On Day 7 , we visited Guedelon – a medieval castle in the making.
Ahead of our trip, we watched a BBC documentary on Guedelon here. The documentary was very good, but seeing a castle being built using 13th century tools and methods before your eyes was something else entirely!
The site started in 1997 and the project should be completed in 2020. By then, it should be an authentic recreation of a 13th-century medieval castle.
One of the key objectives of the project is to revive a region in France with history and beautiful countryside, but few jobs. The BBC executive producer explains in the documentary:
“Guedelon is resurrecting the tools and methods before the age of mechanisation. with a small army of stonemasons, blacksmiths, carpenters, wood-cutters, tile and rope-makers as well as dyers who hand-craft everything on site.”
We started the day with a picnic and a visit to the store selling products made in Guedelon such as potteries, soaps, clothing and hand loomed linen scarfs.
We then took a tour of the site with a guide who explained that the site was chosen for its nearby forest, quarry and water supply.
After our guided tour, we explored the site in small groups. Our group looked at a craftsman turning the lathe, an artisan making paint with a multitude of hand ground dyes and a blacksmith heating the iron.
At the end of the visit, many of us wondered how we could recreate a similar project back at home. Guedelon is a good example of how France leverages its culture and heritage to create successful businesses and promote its tourism industry and employment. Can it be exported to the US, Canada, or even the UAE?
Christina, Moritz, Ahmed, Iman and Shahd.