Guedelon is a fascinating project in Treigny, in the Yonne department of Burgundy, north of Nevers. The vision of one man, Michel Guyot, the idea of the project is to build a complete '13th century castle' in this corner of France using only authentic tools and locally sourced materials.
The Guedelon project
The plan for the building was created by the architect for the National Monuments of France (Jacques Moulin).
Every detail of the project is as accurate as possible, even down to the clothes worn by the workers. If ropes are needed they are made on site; when stone is needed it needs to be quarried out of the ground on site. The techniques used to build the castle are exactly as they would have been 700 years ago.
The project is planned to take more than two decades to complete, currently employs 50 people, and has also become an important tourist attraction. It also attracts many thousands of school children each year, fascinated to watch the ever changing stages of the project.
The nature of the project means that visitors can never be sure what they will see - it depends what work is being done at the time of a visit. But one thing is sure, the visit will be fascinating, seeing authentic work methods and materials being used, and not a cement mixer in site!
Note: perhaps the most remarkable achievement is that of creating 50 full-time jobs and an important tourist attraction in the middle of the forest: perhaps we will soon see new castles being built all over France!
Photos of Guédelon by Paul Hermans are copyright GFDL.
The castle is located between Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye and Saint-Amand-en-Puisaye, south east of Auxerre.
The Chateau de Guedelon project is open April to October, admission charge 9 euros (children 7 euros).
A visit to the 15th century castle at Saint-Fargeau is an interesting complement to a visit to Guedelon, with the chance to see a 'complete' castle of the period, lovingly furnished and with some fascinating carpentry work. Chateau de Saint-Fargeau is owned by (and has been renovated by) Michel Guyot, creator of the Guedelon project.
Map of Guedelon and places to visit
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Address: Treigny, Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye, Auxerre, Yonne, Burgundy, 89520, France || GPS: latitude 47.581, longitude 3.1559
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Eglise de Notre-Dame-du-Pré (Donzy): religious monument (24km)
- Clamecy: secteur sauvegarde (31km)
- Sancerre: recommended detour (36km)
- Arboretum national des Barres: remarkable garden (41km)