In 1997, a group of 70 individuals in a forest in Treigny, France began building a 13th-century castle they named Gúedelon using only medieval techniques. Each piece of stone is carved using the same tools that were used 800 years ago, each piece of wood is felled and shaped by hand, and the builders even wear the clothing of that period. As pointed out on Gúedelon's website, the construction is based on the architectural techniques of Philip Augustus work during the 12th and 13th centuries.

Philip II Augustus, King of France from 1180-1223, is attributed with standardising the military architecture of castles in the French kingdom. Examples of this standard plan include the Louvre in Paris, Yévre-le-Châtel castle in Loiret, or more locally, the castles of Ratilly or Druyes-les-Belles-Fontaines in Yonne. 

Castles built to this standard plan have the following characteristics: a polygonal ground plan; high stone curtain walls, often built on battered plinths; a dry ditch; round flanking towers pierced with single embrasured arrow loops, the position of which is staggered on each floor of the tower; one corner tower, higher and larger than the rest: the tour maîtresse; twin drum tower protect the gate.

On Monday, Great Big Story published a brief video examining the castle's current state. Check it out below.


Feature image via Wikimedia user simka2008