Guédelon, France

In the heart of France, in northern Burgundy, a team of fifty master-builders have taken on an extraordinary challenge: building a castle using medieval techniques and materials.

In a once disused quarry, surrounded by woodland and all the natural materials required for the construction – stone, wood, earth, sand, clay – day after day, in the presence of thousands of visitors, the quarrymen, stonemasons, woodcutters, carpenter-joiners, blacksmiths, tile makers, carters and rope makers are building a castle from scratch.

Inspired by the past, this building site is also of great relevance to the 21st century.

Guédelon is of scientific, historic and educational interest; it is a tourist destination, and, above all, it is a collective venture.

Throughout the seasons, Guédelon’s workers rise to this extraordinary challenge. Visitors from across the globe have witnessed the building of the curtain walls, the Great Hall’s roof timbers, the antechamber and its mural paintings, the castle kitchen and storeroom, the rib-vaulted guardrooms and the crenelated wall-walk, on this, the only construction site of its kind in the world.

Féile na gCloch, the festival of stones, unfurls virtually in 2020 on the 18th and 19th September. On both days at 1pm you can follow the event on Facebook. Or engage with the event whenever suits you via the Galway Heritage website.

Féile na gCloch, festival of stones, is an annual event on Inis Oírr that takes place every September. It brings together practitioners in stone walling, stone carving and letter carving from around the world to celebrate the heritage of the stones of the Aran Islands. In 2017, a new workshop was introduced, to reflect on the role that drawing and sketching plays in each of these traditions.

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