Guedelon Castle in Burgundy, France is a unique project where volunteers and researchers are constructing an authentic 13th century castle, using only techniques and materials that were available at the time. Michel Guyot and Maryline Martin started Guedelon Castle project in 1997, and it has been nearing its inevitable completion ever since. Today, it has created over 55 jobs and draws more than 300,000 visitors every year.

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In France, people are building a castle from the 13th century using only medieval building techniques and materials

Even the transport around the site is medieval: people use site carts and horse-drawn carriages to move around

“The rule is that only what we know from documents that existed at the time is allowed”

A look at some of the woodwork in the castle’s halls

Workers are also re-building servants’ homes and buildings used for daily life

Man grinds flour in a gristmill

Those who want to do more than just visit the castle can also pitch in and work for a few days — about 650 people each year volunteer to do so

And a glimpse of the building plan for the castle shows how it will look completed

The location was chosen because most of the building materials are nearby. There is rock for the walls and towers, big oak trees for wood and close access to water and sand

Michel Guyot and Maryline Martin started Guedelon Castle project in 1997, and its completion is expected around 2023

Some of the building techniques had to be re-discovered or improvised, such as the exact combination of materials for the mortar

In the annals of Guedelon, works began in 1228. Each year that passes is a year in historical time too, so we are now in 1248

Special cranes are built to take heavier rocks to higher levels of the building site

And another volunteer playing with geese

This is how it looked like in the early stages of the project

Here’s a British engineering student Cloe, from Northampton, walking in a winch drum at the construction site

A man works at the construction site

Clement Guerard, a blacksmith at the site since 1999, poses in his workshop

They’re paying extreme attention to detail for the interior as well. Here’s a shot of the timber work inside the castle bedroom

Another view of the castle bedroom and its decorated walls

This is how Guedelon Castle looks now

Here, stonemasons are working on bricks and keystones

Workers transport stones by cart