It’s called Guédelon; pronounced with a graceful twirl of the tongue and a wonderful French accent.  That’s how I know I have yet to pronounce it properly.

It’s located in the north-west of Burgundy, 2 hours from Paris, in a quarry that is surrounded by secluded woodland.  Trees as far as the eye can see, gather together to overlook the quarry, as if this open space has been waiting for something this delightful for years.

What is it I’m going on about?

A medieval castle in the making is what.

“Out of this wood and stone,  quarrymen, stonemasons, woodcutters, carpenters, blacksmiths, tile makers, basket makers, rope makers, carters and their horses are working together to complete a castle, using 13th century building techniques.”

I need a sponsor to help me jump on a plane and fly to France so I can see this creation.  I was so excited when I first heard news of it.  Not one technological advance is being used to build this castle.  If the technology didn’t exist in the 13th century, the good people who are helping to build this castle aren’t using it.

This is the only construction of its kind going on in the world.  Tourists are allowed to visit and watch the progress, however, only a few tour guides exist.  The men and women working don’t stop their work to lead tours.  They have a lot to do.  The first brick was laid on June 20, 1997.  The plan is to finish the castle within 25 years of the start date.

To rebuild a medieval castle; as a historian, I bow to the greatness of the people who have unearthed skills and trades that might have been long forgotten in our age of  prefabricated, synthetic, polyurethane, and concrete.  It’s backwards archeology.  I love the idea of it, and wanted to share it with you.

If you have a moment, even if you don’t, take two minutes and watch the video on this historic castle being made: Guédelon.  If you ever make it to France, stop by and sent me a post card.