Building A Medieval Castle With Medieval Techniques

Samuel Reason | June 25th, 2018

For the past 20 years in the middle of Burgundy in France, a project has been developing around building a castle. And it is not just any building project, this is like jumping into a time machine. If you have wanted to really see the middle ages then it may be time to book a ticket to Guedelon Castle.

This unique project using volunteers and researchers are recreating an authentic 13th-century building site by building a castle entirely from scratch with medieval techniques. They only allow techniques and materials that would have been available at the time.

Started in 1997 by Michel Guyot and Maryline Martin it is finally nearing its completion, and in the process has created about 55 jobs. Not only that but it draws in over 300,000 visitors a year. They have even invented a backstory and ancient guides to follow for the design and construction. The stories of Guedelon state work started in 1228 so when you step onto this medieval building site you are now in 1248, as each year that passed was a year in historical time.

They hope to have it finished by 2023 in today’s world and if you visit the site you will really understand how they have respected the medieval rules of construction. Stonemasons work on bricks or keystones while workers only transport material around with horse and carts. When it comes to lifting material, then special cranes need to be put together that is aided by giant winch drums.

And it is not just the outside of the stone castle, the interior has been respected also creating a complete and utter immersion into the 13th century. Some of the workers have been on the project for years, for example, Clement Guerard is a blacksmith who has worked the smith in Guedelon since 1999. The location was picked perfectly due to its close proximity to all the needed building supplies: wood, water, sand, and rock. An amazing project to showcase what humans can achieve when coming together.

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