When King Philippe August threatened to take Normandy in 1196, Richard Lionheart, King of England and Duke of Normandy, had this fortress built above the village of Les Andelys at a strategic location along the Seine. The major part of the construct was completed in one year. In an age when the precision unit of war was the hour and time worked for the patient, Philippe waited. Richard's early death and the succession of the less audacious King John provided the opening Philippe was looking for. He laid siege to the fortress and the Normans responded by shoring up the defenses. The extensive stores of the defenders finally motivated the French to attack in February 1204 and eventual success one month later.