Sunday, October 1
Oo La La!
Years of French jokes and outRAGEOUs immitations ouf zee frounch accent, and.. it turns out that the French are actually pretty cool.
Aside from boasting the second highest birthrate in Europe (after Ireland), they're building a medieval village, using hand-quarried stone and ancient techniques...
Once upon a time, deep in the forests of Burgundy, a man was haunted by a vision. He dreamed of building a castle, with turrets, great walls and a moat. Some people wondered if he was mad.
This was, after all, 1996.
And yet Michel Guyot set out to build his castle the hard way—the medieval way. With only hammers and chisels to carve the stones. With only horses to cart the rock. Without power tools.
Last year, 245,000 visitors admired the work of Guedelon's stonecutters, carpenters, potters, rope-makers and blacksmiths.
Historical accuracy is key. Jacques Moulin, France's chief architect in charge of historic monuments, designed a blueprint for the castle based on 13th century architectural canons. Archaeologists and art historians survey the project, which is helping castle specialists test hypotheses about medieval building techniques.
"You learn that you can lift 1,300-pound beams without modern machinery," said Maryline Martin, the site director. "All it takes is common sense and manpower."
Some of the walls are already covered with moss, a reminder that the project is slow-going. If all goes well, the castle will be finished in 2023. After that, the craftsmen plan to build an abbey, then a village.
"This will never be finished, because it's not about the end result of having a castle," Guyot said. It's about the dream of building—stone by stone.
I hope it's a working abbey!!