Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Thursday, November 1, 2018

They’re Building a Chateau!

In the many seasons we’ve spent around this area we’ve seen the tourist information brochures for Guédelon but never managed to visit. It’s not really close to the water so not accessible from the canals by bike but it’s only about 45 mins from Briare by car so this year we thought we’d pay a visit. And the folks from Hibou had told us it was very worth the trip.

In the late 1990’s a group decided to build a replica 12th century chateau-fort from scratch using the methods and materials of the time. Proceeds from admissions and donations are used to fund the project; no government money is involved. You can read the story on their website at (make sure you choose the “Anglais” option in the upper left if you’re English speaking!) and get a great drone tour of the project. Also more information at the Wiki site 

It was a beautiful day for our visit. There was much activity and lots of visitors.

That’s a human-powered winch/crane on the left
 at the base of the tower where they’re building the roof.

When completed, this will be the entrance gate with a bridge over the “moat”.
All of that scaffolding is constructed locally by hand; no power tools.

The entrance gate from the outside.

During our visit we saw workers dressing stone blocks and decorative touches, making bricks from clay and straw, cutting roofing shakes from local oak logs and making clay roof tiles, tending the horses used to pull the carts full of construction materials, making rope from locally grown fibers and ate a delicious lunch complete with bread made in the wood-fired oven.
In theory, construction is supposed to be complete sometime in the early 2020’s. We plan to come back to watch the project progress. It’s fascinating!

With our time in France coming close to an end for this year we had one more chateau to visit. Chenonceau.

1 comment:

  1. Something we've had on our list for a while, as it Chenonceau (although we did fly over it in a balloon a few years back.


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