How to build a castle

How to build a castle

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Guedelon castle would be a good, if only partially finished, example of a medieval French chateau-fort, were it not for one important fact. Building work began on it in 1997.

The idea of creating a historic castle from scratch is the brainchild of local landowner Michel Guyot and businesswoman Maryline Martin, who have enabled its construction using the techniques and materials of the 13th Century.

. TREIGNY, France. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/Files

This is what the construction site of Guedelon looked like in 2005, eight years after the first stone was laid.

What started out as an eccentric project has since become an established enterprise, employing 65 people and drawing visitors from all around Europe.

Under current plans, building work is expected to be finished around 2030, when the structure will look exactly like a completed medieval castle.

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Slideshow

Wooden rafters support the roof of the castle bedroom.
. TREIGNY, France. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Wooden rafters support the roof of the castle bedroom.

Stephane Boudy, a carpenter who has worked at the site since 1999, poses in his studio.
. TREIGNY, France. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Stephane Boudy, a carpenter who has worked at the site since 1999, poses in his studio.

Traditional tools lie around an open-air workshop.
. TREIGNY, France. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Traditional tools lie around an open-air workshop.

Eugene Kedadra, who has been a stonecutter at the chateau since 1999, poses for a picture.
. TREIGNY, France. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Eugene Kedadra, who has been a stonecutter at the chateau since 1999, poses for a picture.

Blocks of stone lie on the ground in front of the castle.
. TREIGNY, France. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Blocks of stone lie on the ground in front of the castle.

Jean Sebastien Roll, a quarryman at the chateau, poses with his tools.
. TREIGNY, France. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Jean Sebastien Roll, a quarryman at the chateau, poses with his tools.

Masons work together at the construction site.
. TREIGNY, France. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Masons work together at the construction site.

Guillaume Glotin, who has been a mason at the castle since 2006, poses for a photograph.
. TREIGNY, France. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Guillaume Glotin, who has been a mason at the castle since 2006, poses for a photograph.

Colour samples stand out on the castle wall.
. TREIGNY, France. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Colour samples stand out on the castle wall.

Paintings of vines adorn the bedroom.
. TREIGNY, France. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Paintings of vines adorn the bedroom.

A blueprint and a small model of the Chateau are displayed at the construction site.
. TREIGNY, France. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

A blueprint and a small model of the Chateau are displayed at the construction site.

Cloe, an engineering student from the English town of Northampton, walks in a winch drum.
. TREIGNY, France. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Cloe, an engineering student from the English town of Northampton, walks in a winch drum.

Scaffolding is seen in the distance next to a completed section of the castle's wall.
. TREIGNY, France. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Scaffolding is seen in the distance next to a completed section of the castle's wall.

Clement Guerard, who has been a blacksmith at the site for over a decade, poses next to his equipment.
. TREIGNY, France. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Clement Guerard, who has been a blacksmith at the site for over a decade, poses next to his equipment.

Stonecutter's tools lie on the ground at the castle.
. TREIGNY, France. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Stonecutter's tools lie on the ground at the castle.