20th anniversary

1997 - 2017: Guédelon celebrates the first 20 years of construction

Twenty years ago... Naively and no doubt slightly recklessly, plans for a new castle in hand, we set out into the myth-filled forests of northern Burgundy, in search of the backdrop to our adventure…

Not for a moment did we doubt; not once did we consider giving up, quite the contrary, from the moment we found the quarry hidden in Guédelon forest, the venture seemed more important, more necessary than ever!

We had the stone for the walls, the wood for the roof timbers. Water diviners used their rods to find a water source in the future castle-courtyard and, scratching the soil with our knives, we found clay, sand, and red and yellow ochre. The materials needed for the future castle were right there, under our feet.

To build like C13th builders, we had to step back in time, revive lost techniques, learn to use tools abandoned by the modern world and try to “fail better” from season to season.

Today, all of us here agree that our venture is above all collective, that it has been made possible by the 5 million visitors who have supported us so far, and thanks also to the thousands of members of the public who have worked alongside us these past twenty years.

And every man and woman here agrees that the time has flown by and that we are all utterly determined that this adventure, which you share with us, should never come to an end!

The Guédelon team

live from Guédelon