Arlette and Robert, love at first sight in Falaise

Arlette's fountainArlette's fountain | ©Roi.dagobert / CC-BY-SA

William the Conqueror was born in Falaise castle in 1027. He lived here very often, but taking advantage of his victory in Hastings in order to found the Anglo-Norman dynasty, he led his campaigns from his castle.

Some say William's father saw Arlette, daughter of a local furrier (his future wife) for the first time, from one of the fortress' window!

Future king of England Henri I, William's son, rebuilt the keep in 1123 and added a vast surrounding wall.

King Philip Augustus then transformed Falaise into a huge fortress. The 40 metres Talbot's tower dates back to the Hundred Years War, put up between 1418 and 1450. A big well on the first floor supplied water on each storey.

But Falaise was gradually abandoned for centuries, demolished by Allies bombings during World War II...