hands-on learning

A journey through time

View of the western curtain wall and Chapel Tower under construction - Ph. Guédelon

Once beyond the doors of the entrance barn, visitors are plunged into a by-gone age. No mechanical sounds, no motor engines – not even mobile phones! - but a natural setting which awakens the senses.

Explore the construction site to the rhythm of chisels on stone, saws ripping through wood, the beat of horses' hooves, hammers striking anvils...

A 13th-century immersion

Contrary to the majority of construction sites, Guédelon is not just accessible to members of the public, they are positively welcomed! One of the site's principal aims is to demonstrate and explain different heritage skills to a wide audience.

Extracting and dressing stones, rubble walling, woodworking, transporting loads by horse and cart...are some of the skills and techniques that visitors can see on site. Visitors are encouraged to watch, but also to talk with the craftsmen and women in order to better understand their work.

Sculpted mullion for the chapel's tracery window - Ph. Clément Guérard

"GUEDELON IS A MIRACLE. A miracle, because it makes real the dream of time travel. A miracle, because daring to take on a project of this scale seemed utopic and yet this has been refuted by reality. A miracle, because working «like in the 13th century» demands an unfailing committment on the part of the site's protagonists. A miracle, because specialists can observe unsuspected details, elements which neither the texts, nor archaeology can reveal, notably the very empirical side of the construction. A miracle, because in a society increasingly disconnected from its past, Guédelon fills a need. The extraordinary public enthusiasm (300 000 visitors per season) illustrates this need to delve into the our cultural roots. And the dream come true shall last 25 years."

Philippe Durand, senior lecturer at Bordeaux 3 University, translated from "Guédelon" - collection "Patrimoine Culturel" aux éditions Gisserot

live from Guédelon