the "legend" tells that during the construction of the church, which took place in summer, the builders would have been thirsty. The Holy Queen, Clotilde, wife of the Merovingian King Clovis, would have turned the water from a nearby spring into an exhilarating wine, but they alone could perceive its taste. The others, passers-by or curious to check the veracity of the hearsay, smelled only of the taste of fresh water. Nevertheless, the water transformed by the Holy Queen attracted the sick in search of healing. They were actually healed. In 514, a paralytic would have found the use of his legs while bathing. Today again, every year, on June 2nd, a procession is conducted in honor of Saint Clotilde, the patron saint of that day.
The Church Saint Sauveur
Located in Petit Andely, the church of Christ Saint Sauveur was built almost at the same time as the double of the Grand Andely, around the thirteenth century. It has a baroque organ which was given to it by the abbess of the Abbey of the Treasury. After the French Revolution, the Saint-Sauveur church became a depot, but its contemporaries were sold and emptied. This organ is classified Historical Monument. This musical instrument, dating from 1674, is baroque. It allows to appreciate the baroque works with the sounds of the time, very faithful to their original composition. In addition to the Baroque organ, there is another jewel in the church of Saint Sauveur: the altarpiece of the Adoration of the Shepherds, richly decorated and gilded.
The Collegiate Church Notre Dame of Grand Andely
The charm of this church lies particularly in its stained glass, including the one that decorates the back of the altar. Designed in 1952, this great masterpiece of master Verrier Gaudin does not compete with those dating back to the 16th century, which keep the attention of visitors longer, so the colors are great. The details of the scenes are very precise.
The site of Grand'Maison, since the building itself was "moved" in England, a building erected by a wealthy family of Bourgeois having settled in the Andelys. Built in the Renaissance style, it has its own chapel. Unlike other mansions in the city, the Grand'Maison was not destroyed during the First World War. On the other hand, it was dismantled to be rebuilt in England. For your stay in Andelys, do not hesitate to contact us to book one of our pick-ups, limousines, cars, vans.
Request a car service with driver from the airport to Andelys
It is in Normandy, in the department of Eure, that is the small town of Andelys. The town is less than 51 km from Château de Champ de Bataille and 28 km from Biotropica, the animal gardens. For your information, drive 100 km to reach CDG Airport and 119 km to Orly Airport from Andelys.