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The Guédelon adventure
July 3, 2013 10:33 AM   Subscribe

In the heart of Puisaye, in Yonne, Burgundy, a team of fifty people have taken on an extraordinary feat: to build a castle using the same techniques and materials used in the Middle Ages. [WARNING EMBEDDED YOUTUBE AUTOPLAYS] The wood, stone, earth, sand and clay needed for the castle's construction are all to be found here, in this abandoned quarry. Watched by thousands of visitors, all the trades associated with castle-building - quarrymen, stonemasons, woodcutters, carpenters, blacksmiths, tile makers, basket makers, rope makers, carters and their horses - are all working together to complete the castle.
posted by Blasdelb (18 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
Between this and the abdication of the Belgian monarch, one thing is clear:

The Kingdom of Burgundy arises!
posted by Apocryphon at 10:36 AM on July 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


Are they in need of someone with genuine royal blood to occupy this castle?
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:46 AM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Boy, Aquitaine set up that siege in no time at all! I guess some things you really don't forget how to do.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:25 PM on July 3, 2013


Must be an absolute blast for the various scholars associated with the project to get to see their theories about the period's construction methods put to the test. I assume that, amongst other things, this must be a great training ground for a generation of artisans who can work on restoring/maintaining old stone buildings around Europe.
posted by yoink at 12:26 PM on July 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


I love this because I always thought that if I won the lottery, this is what I'd do. Only I'd do a medieval cathedral, mostly for the stained glass and grotesques.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:47 PM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]




Katjusa Roquette: "Are they in need of someone with genuine royal blood to occupy this castle?"

.."everyone of European ancestry is descended from Charlemagne."
posted by stbalbach at 1:23 PM on July 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Plato observed a long time ago that, "Every king springs from a race of slaves, and every slave had kings among his ancestors "
posted by Repack Rider at 1:46 PM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]




This very project inspired a similar effort by a couple of French people in my home state, Arkansas. Guyot bought into the deal and everyone was generally happy and excited at the prospect. As with most things that sound a little bit like insane, glorious hubris, the project got a lot of early press. That tone of hubris got a little bit clearer, to much less fanfare, when the project shut down last year and started looking for new funding elsewhere.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 3:10 PM on July 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm positive I read about this Guédelon project many years ago online, and thought it was pretty cool. Nice to know they're still at it!
posted by dnash at 4:33 PM on July 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


A similar attempt in Arkansas hasn't gone off well.

Well, that was a big boondoggle. Wonder who got rich on that one?
posted by BlueHorse at 5:35 PM on July 3, 2013


We have been considering a transatlantic cruise and now I want to go to Burgundy first.
posted by immlass at 5:55 PM on July 3, 2013


This of course will be handy when civilization falls and medieval construction methods become all the vogue again. Maybe next year.
posted by happyroach at 6:14 PM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Very surprised this isn't a double, I'm sure I heard this years ago, via MeFi.
posted by wilful at 9:49 PM on July 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Previously (2006)
posted by stbalbach at 11:34 PM on July 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Good to see I wasn't imagining this was a double/ish but still way cool!
posted by infini at 4:34 AM on July 4, 2013


BlueHorse: A similar attempt in Arkansas hasn't gone off well.

Well, that was a big boondoggle. Wonder who got rich on that one?
It's a renovation project gone bad, as so many do (except the "renovation" was from the ground up). No one got rich; a lot of dreamers who underestimated the immensity of their project got heartbroken. And bank-account broke, too.

Former renovator; I've watched this heartbreak play out many times on smaller projects. :(
posted by IAmBroom at 5:20 PM on July 6, 2013


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