Robert the Devil's CastleRobert the Devil's Castle
©Robert the Devil's Castle|Alan Aubry

The legend of Robert the Devil

One of the most mysterious legends in Norman history is that of Robert the Devil. A famous Norman character, his castle located between Rouen and Caen still testifies to his importance and the questions that surround him.

Robert the Devil,

the Norman legend

Today, the name Robert rings in the ears of visitors passing near Rouen and coming across his castle in the Seine Valley. But who was Robert the Devil? According to legend born in the seventh century, Robert was the son of Duke Aubert and the Duchess Indre. The nickname “Diable” comes from his very conception, as his mother was unable to have a child and asked the devil for help.

This diabolical parentage resulted in Robert being colean, violent, and cruel from an early age. While his father made him a knight, he then took the lead of a band of brigands that terrorized the Norman countryside.

Realizing his violence and wickedness, Robert sought the cause and discovered the mystery of his birth. He then traveled to Rome in order to meet with the pope and then confess to a hermit who asked him to take a vow of silence and compete for his food with dogs as penance.

Following this episode, Robert was taken in by the emperor of Rome. At the time, looters were terrorizing Rome, but no one dared to fight them. Robert the Devil then confronted them, alone and hidden under a white armor. The emperor then promised the hand of his daughter to this valiant knight.

Although the hermit delivered him from his penance, Robert refused to marry the princess and lived as a hermit for the rest of his life.

The castle

of Robert the Devil

Located on the heights of Moulineaux, near Rouen, the ruins of Robert the Devil’s castle are visible from the A13 highway linking Paris to the Normandy beaches.

There are many interpretations of this monument. Some attribute it to Rollon, also named Robert, others to Robert the Magnificent or even to his grandson Robert Courteheuse.

The first writings mentioning the fortress of Moulineaux date from 1180. John Lackland made several visits to Moulineaux between 1199 and 1204 and various writings testify to work on the defense and maintenance of a garrison. The fortress was dismantled at the time of the conquest of Normandy by Philip Augustus, and then completely razed during the Hundred Years’ War in order to avoid its occupation by the English army.

A little history

The remains were purchased in 1903 by an industrialist who entrusted the restoration site to the architect Lucien Lefort. It was the latter who gave the complex its current appearance, with the idea of restoring ruins of a hypothetical fortress.

Once again left to abandon, the monument was renovated a second time in the form of a workcamp from 2009. Today, Robert the Devil’s castle hosts major festive events every year and its surroundings are accessible all year round to visitors who are keen on walking.

The ghosts

of Robert the Devil

A Explor Games® created especially for the place, allows visitors to discover this castle, dear to the heart, of the Normans in a fun and entertaining way: the Ghosts of Robert the Devil’s Castle.

Thanks to this exploratory game, the public discovers, tablet in hand, the castle, its park, its moat, and its inner courtyard. In an original scenario, with family or friends, visitors must take up numerous challenges to lift the veil on the strange phenomena witnessed in the place. This game plunges young and old into the history of this Norman fortress and especially into the legend of the bloodthirsty Robert the Devil.