Guédelon, The Lost Castle That’s Taking 25 Years to Rebuilt

The re-construction of this lost 13th century castle began in 1997 using only the techniques and materials used in the Middle Ages, its completion date is estimated some time in the 2020s…

It all began in 1979 when Michel Guyot bought a derelict castle, called Chateau Saint Fargeau, for a mere few thousand Francs.

During the extensive restoration process, an archeological team hired to survey the property discovered the remains of a medieval castle buried within its red brick walls (pictured below).

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It was this discovery that inspired Michel to re-create the lost medieval castle from scratch, just like they did in the good old days!
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Thirteen kilometers away from the Chateau Saint Fargeau, Michel found the perfect site for the new castle – a land located next to an abandoned stone quarry in a large forest, with a pond close by. The location presented all the resources he and his team would need to successfully time travel back to the Middle Ages and begin building Guédelon.

Here is a flashback to what the site looked like pretty much on ‘Day One’ in the late 1990s.

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Progress…

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But it wasn’t enough just to use medieval construction techniques, materials and tools. Builders and craftsmen has also to take on the period costumes, diet and lifestyle. There’s also a “horses-only” policy used for transportation around the site.

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Authenticity at Guédelon is a big priority.

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Why? It all boils down to a rare practice called “experimental archaeology”, which is pretty much the only way to truly understand and investigate how things were done back then.

And this is certainly the world’s biggest archeological experiment ever attempted.

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It’s a hands-on approach of rediscovering old forgotten skills and learning exactly how to use them rather than merely relying on theories.

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