Guedelon Castle: An Fun Educational Experience in France

Have you ever looked at an ancient castle and wondered how in the world it was constructed without modern machinery and modern technology?

How did they lift such heavy loads?

How did they hew the stones?

How did they make the tiles for the roof?

Guedelon Castle is a place that will answer all your questions.

View of the bridge over the moat surrounding Guedelon Castle in France.Pin

Guedelon Castle.

To quote their website, Gu├ędelon sheds light on these mysteries of the medieval world.

We were making the drive between Amboise in the Loire Valley and Beaune in Burgundy and wanted to see something interesting on the way. My husband is a building contractor who loves architecture and seeing how things are constructed and I am a history buff.

Guedelon Castle seemed like a perfect choice!

We arrived that gorgeous May afternoon to find the parking lot full of cars and busses full of children. Apparently we had arrived during spring field trip season! However, we found the school groups to be well tended, well behaved, and well dispersed!

I guarantee you that we enjoyed ourselves as much as any of the 10 year olds!!

Looking up at a castle turret into a bright blue sky. The castle is under construction. Pin

What is Guedelon Castle?

Situated in a forested area near an old rock quarry, Guedelon is a tourist attraction where a castle is being built from scratch using only medieval methods and materials.

A team of master builders, various craftspeople, and volunteers work together building and teaching and creating something astounding.

People working on building Guedelon Castle by hand.Pin

The castle itself is surrounded by a replica of a village which contains all the buildings that the townspeople would have needed to aid the construction of the castle.

There is a mill, a blacksmith shop, a basket weaving area, gardens, tile making kilns, dye making for the painting of the interior walls and for the dyeing of the clothing the workers wear.

Each one of these places is functional and necessary to the project because nothing modern is used in the building of this castle. No ropes, or baskets, or tools, or…well…anything modern is used. It is all being created around you.

As you walk the path surrounding the castle you can watch craftsmen actually creating everything that is being used in the construction of the castle.

Young woman dressed in medieval garb stirring something in a pot. Pin

In addition there is a spokesperson at each section explaining the process. Some only spoke French but we had a little pamphlet in English with a map and an explanation of what was happening in each area.

Young man making old fashioned tiles by hand at Guedelon Castle. Pin

The craftspeople that did speak English were very helpful, but you could pick up on most everything just from watching them work.

They have been building the castle for 20 years already and say that it will take about 20 more. We found it to be a fascinating place and I highly recommend a visit if you are interested in medieval history, or construction or architecture.

A man working on building a castle. Pin

If you are traveling with children Guedelon is definitely a must see! But we weren’t traveling with children and still found it to be one of the highlights of our trip.

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You can go here to learn about our full 2 week itinerary in France.

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Guedelon Castle is fun and educational for all ages. Learn more about how castles were constructed using ancient methods. Pin
Thanks for sharing!

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