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Le Château de Guédelon, a medieval castle under construction - Part 1

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As my wife and i were driving down from Belgium to Provence, we stopped in a tiny town called Treigny, in Burgundy :

Close to this town, the owner of a nearby XIVth century castle, in Saint-Fargeau, started the construction of a medieval castle.

This crazy idea started when, after doing some research and sudy of his castle, he discovered that it was a modification of an older castle. He wanted to have that older castle displayed. However, he couldn't reasonnably transform his castle back. So, in a former sandstone quarry, covered with an oaktree forest, he decided to start one from scratch.

Rather than just asking for a permit to build a XIIIth century castle, he built a project on three axis :
- experimental archeology, with the goal of rediscovering the medieval construction techniques.
- education, with around 150 000 students coming each year.
- on-the-jod training in stone masonry.
A non-official axis is a band of buddies having fun together.

This project, that started in 1997, is planned to last for another 12-15 years. They have just started, on the same basis, a Cistercian priory and a medieval village.

Shortly, i'll post part 2 on Philippian castles of the XIIIth century, and after that, part 3 on our visit...

Updated 21-07-2011 at 20:15 by gigau

History tour


  1. ubik's Avatar

    That's an amazing enterprise!
  2. Alan deLane's Avatar
    I've already heard of this, IIRC it was on arte. T'is a great project.

  3. gigau's Avatar
    And i've just found out that, in 20 or so years, America will have its first medieval fortress in Ozark (Arkansas)... a sister project to that of Guédelon.