Guédelon Castle

Guédelon Castle (French: Château de Guédelon [ʃɑto d(ə) ɡedlɔ̃]) is a castle currently under construction near Treigny, France. The castle is the focus of an experimental archaeology project aimed at recreating a 13th-century castle and its environment using period technique, dress, and material.

Guédelon Castle
Château de Guédelon
Near Treigny, Yonne, Burgundy, France
Guédelon 2017.jpg
Guédelon Castle in April 2017
Plan du château de Guédelon.svg
Plan of Guédelon Castle
Guédelon Castle is located in France
Guédelon Castle
Guédelon Castle
Guédelon Castle
Coordinates47°35′1″N 3°9′20″E / 47.58361°N 3.15556°E / 47.58361; 3.15556Coordinates: 47°35′1″N 3°9′20″E / 47.58361°N 3.15556°E / 47.58361; 3.15556
Site information
OwnerMichel Guyot
Site history

In order to fully investigate the technology required in the past, the project is using only period construction techniques, tools, and costumes. Materials, including wood and stone, are all obtained locally. Jacques Moulin, chief architect for the project, designed the castle according to the architectural model developed during the 12th and 13th centuries by Philip II of France.

Construction started in 1997 under Michel Guyot, owner of Château de Saint-Fargeau, a castle in Saint-Fargeau 13 kilometres away. The site was chosen according to the availability of construction materials: an abandoned stone quarry, in a large forest, with a nearby pond.[1] The site is in a rural woodland area and the nearest town is Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye, about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) to the northeast.


In 1979, French entrepreneur Michel Guyot [fr] purchased the ruins of the Château de Saint-Fargeau and began restoring it with profits raised on-site.[2] In late 1995, a study by Guyot's staff revealed the medieval foundations beneath the modern, brick structure, complete with a hypothesized plan of the original castle. Guyot built the existing castle after some consideration, but began assembling funds and experts and opening negotiations with the French government to build a new castle.[3] Over five months in 1997, Guyot raised €400,000 from the European Union, local and the central French governments, and commercial entities.[2] A former sandstone quarry, located in a woodland two hours south of Paris, was chosen as the site of Guédelon Castle because of its relative elevation and abundance in natural resources, whose transport would be expensive in the Middle Ages.[4][5] Permission for construction was given by the commune of Treigny on 25 July 1997,[6] and ground was broken the following year with the clearing of the site and the erection of the first workshops.[7] The first stone was laid on 20 June 1997.[8] Over the rest of that year and into 1998, the perimeter was built to a metre (3 feet) in height, following which Guédelon was opened to the public.[7]

Guédelon Castle appeared in the 2004 documentary Europe in the Middle Ages, which was directed by Christian Twente and produced by Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion GmbH.[9]

By June 2010, the great tower stood at 15 metres (49 ft).[10]

In November 2014 the castle was featured in the BBC Two series, Secrets of the Castle, in which the project was described as "the world's biggest archaeological experiment". The series features Ruth Goodman, Peter Ginn and Tom Pinfold.[11] By 2014, the castle was attracting about 300,000 visitors annually,[12] and had revenues of about three million euros.[13]

The castle is projected to be complete in 2023.[14]

Construction imagesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Dowson, Thomas (2020). "Experience Gudelon Castle". Retrieved 2020-11-29.
  2. ^ a b Henley, Jon (30 July 1999). "King of a modern medieval castle". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 22 October 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  3. ^ "The story begins". Guédelon Castle. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  4. ^ Minard & Folcher 2003, p. 57.
  5. ^ Willsher, Kim (6 June 2019). "A medieval castle in France could be Notre Dame's salvation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  6. ^ "Guédelon's building plans". Guédelon. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Order of construction". Guédelon Castle. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  8. ^ Durand 2005, p. 6.
  9. ^ "Amazon Prime". Amazon. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  10. ^ Schofield, Huge (30 June 2010). "France's new medieval castle". BBC News. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  11. ^ Wollaston, Sam (19 November 2014). "Secrets Of The Castle review – good, old-fashioned medieval fun". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  12. ^ Grant, Olly (18 November 2014). "A trip back in time at Guédelon Castle". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 5 December 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  13. ^ Godeau, Élise (23 September 2013). "Guédelon, créneau pédago". Libération (in French). Archived from the original on 16 June 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  14. ^ Taylor, Alan (15 September 2016). "Building a 13th-Century Castle in the 21st Century". The Atlantic. Retrieved 28 May 2019.


Further readingEdit

External linksEdit