Friends Dennis and Angela were kind enough to invite Pauline and I plus four other friends along on their trip over to see the site of castle Guedelon in Burgundy, in the department of Yonne (3hrs north-east of Barrou). TThe castle is being constructed using traditional 13th century methods, this was of particular interest to Dennis,not because of his age but because he is an experienced builder and is in fact working on his own renovation project at the moment.
I have always been intrigued by how the great castles,churches and cathedrals of the past had been constructed. This was an ideal opportunity to get some of my questions answered.
Our English guide for the visit was excellent and was able to field almost any question with an authoritative answer. She made the tour both educational and fun and her presentation was enthusiastic even though she had obviously done it many times before.
The building site opened to the public 1n 1998 and the 'work in progress' is the attraction.
Our guide took us around the exterior of the castle before entering its main courtyard where the chapel and great hall and great tower were the main attraction as well as a walk along the battlements.Below are some of the details from inside the small chapel..
From the chapel you can make your way along a corridor into the great hall
Window seat at the end of the great hall.
There is a smaller anti-chamber off the great hall which would be easier to heat and thus more comfortable for visiting dignitaries.
It has been decorated using local materials.
This is the vaulted ceiling on the ground floor of the 'great tower' and in answer to one of my 'how did they do that?' questions you can view the supporting woodwork frame outside the castle.
Walking along the battlements you can see the 'progress' of the flanking tower and the 'hamster wheel' used to hoist the materials up to the builders.
The site apparently gets over 300,000 visitors a year and as I have become quite adept at getting people-less shots I thought I should include some populated views.
Our group heading for a refreshment.
Someone had to do it...and it fell to Dennis (sorry)
Here is a shot of the man Ihad to chase from the window seat!
and of course there were the 'medieval' people wandering about
Here is a completed view of the castle by Nicolas Gasseau. © Guédelon Photo Nicolas Gasseau but wth 300,000 visitors paying 15 euros a head don't expect to see it anytime soon!
You can see more here: http://www.benevoleguedelon.com
Official website here: http://www.guedelon.fr/en/