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La Roche-Guyon

La Roche-Guyon is a commune in the Val-d'Oise department in Île-de-France in northern France.The commune grew around the Château de La Roche-Guyon, upon which historically it depended for its existence. The commune's population in 1999 was 550.Château de La Roche-GuyonThe present Château de La Roche-Guyon was built in the 12th century, controlling a river crossing of the Seine, itself one of the routes to and from Normandy; The Abbé Suger described its grim aspect: "At the summit of a steep promontory, dominating the bank of the great river Seine, rises a frightful castle without title to nobility, called La Roche. Invisible on the surface, it is hollowed out of a high cliff. The able hand of the builder has established in the mountainside, digging into the rock, an ample dwelling provided with a few miserable openings". In the mid-13th century, a fortified manor house (the château-bas) was added below. Guy de La Roche fell at the Battle of Agincourt, and his widow was ousted from the Roche, after six months of siege, in 1419; she preferred to depart rather than accept Henry Plantagenet as her overlord. It came to the Liancourt family with the marriage of Roger de Plessis-Liancourt to the heiress Marie de La Roche; he was a childhood companion of Louis XIII, first gentleman of the Chambre du Roi, and was made a duke in 1643. He and his wife made great changes to the château-bas, opening windows in its structure and laying out the terrace to the east, partly cut into the mountain's steep slope.
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