Last spring we visited Château de Guédelon, which lies two hours drive south of Paris. Spring had truly started and the weather was almost summery, at least seen with Danish eyes. The sun was warm and the sky blue, the birds singing and the trees spring-green and inviting. It was a perfect day to explore the world.
Guédelon is a new world. It is a unique project which I don't think exists anywhere else on earth. It is a medival castle which is being built in our modern high tech world. What makes the project special is that only medieval equipment and techniques are used. Everything done like in the 13th century. It is a scientific building ground, living museum and historical experiment. All materials for the castle come from the local quarry, which will turn into the moat, from the wood around the site, the clay on the hill and so on. It is impressive and very interesting.
On this beautiful spring-day we wandered around and explored the site which someday in the 2020ties will be a fully built castle with local village. The village appears on its own. The 32 full time employees need a place to live. There are 11 trades on the site, carpenters, stone masons, smiths, horseboys, cooks and many others. As the project progresses there'll be need of more and more specialized careers and the village will expand. It comes all naturally.
We ate the lunch sitting at roughly hewn wooden tables. Medieval fare of course. There is room to enjoy your own picnic and it is specail to hear the bell ring the workers to lunch and the building site grow all quiet.
The entire area is a museum. Explanatory and living. There is a big barn where there are posters and exhibitions about the entire project, and of course also a souvenir shop and information stand. Ouside you will encounter several models showing the history of castles from pre-roman era until the time of the project.
If you are interested in living history Château de Guédelon is a must to visit. When the weather turns warmer we will return to see how everything is progressing. They have started to build the living quarters for the lord of the castle now.
Price: Adults 9€, children 5€, children under 5 for free.
Read more at: http://www.guedelon.fr/
Pictures from the project at: http://philippe.villette.free.fr/guedelon/guedelon.htm