A castle is slowly taking in shape in France. It has taken 15 years to get this point, but then, you don’t raise a medieval castle in a couple of months outside of Hollywood, Disney World or Vegas–especially if you are building it the medieval way! In fact, in this construction project, the lengthy duration of the project is a point of pride. The results are also pretty impressive for those of us used to seeing those various Vegas/Hollywood/Disney models.
Guédelon, a castle growing out of the French countryside is the operation created by architect Michel Guyot who came across the original foundations of a 13th century castle, while rehabilitating its 17th century predecessor, the Chateau de St.-Fargeau. He pulled together medieval experts and set about making his own 13th century castle 100 miles southeast of Paris.
This should give some comfort to the project-organizers at Campus Galli, building a medieval monastery in Meßkirch, Germany (see Building a Monastery the Medieval Way). Both Guédelon and Campus Galli are open to the public and volunteers–the expectation is that these are learning opportunities both for scholars and lay people.
Guédelon, unlike most other building sites, is open to the public. One of the project’s principal raisons d’être is to demonstrate and explain to as many people as possible, the craftsmanship of our forebears.
For more information, visit the castle’s website: Guédelon, A Castle in the Making.
Guédelon in the news:
Smithsonian Magazine’s “Constant Traveler Blog” — http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/travel/2012/05/a-medieval-castle-in-the-making/
BBC News — http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10440300