the 21st-century medieval adventure

In the heart of France, in northern Burgundy, a team of fifty master-builders have taken on an extraordinary challenge: building a castle using medieval techniques and materials.

The castle seen from the air autumn 2014 © Guédelon - Ph. D. Gliksman

In a once disused quarry, surrounded by woodland and all the natural materials required for the construction - stone, wood, earth, sand, clay – day after day, in the presence of thousands of visitors, the quarrymen, stonemasons, woodcutters, carpenter-joiners, blacksmiths, tile makers, carters and rope makers are building a castle from scratch.

Inspired by the past, this building site is also of great relevance to the 21st century.

Guédelon is of scientific, historic and educational interest; it is a tourist destination and, above all, it is a collective venture.

Throughout the seasons, Guédelon's workers rise to this extraordinary challenge. Visitors from across the globe have witnessed the building of the curtain walls, the Great Hall’s roof timbers, the antechamber and its mural paintings, the castle kitchen and storeroom, the rib-vaulted guardrooms and the crenelated wall-walk, on this, the only construction site of its kind in the world.

Guédelon, experimental archaeology in action

Guédelon's carpenters ©Guédelon Ph. F. Folcher

It is impossible to visit medieval castles and cathedrals without wondering how these buildings were constructed, where the materials came from, how they were transported, which tools were used or how such heavy loads were hoisted.

Guédelon sheds light on these mysteries of the medieval world.

At a time when environmental protection is of such concern, Guédelon is also a construction site on which the Middle Ages offers insights into green construction for tomorrow.

Guédelon provides practical lessons in sustainable building. This pioneering construction site offers information on wattle-and-daub or rubble walling, making and using limewashes, traditional terracotta roof tiles, oak shakes, flax and hemp ropes.

Guédelon from the sky

live from Guédelon