The castle is the quintessential symbol of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 and perhaps the most vivid reminder of the shared history between England and Normandy.
That common past is at the heart of the ‘Norman Castles Connections’ project, which brought together partners from across England and Normandy to celebrate their collective heritage and shed new light on the castles of Caen and Falaise in Normandy and Colchester, Hastings, Norwich and Rochester in England. An important part of the project was the use of 3D digital reconstruction to bring to life the castle buildings, allowing visitors an insight into how the castles would have been experienced some nine hundred years ago.
Today, after centuries of change and adaptation, it can sometimes be difficult for visitors to appreciate the original form of these buildings and the sophistication of their internal decoration. Here the digital reconstruction element of the project comes into its own, as it allows centuries of alterations to be stripped away and the original arrangement of floors, windows and furniture to be put back.
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As a result of the Normans Connections project, visitors to these castles can now use virtual reality to travel around the buildings in a way that has not been possible before and follow in the footsteps of the men and women who lived and worked at these castles at a time when England and Normandy had even closer relations than today.