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.
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