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Castle of Nogent le Rotrou


History of the castle

1 - Beginning of Xe century

911 - Treaty of Saint-Clair on-Epte. Creation of the duchy of Normandy.
931 - The Norman ones reach Alençon and set fire to Chartres. The Pole "goes separating" occupies a strategic position border, because located between the royal field and the territories occupied by the Norman ones.

2 - Second half of Xe century

To protect itself from these terrible neighbors, the count of Chartres, Thibault the Cheater, vassal on king de France, decides to install in Nogent, in avant-garde, one of his faithful of the name of ROTROLDUS, in order to take care of the border. Thus appears in the history, the first lord of Nogent. Rotrou, whose name was given to its dynasty. On a site, which passes to have been occupied since antiquity, Rotrou Ier makes rebuild, probably drink some, a castle with the site of older which would have been demolished by the Danes.

3 - Beginning XIe century

Its successor Geoffroy II fact of building in the years the 1020 keep hones some that we admire still today. To this time the small bays in semicircular arch go back which one sees on the last floor. The keep is established in advanced defensive position. It is protected in the west by natural defenses; in the east, side plate, a ditch of a score of meters of broad and deep from seven to eight meters is spread in half-circle to meet at the place where the plate overhangs of an about sixty meters the valley of Huisne.
In 1028, the Saint-Denis abbey is rested by Geoffroy III, frightening warrior, as a sign of repentance. The charter of foundation, written in 1031, locates the abbey "between Huisne and the strong castle of Nogent". It is the first time that in a charter the existence of the castle appears. In 1079, the lords of Nogent take the title of counts of the Pole. In 1100, Rotrou III learns death from his/her father, Geoffroy IV, first count of the Pole, whereas it takes part in the head office of Jerusalem (1099), at the time of the first crusade.

4 - End XIe in XIIe century

Between the rides and the combat, the lords of Nogent live the keep and bring some elements of comfort there: creation of geminated bays with lancets in slightly broken arc and bored tympanum of a losangé oculus, construction of chimneys.
Between 1100 and 1144, Rotrou III, known as the Large one, leaves with six recoveries its grounds of the Pole to go guerroyer against the Arabs, to Spain and Holy Land. At the time of its briefs returns on its native soil, it takes an active share, at the sides of the duke of Normandy, king d' Angleterre, with the competitions with the king of France, for which Robert the Devil fights, lord of Bellême. In 1113, it receives Bellême of Henri it, Beauclerc, in reward of its services. With its death, Rotrou III leaves a powerful, sovereign and independent county.
In the medium of XIIe century, buttresses come to reinforce the four angles of the keep, as well as the faces is, southern and western. Between 1144 and 1191, Rotrou IV takes an active part in the conflict which always opposes France and England. In 1191, it finds death under the walls of Saint Jean-to Acre in Palestine.

5 - End XIIe at the beginning XIVe century

The military architecture changes radically: influence that of the Close East, creation of a military body of engineers by Philippe Auguste. In 1204, Philippe-Auguste conquers Normandy and confiscates it with Jean-Without-Ground. The county of the Pole loses thus its character of frontier zone.
In 1217, Thomas, 5th count of the Pole, is killed with the battle of Lincoln on May 20, 1217. The crown prince Louis VIII, wire of Philippe-Auguste, of "felt the greatest pain".
In 1226, the Pole is plain with the crown of France. To XIIIe and XIVe centuries, no significant modification is made to the fortress.

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