In France, workers build a castle from scratch the 13th century way

In the Burgundy region of France, a team of enthusiasts is constructing a medieval castle using 13th-century techniques.

Background: Guédelon Castle’s construction began in 1997 following an idea by three history buffs and nature lovers.
* The co-founders bought the original 27 acres of land in a forest near a centuries-old quarry, received a construction permit, and laid the first stones.
* The project aims to emphasize nature, history, archaeology, and heritage skills.

Work is Learning: Workers on site, clothed in medieval attire, use orthodox methods to build the castle, frequently pausing their work to explain their processes or train young craftsmen.
* To create the castle’s outer walls, workers use a medieval crane-cum-treadmill which can lift a thousand pounds.
* Some of the craftsmen have experience working on the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral.

Construction Details: Thus far, six turrets, a protective wall, and an inner living castle with a chapel have been completed.
* The castle, intended to be a modest noble’s fortress, features defense elements borrowed from the crusades, such as “arrow loops” for firing arrows.

Guédelon Castle’s Impact: The castle, financed through donations, EU funding, and visitor fees, provides staff members with sustainable employment opportunities.
* The project prioritizes sustainable practices and several workers believe that the construction techniques used could contribute to more eco-friendly housing in the future.
* The completion of the castle could take another 10 to 20 years, but the team emphasizes the learning and discovery that happens throughout the construction process.

View original article on NPR

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