Thursday, September 6, 2012
Guedelon - Burgundy, France
Guedelon is an amazing idea; to build an authentic 13th century castle using only medieval building materials and techniques. Work on the site in the Burgundy forest began in 1997 and is scheduled to take 25 years to complete. It's incredible to think of the physical labor required, but that's only a part of it. They also had to find the land, get the funding, get permits (very difficult in France!), locate the stone, timber and other materials, and find skilled, willing workers.
They also had to do research and experimentation to learn exactly how to do all the various trades involved; quarrying, stone masonry, basket weaving, iron working, and carpentry and many more. And of course, all the labor is human or animal. The wheel you see is a human treadmill, that is used to pull materials up to the top of the tower. This video gives you a taste of the trades and skills involved.
I really enjoyed the visit--and it made me very happy to be living in the 21st century.