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13th Century Castle being built in Burgundy

Chateau de Guédelon
How's this you romantic fools - a 13th century Chateau being built just two hours drive from Paris in Burgundy. Voila! - The Chateau de Guédelon.

"For the next 20 years, thirty five craftsmen and women will be building before your very eyes a medieval castle. They will do so following XIIIth century techniques. The natural site in the middle of the forest will provide them with all the building material necessary : wood, water, stone, earth, sand and iron.

Quarriers, stone hewers, masons, carpenters work in front of you, as they once did 7 centuries ago. The building yard is a continuous, lively and progressive site where Towers, Curtains and the Keep will have taken 25 years to rise up from the earth.
You may realise that from many viewpoints, this building site straight from the past will answer many expectations of modern men and women."

So far it looks a bit of a mess. But you can stay nearby in a real chateau while you have a look at the building going on. More here at their site - Chateau de Guédelon231239-382756-thumbnail.jpg
long way to go

I have to warn you - the English translation of their website is excruciating - which is often the case in France. Have a go at this -

"Decision making:

A matter of architecture which raises a problem that prevents to come to a decision will be on the agenda of one of the weekly meetings. During the meeting, the study of the reference documents from the data bank leads to a collegial and argued proposition. This will result either in implementing it on the spot and recording a reference card, or in sending the proposition ( along with the reference card ) to the ethical commission to be ratified ( or altered with new justified references ) After approval, it will be implemented on the spot.

Example : loopholes

Particular questions regarded the shape, the sizes, the angle of the inner span, the angle of departure, the equipment and the possible fittings of the Philipian castle loopholes.

This set of questions followed the methodology itinerary above defined. The following proposition was consequently put forward since it holds the notion of the most frequent common denominator : the comparative study of loopholes ( sorted by architecture particulars ) reveals that the Philipian castles used to favour the strength of the walls and towers frame ( medium thickness between 1,80 m and 2,50 m ) to the detriment of the span of the angle of departure, which accordingly restricted the shoot in almost a sole direction.

This shape with a closed angle has thus been adopted as the basic pattern for the Guédelon loopholes, i.e. plain loopholes without any tool-post or bevelled edge. Their outer appearance will be made of freestone with a truss, the whole span either resting on or merging in the alignment trusses. It will be made possible to optimise the covered shooting areas thanks to a regular shift when setting the loopholes depending on the storeys."


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Reader Comments (2)

Does it come complete with medievil engineers?
July 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermushroom
Skilled volunteers dressed in period costume. They even hide their wristwatches.
July 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterles miserable

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