COTE DE TEXAS: Want to Build A Castle?

Want to Build A Castle?


Have you ever looked at a Medieval Castle and wondered  - “how in the world did they ever build that back then?”

If so, you aren’t alone.  In France, a medieval castle is now being built, using only tools and construction methods from that era, in order that we may learn exactly how man was able to build such magnificent buildings without the use of any modern conveniences and utilities.    How is this endeavor even being done? 


Chateau Saint-Fargeau

The project started here, at this Chateau, in the Burgundy region of France.


Michel Guyot owns this beautiful chateau, which he spent years renovating.

What Guyot didn’t know when he bought this chateau, was that it harbored a secret within its walls.


This hall, overlooking the courtyard at Chateau Saint-Fargeau, has marble floors and marble busts.  Notice the beamed ceiling, original to the chateau.

This long hall holds a clue to the chateau’s secret.


The dining room.

The chateau’s secret would eventually be revealed to its unsuspecting owner…


This room is filled with weapons, suits of armor and a row of fabulous iron antique chandeliers.  

Once the renovation was completed, Chateau Saint-Fargeau was opened to visitors.

And this is where our story begins.


In the attic, visitors can see the bones of the chateau – which holds the clues to its secrets…

The genesis of the idea to build a medieval castle from the ground up started here, at Chateau Saint-Fargeau.   When the owner, Michel Guyot, first purchased the castle, he hired a team of experts to renovate it.  After studying the project, the renovators discovered a striking secret:  within the walls of the castle was the remains of a medieval castle.  On the last page of their renovation proposal, they included a drawing of this “medieval castle within the castle” – as it once looked:



The secret revealed:   The drawing of the medieval castle as it once appeared  - its stone walls were found still standing, hidden within the newer Chateau Saint-Fargeau, which had been built around this medieval castle.



Here is an aerial view of the castle – you can match up just where the footprints of the original medieval walls are hidden inside this newer chateau.

Once the secret was revealed, Michel Guyot became obsessed with the medieval castle hidden within the walls of his chateau.  It was this drawing of the original castle that was the genesis of a building campaign.   The renovators had written on this drawing: “Reconstructing Saint-Fargeau would be an amazing project” – and Guyot agreed.   Could it even be done?

At that time, Guyot had spent over 20 years saving castles from ruin.   To spearhead the project, in 1995, he hired Maryline Martin who was as enthusiastic about rebuilding the hidden medieval castle as he was.  

But, after much discussion, in the end, it was decided that rebuilding the original medieval Chateau Saint Fargeau would be cost prohibitive, and that idea was scraped.


But, perhaps ANOTHER medieval castle could be built?


The answer was yes.

Plans were then drawn up to build a new medieval castle from the ground up, using only tools and construction methods from that time period.  Investors were found, the location at Guedelon, Burgundy was acquired, and the project was started.

It was to be known as Guedelon Castle.

But first, a fictional back story of the castle was created.   The year was 1245 and King Louis IX is on the throne, while over in England King Henry III rules.  Westminster Abbey is just being built and the Seventh Crusade is underway, led by King Louis to avenge the fall of Jerusalem to the Persian Sunni Muslim dynasty. 

The castle is being built for the fictional “Seigneur Guilbert,” whom, they wrote, fought for the royal army.  Seigneur Guilbert was given the money to build a modest castle as thanks for his loyalty.   His chateau will be both modest and small compared to other medieval castles.  There will be no expensive moat – just a ditch. 

With this back story written,  the project begins.

The land chosen for the building site is a former quarry, surrounded by forest.  All the natural materials required to build the castle are found here:  stone, wood, earth, sand and clay.  It is from these elements that the building will amazingly rise.  The laborers will wear clothes just as those in the medieval times wore.  Visitors and volunteers will help to build the castle – and, today, over 300,000 come each year to see the castle and many of these lend a hand with the construction.   The entrance fees now completely fund the project – making it a financial success.  The laborers here are quarrymen, stonemasons, woodcutters, carpenters, blacksmiths, tile makers and rope makers, amongst others.  Since there are no rulers, knots in rope are used as a means of measurement.

Work stops during the cold winters.  When the weather warms, laborers from across the globe toil to create Guedelon which now includes within its curtain walls - the Great Hall, the antechamber, the kitchen, the storeroom, the guardrooms, the crenelated wall walks, the Great Tower, the Chapel Tower, the Pigeonniere and the drawbridge.


Here is a drawing of how the castle will look when finished.   The Great Hall is at the center of the castle.  To its right is the Great Tower, while the Chapel Tower is to its left.

To understand the importance of this project, this is the first medieval castle to be built in 500 years – and the first castle of its kind, using only medieval tools, methods and materials for nearly 800 years.



And here is an actual model that was built, which is now on display at the site.



The site plan, showing the Great Hall and antechamber.


The head architect is Jacques Moulin who drew up the plans.  It was Moulin who thought that Guedelon could be both a genuine research project, as well as a visitors attraction.  The project thus became not to only finish the building, but also to observe and learn from each phase of its construction.  A balance had to be created between a rigorous scientific program and a program that would appeal to visitors.

One change that was made as time went on – the front gate houses were deemed to be too fancy for the modest castle and today, the plans have been altered to build a much less complicated gatehouses than those shown in the drawings.


The layout of the project. 


The canopy of shade trees leads to Guedelon Castle in Burgundy.


The Guedelon Castle Project begins in 1997:   here is the land, cleared, before the building can start.



In 1998 – the public is invited to come visit for the first time.  There are 20 workers who build the perimeter walls.  Most visitors aren’t very impressed…yet!


It’s hard, dirty labor, for sure.


By 2000, the Chapel Tower begins to take shape.



Is this the 14th century?????


There is no suspension on these carts which makes for a very bumpy ride.



The signage is in French  - Picnic Area, The Mill…


By 2002, the engineering on a corner tower begins in earnest.  Notice the spiral stairs.



2004:  The Great Hall begins to take shape.


A closer view of the main building where the Great Hall will be.



This does not look like fun.  Why are they smiling?  I’d be crying!!!


By 2008  - the Great Hall’s second story is being started.   It’s been ten years now and this is all that has been built.


As the years go by, the crowds grow larger.



A print of the famous “Artisans of the Middle Ages” hangs on the castle walls for inspiration.  It does look remarkably like what is being done today at the castle.


The roof is finally being installed on the Great Hall.




All the mills are powered by water. 



2009 – the roof is halfway done on the Great Hall.  At the right is the Great Tower.  To the left is the Chapel Towel, not yet finished.


A view inside the roof of the Great Hall.  First the wood base is built, then the tiles cover the base.



In 2012  -  the Chapel Tower with its distinctive window is started.




A view of the Guedelon Castle.  The Great Hall is now completed.



A view from outside the walls of the castle.  The round wheels are moved from construction area to construction area – the wheels are used to hoist heavy materials up to high elevations.


Like a hamster in his wheel, a worker turns the wheel by using her body weight.


The beautiful window is installed in the Chapel Tower. 



From the outside – the window in the Chapel Tower.  Below is the covered walkway.   A surprise to visitors is how much wood is used on medieval castles – it’s not only stone.  But through the centuries -  the wood quickly decays, while the stone decays at a much slower rate.


A door in the tower.

What is most interesting to think about is that when you see a medieval castle today – you see the ruin.  At Guedelon, nothing is ruined.  All the stone is new and the woodwork has not yet decayed, the plaster is still on the walls, and the paint is bright and beautiful. 


The interior room of the Chapel Tower – before its stone walls were whitewashed.



A view of the window – and the ceiling of the Chapel Tower now whitewashed.  Just beautiful!

The Chapel Tower contains the first rib-vaulted roof to be built with purely medieval techniques in over 600 years.


A lavabo in the Chapel.


The ground floor of the tower – painted in faux stone.


A view lower of the ground floor of the tower.


All the buildings outside of the castle walls are so charming!


A more recent aerial view of Guedelon.  The corner towers do not yet have their distinctive pointed cone tops, and the two gate house towers have yet to be finished.



Another view.



The Great Hall, on the top floor. Past the Great Hall is the Anteroom, or the owner’s bedroom.   On the ground floor is the storeroom and the kitchen.



Do you notice the roof tiles are darker on the right side of the Great Hall, than on the left?  This was caused because the first batch of tiles were left in the oven too long!!

Today the towers are built – just the pointed cone tops are missing.


The walkway along one side of the curtain walls.




And the same hall from the opposite direction. 



A corner tower awaits its top.




Stone stairs inside a tower.




There will be no moat – only a dirt ditch.  The “owner” Seigneur Guilbert was of modest means and could not afford a more luxurious castle with a moat.  

Today, after twenty years of hard labor – the gatehouses are finally being built, scheduled to begin next season, 2018.  The main bridge will no longer be usable during the construction of the gatehouses – so a second temporary bridge was built to the side, seen here.  Not one nail was used in its construction!,


The temporary side bridge – built for use while the gatehouses are built this coming season, 2018.


Baskets are needed to tote tools and supplies.


The blacksmith.


These women are in charge of dying the thread.



This is a lime kiln, built exactly as it was used in medieval times.   The kiln fires for several days and then it is rebuilt.  Lime is fired here to create mortar.



The fire must be kept going for at least four days – teams take turn keeping it lit.  
Sometimes there are many watching over it – other times, there is just one person in charge.
 

Geese, chicken and pigs roam freely around the yard.



Paint is made from pigments from the earth and clay.  Notice the accurate, for the times, drawings on the walls.



I love these botanicals.


Once the towers have their tops, the castle will look more finished.



Benches were made for the courtyard.   The courtyard will not be paved, instead it will be as it is now – packed earth.

First we will visit the Anteroom, or bedroom, located on the second floor – at the very right of the Great Hall.  Below, is the kitchen, reached by the door on the right side.


A drawing of how it will look when the Great Tower has its top.


To the very right is the door to the Great Tower.   The stairs take you to the Great Hall.  The doors to the kitchen are on the ground floor, at the right.



The Anteroom is one the prettiest room in the castle with its walls painted in the style of the day.  The King of England’s rooms in the Tower of London had a similar roses and stones pattern.

I love this fireplace!   Through the arched door is the Great Hall.


The arched, wood ceiling.


The arched windowseat overlooks the courtyard.


The view of the wall and windowseat that overlooks the courtyard.  The mural is not quite finished here.


Close up of the roses pattern.  The windows have no glass.


Looking up at the Anteroom’s wood ceiling, which is just amazing!


The paintings on the wall were inspired by the murals on the walls of this ancient monastery in nearby Moutiers.

A close up of the murals.  The artists at the castle decided not to portray humans or biblical figures at Guedelon, instead they only painted the flowers, plants, and whimsical forms.



The King’s bedroom in the Tower of London shows the Roses and Stone painted decoration on the stone walls of this medieval castle.   This décor was also used as an inspiration for the murals in Guedelon Castle.


To  reach the Great Hall, visitors use the outdoor staircase, seen here.



An early view before the floor was installed and the roof tiles were  placed over the wood beams.



The Great Hall today is just beautiful!!  Two arched windowseats overlook the courtyard.  The back windowseat looks out at the Chapel Towers.  The  floor is tiled.  There is a fireplace on the right.  But it is the ceiling that is so remarkable.


Dressed for a banquet with a simple table cloth and bench.  Above is a flower arrangement.


Another view of the Great Hall.


The ceiling!!!



The arched door that leads to the Great Hall is on the left.


Ready for a party.


Everything was made at the site.


The window – notice how thick the walls are.


And the window seat that looks out to the Chapel Tower.  Notice that the window casts a shadow on the tiled floor.



The Great Hall is so pretty – I do wonder if when it is completed, will they rent it out for weddings or banquets? 



The Great Hall is on the second floor.  At the right of the hall is the Anteroom, or bedroom.  On the first floor is a storeroom.  Under the Anteroom is the kitchen, which is reached through the door at the very right.   At the left is the Chapel Tower with its distinctive window.

Will the castle’s stone be painted when it is completed?  Maryline Martin is quoted as saying that, yes, the stone will be painted.  White?  Probably.  But Martin says she would prefer the walls be painted a bright, happy color.   Hmmm.   I vote for white!

 

The first floor Storeroom, now painted white, is located  under the Great Hall.  It is not nearly as grand as the Great Hall, but it is beautiful with its tiled  floor and whitewashed walls.


Looking the opposite direction towards the kitchen.    These high windows overlook the courtyard.


Beautiful photo of the sunlight streaming in through the high windows.


The kitchen with its simple furniture.  Don’t look for it -  there’s no refrigerator here!


Leavened bread is made each morning here in the kitchen.  If they were Jewish – they would be making unleavened bread, or matzo!  LOL!



The baker busy at work.



A night view of the kitchen.


The arched, grilled windowseat in the kitchen that looks out on the courtyard.  Notice its interior shutters.


The garden was just recently planted.   Herbs used in medicine?  Claire Randall Fraser of Outlander would LOVE this garden!


The medieval garden was planted outside the walls of the castle.



When the project is completed in another five years – will anyone ever live here?   The answer, at this time, is thought to be “no.”  But I do wonder if overnight vacation days won’t be sold here – “sleep two nights in the owner’s bedroom!”



The Great Tower – with its decorated wood door.  At the left is the staircase.


The stone stairs to the Great Tower with its rope railing.




The Lord’s Seat in the Great Tower where he can overlook the activities in the courtyard and beyond to the gatehouses.


With daylight streaming in.


The tower’s ceiling was painted white with a faux stone pattern.



From the back side of the Great Hall – an interesting view of the chimneys. 



The Bridge that leads to the castle.  This next summer season in 2018,  the gatehouses will be completed.   Notice the small window high up on the Great Tower?   That’s the Lord’s windowseat shown in the above photo.


In order to get ready for next summer and the building of the gatehouses – the large wheel was moved here.  Laborers walk inside the wheel, similar to how a hamster does!


A thanksgiving banquet held in the garden. 


From outside the castle walls – the Carpenter’s House is to the right with its distinctive A-frame roof.


The temporary bridge was built at the side since the main bridge is now closed.   This past weekend, all activity at Guedelon Castle ended for the 2017 season!  Twenty years completed!!


I can’t wait for next summer to see how the gatehouses will look!!


After the success of Guedelon Castle, a few years ago, a French couple approached Michel Guyot and offered their land in the Ozarks of Arkansas – for him to build another castle, here in America!

Plans were drawn up, funds of $1.5 million were raised, and the 20 year project was begun in Arkansas – on the 50 acre plot.  What is worth noting is how different the Arkansas castle looks, due to the stone of the Ozarks, which is white, not yellow like at Guedelon.


The Ozark Medieval Fortress with its white stone walls – it looks so different from Guedelon with its warm stone walls.



Work was begun and the project waited for the visitors to come.  They didn’t.  Money became an issue.  At Guedelon, the success of the project is because it is now completely funded by the visitor fees.  In Arkansas, with no food or restroom facilities – word of mouth was negative and the project was put on hold.  No one came.   It is said they are still looking for funding, with hopes that the project will be finished one day.

For now, the castle is a ruin.


To visit Guedelon Castle – it’s a few hours drive from Paris.  Children are welcome.

If you plan to go, visit the web site and  Facebook to learn more.  HERE.

Places to stay from glamping to chateaus are listed on the web site.



AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:

Today,  Target debuted Joanna and Chip Gaines much anticipated collection: 

“Hearth and Hand With Magnolia”


Here are a few objects in their collection:

GALVANIZED TIN VASES HERE



GREEN VASES AND ASSORTED CLEAR ONES HERE


BLACK AND WHITE PILLOW AND ALSO IN GREEN PLAID HERE


BLACK LANTERNS HERE


LOG HOLDER HERE


DOG BED –MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE IN ALL AREAS?  HERE


GALVANIZED ORNAMENTS ALONG WITH OTHERS HERE


DOLL HOUSE – THE CUTEST!!!  HERE


DOLL HOUSE GIFT WRAP HERE


TABLE RUNNER WITH MATCHING NAPKINS AND PLACE MATS HERE


CREAM AND SUGAR STONEWARE AND OTHER PIECES HERE


PLAID CHRISTMAS MATCHING PJ’S HERE


GREAT COLLECTION OF PLATES AND PLATTERS - STONEWARE IN CREAM, BLACK AND KHAKI HERE


THIS IS THE CUTEST IDEA EVER – BUT IT’S ALREADY SOLD OUT – MORE COMING HERE


TO SEE JOANNA AND CHIP GAINES’ COMPLETE HEARTH & HAND COLLECTION – GO HERE.


44 comments :

  1. WOW! WOW! WOW! This post os fabulous, as is the castle. Thanks for sharing such an interesting project.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, I am Theresa Williams After being in relationship with Anderson for years, he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to my friend and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4 pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem. email: drogunduspellcaster@gmail.com you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or any other Case.

      1) Love Spells
      2) Lost Love Spells
      3) Divorce Spells
      4) Marriage Spells
      5) Binding Spell.
      6) Breakup Spells
      7) Banish a past Lover
      8.) You want to be promoted in your office/ Lottery spell
      9) want to satisfy your lover
      Contact this great man if you are having any problem for a lasting solution
      through drogunduspellcaster@gmail.com

      Delete
    2. Its so unfortunate that my husband left me after five years in marriage. thought he finally left the house in the third year of our marriage just because i was unable to conceive. i wonder what happened to Andrea Delacruz my husband that makes him leave the house. he is a God fearing person and very humble. i know that leaving me wasn't ordinary. we dated for seven months and i never notice such character in him before i married him. i cried and wept through my days and night because i really love Andrea Delacruz my husband. in the process of crying and thinking, i recall that his grand mom never support our marriage, she never wanted me to be married to the family. i never give up and i prayed for God to intervene. one a faithful day it was a Thursday morning when my fellow college in my working place noticed my attitude and behaviour seems different from the real me and i never wanted to disclosed my Family issues but i shared with her my feeling and what i have been going through. she told me that something similar to these happened to her Elder sister and she told me that everything will be fine. she later invite me to her house to meet her elder sister then i opened up to her and she refers me to a man called Prophet Adeyemi and i did just as she said. i called Prophet Adeyemi immediately and he respond to my call in that moment and the first thing he said was 'WOMAN WOMAN' you have to believe and have faith that your problem will be solved. i asked, what should i do? then he said to me in two days time my husband will be back and i asked, Prophet Adeyemi is this going to be real? the last thing he said was that i will testify of his work. i did just as instructed and i watch for good forty-eight {48} hours. hmmmm, it was a good night time at 10:05pm within the days that Prophet Adeyemi told me that my husband Andrea Delacruz will be back, at first i heard the bell rings getting close to my door i heard someone saying HONEY!!!, it sound familiar i opened the door and i saw my husband standing and weeping in front of me. i was not surprised because its all i have been praying for him to come back home. Guess what in six days after i noticed my system and my body temperature is changed and i went to clinic for check up and the doctor told me that there is life in me which means i am pregna i really wants to use this opportunity to thanks Prophet Adeyemi so much and my lovely collage who directed me to Prophet Adeyemi if you have any problem or predicament that is worse or exactly like this you have been into, i plead you to contact Prophet Adeyemint.

      Prophet Adeyemi E-MAIL: adeyemispelltemple@gmail.com

      Prophet Adeyemi PHONE: +2348145810121

      ( Go through his site for more details)
      Indeed, he is a great and a lovely man, God bless him for uniting my family.

      Delete
  2. It was enjoyable reading about the castle/fortress in France, -- Most castles are also forts, but not all forts are also a castle. The owners live in the castle/fortress -- It will be nice to see it furnished when it is finished. It is too bad that the same project did not turn out well in Arkansa. Maybe one of the reasons is that there was no basic amenities for the tourist such as a restaurant with good food and perhaps a motel... but at least a restaurant. I wonder why White Castle hamburgers did not opened a place close to the white castle.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Leticia makes a good point--the castles, especially in medieval times, were fortresses, with fancier quarters inside for the seigneur. Pretty much everybody lived within the walls. Also, they often were on hilltops, which offered natural protection and a view (advancing armies or attackers would have been on foot, camping along the way, and their campfires would have been seen from a high vantage point). That means no moat. But they may have had ditches around them. Carcassonne (google it, it's incredible) has a ditch around part of the exterior wall and also around the castle within the fortified cité (part of the fortifications have almost sheer drops, so no ditch was needed).
    Fires were a big problem--they were needed for heat and cooking but use of wood in construction meant buildings were constantly burning down. Of the buildings that have survived, you can still see the wood beams from the earlier eras. Also, fires were such a headache that ovens were banned and everybody had to take their bread to be baked at the seigneur's oven. This was a place for people to hang out, while waiting for their bread to bake. It's where the word "banal" comes from. Today it means trite or common. But it comes from the kind of small talk that took place at the "four banal"--the compulsory common oven.
    It isn't surprising that Guyot found older walls within his château--people built on top of earlier construction whenever they could. Makes sense when building materials were so hard to get and construction itself was so difficult.
    I am posting today about the real medieval château of Puilaurens in the south of France. It dates to the 10th century. I love these old châteaux--and have plenty to visit around here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Joni, your email notifications to me have suddenly stopped! Would you kindly see to it that I start receiving them again? I am going through withdrawals....Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. What an interesting post! It must be different to only rely on natural light or candle light inside. I love the light coming into the windows. I wonder if they'll rent it out for a movie set? So authentic and beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  6. How extraordinary that he decided to take on such an ambitious project, but it is a big success, thankfully. Luckily, it is in France, where people take a genuine interest in such things. It doesn't surprise me that the Arkansas project failed. Most Americans don't care about history - it's all about food, which is why we are the most obese nation in the world. It's shameful.
    Joni, you always craft your blogs with such care and detail. It's always a pleasure to read them. Thank you for your hard work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The "castle" in Arkansas didn't fail because Americans don't care about history, nor because we are fat. They should have done aa analysis first to see if there was public interest in the project before locating it there. Castles belong in France, not Arkansas, and people like to go to France and say they worked on a castle. People go to Arkansas for the great outdoor activities and the beauty there. Fake castles don't belong in Arkansas for Americans to learn French history.
      Many Americans know a lot about history, and enjoy it, and although we can't all be as lithe as thou art, we are not all obese.
      Thank you.
      Sheila

      Delete
  7. I've read about the castle earlier. Can't believe my eyes! Incredible!!! Thank you for this gorgeous and fabulous post Joni! You are the best!!!
    xoxo Greet

    ReplyDelete
  8. These are so incredible. I mean...uncomfortable looking but really huge endeavors and so much to learn here! Glad to know no one plans on living in these -haha. There is a reason we developed away from these medieval structures which were more for security than comfort. Glad the original chateau wasn't taken back to the medieval point......it looks lovely having grown that way over time. I hope the one here in the states gets back underway! I'm afraid most everyday Americans aren't interested in history and things like this like the average European. Always astounds me that museums there are sold out and lines everyday - and here in the united states you can't get people to visit FOR FREE.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ArchitectDesign, your comment about Americans not visiting museums even when the entrance is free must have been make a little tongue in cheek. Or you have not had a chance to visit the Smithsonian museums in DC or the Met in New York, just to name a few. I recall waiting in line to see a special exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art when we lived in DC. When I go to DC as a visitor, I always visit the arboretum, the History museum and the National Gallery of art (one per day). They are always full and a lot of the visitors are locals. I have visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum a few times, and every time there was a line to get in. BTW, anyone planning on visiting this memorial, it is best to make it the last place you visit that day. One becomes pensive, reflective and very quiet after the visit. Anyway, maybe what you want to convey is that the average American, generally speaking, is less versed in history and geography than Europeans? My experience in Europe was that the Louvre was just as busy as the Smithsonians. A museum in Dijon, France was no busier than the local museum where I live in the Pacific Northwest, The Prado in Madrid did not seem too busy, the National Coach Museum in Lisbon had no more than 3 or 4 people counting my daughter and I. I also remembered that we visited a church/museum in Lisbon that contained in display on the second floor some of the royal jewels. We got a private tour of the place for no one was there. The last fiction novel I read was "The Good Earth" in the 1960's. Besides professional books, I read biographies, books on important events in history, and the occasional book on design like one Rose Tarlow wrote, "A Private House." The text is more educational than the photos (all so artistic).

      Delete
    2. I forgot to mention that a museum in Vienna was empty. We were the only visitors. It was eerie. I now want to read a book on Castles. This this blog makes me go on paths I did not know I wanted to travel.

      Delete
    3. SAM, the Seattle Art Museum, is crowded to the rafters every time I go there.
      Sheila

      Delete
    4. Thank you, Sheila! Andrew Wyeth is in exhibition until Jan 15. If you did not made the comment above I would have missed it. I love his work, it is visceral and it hits you where it counts, in the gut. Just like Robert Service poetry.

      Delete
  9. For some reason reading this post made me tear up. It is so wonderful what these people are accomplishing. While in other areas of the world ancient artifacts are being destroyed, this interesting part of history is being reconstructed for everyone to see. I cannot thank you enough for sharing this, and it is mind boggling all the time and effort this must take you to prepare such a wonderful, detailed post. I can only imagine how much money this must be costing to construct in spite of the donated labor. This man deserves a huge thank you for what he is doing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AWWWWW. This is so sweet! Sometimes I tear up too - over something that is surprising. I remember hearing a song from The King and I - where his wife sings to the King and getting chills, then crying. Like those babies who cry when they hear music!!

      Delete
  10. What a fascinating project! Shame I hadn't heard of the Arkansas site prior to reading this; I would have loved to have visited it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Our family visited Guedélon about 5 years ago I highly recommend it. It is necessary, really, to take the tour since this is how you learn all the details. The research part of the project is very interesting in that prior to this project so much was not known about exactly how these castles were built. I liked the out buildings the best, to see the wool being dyed, for instance. It was incredible to see young men cutting wood shingles by hand . . . working here requires dedication. Everything is historically accurate though they are required to use modern safety equipment like eye protection and so on. My older son loved the pouches that the workers carried and we were able to buy one made there.

    But I have to say, I had no wish of staying in the castle . . . It's not comfortable, or at least this is my experience. We have a friend whose mother lived in a refurbished castle in Dordogne and we stayed there for 5 nights. At first if was so enticing and amazing . . . but after awhile I got tired of the stone everywhere, of how inconvenient it was to have to walk up two stories of wide tower steps to our rooms, and of the pebble floor underfoot.

    Thanks, Joni, for yet another wonderful post.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Fun post.
    On a side note: I find the Chip and Joanna Gaines line boring, redundant, and cheap-looking for the most part. Who designed this stuff anyway? I couldn't believe the ad when I saw it on t.v.
    Stuff for your house that is shaped like a house...seriously?? We're not in the first grade. Is that what you call a literal interpretation?
    The dog house is okay, I guess. I've seen cuter.
    Target usually does such a good job. What happened here, I don't know.
    Anne K.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DOLL house, I should have said. Old Freud did it again...ha!
      Sheila

      Delete
    2. Meant "you" above, Anne, not "I", although I completely agree with you. I don't care for the line either. Don't get it at all.
      Sheila

      Delete
    3. Oh, and how do you stack dinner plates that have strangely uneven edges? Seems like you will need to stack them up in front of yourself so you can see which side goes where. How do you just reach up in the cabinet to put one in?
      They are impractical and silly, and look like my first attempt at ceramics class.
      The Santa mail box was cute, (expensive) but what is funny about that was that it feels "off brand" in that it just seems like it doesn't fit in with the style of almost everything else.
      Joanna went to antique/curiosity malls as I remember it to buy her décor items.
      Sheila

      Delete
    4. I loved the Doll house and the Santa box - those were my favorite. Some, I didn't care for - I anticipated more. But that Santa box - darling!!!!

      Delete
  14. Not only am I amazed at the magnitude of the undertaking, I am itching to go there and see it in person! Joni, thank you for the informative story of this project.
    My only wish is that some people would not offer their assumptive opinions and suppositions about other's interest in history and I happen to agree with Leticia C. Perhaps some of us should stick to troweling our makeup and taking selfies. Bonnie G.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bonnie G.,
      Ha! Good one!
      It is a trend now among certain groups to rag on America and Americans. (By other Americans)
      Sheila

      Delete
  15. Joni,

    Thank you for this lovely post. I had not heard of Guedelon, and appreciate you bringing it to my attention by showcasing the castle, also chateau. Interesting, informative, post. I am adding it to my destination list. What an amazing feat. I can't imagine the experience for everyone who worked upon the project. Learning construction methods from Medieval time, pushing themselves to physical limits. I can only speculate the experience was monumental.

    I happened upon the Gaines new line at Target this week. My fella and I were picking up a few things. "Wow! This is nice, ooo, I like that.", I said while meandering down the row. My guy pointed at the magnolia sign, grinned at me, and commented "That would be the reason." I thought it was wonderful, love the dishes! May be time to let go of my "Italian Countryside"? Good design, at affordable prices. I wish them the best of luck with their latest endeavor. (As though they need it!)

    Andi
    The Grey Dove Cottage

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If those dishes are Mikasa "Italian Countryside" in white, could you please send them to me. I've always wanted them.
      Thanks!
      Sheila

      Delete
  16. Joni...simply fantastic! Thank you!
    So no glass is used at all? Would glass or stained glass have been retrofitted in a later era?
    What a labor of love--all that's missing is the smallpox. I'm going to go kiss my SubZero now....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Outlander!!! Claire was immune to the diseases because she was innoculated. Sorry. I'm obsessed with time travel now!!!

      Maybe they will add glass later, but i doubt it. Where do you stop? Air conditioning?

      Delete
  17. Joni, you f'ing rock, as always...

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am ashamed to admit that I am confused by the anonymous Nov 11 message sent at 8:51 PM. It does not sound nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Letty,
      The comment was a humorously worded compliment as all us young'uns (under 70) understood it to be...ha!

      Delete
    2. Yes, I saw the play on words when I looked a little closer. However, when I was like all of you young'uns and wanted to be cute/funny I did my best to remain at least somewhat classy. I did not hurt. It is just me and I accept that people are different. I hope the reader who is upset about the comment can ignore it, and continue to enjoy the blog. No matter where we go, virtually or in real life, we are going to find something or somebody that/who is not of our liking. Incidentally, I was not offended but I had to take a second look to "get it" because It is just not my style. Letty

      Delete
    3. To Anon 11:06 PM:
      Telling someone that they rock, f'ing or otherwise does not hurt; it makes them smile.

      Delete
    4. Sorry. It was a typo. I intended to say "It did not hurt." (being respectful). Letty

      Delete
  19. Wow what an informative story on this project. Simply fascinating. Now that Magnolia stuff from Target! Fantastic! We have a terrible Target so we don't often get a lot of the good stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love your posts, but over the past year I have watched one of your readers post several rude and inappropriate comments which are not of a positive manner. Since you have decided to allow this person to continue to post in this manner, I am going to quit following your blog. I have not seen such rude comments on any of the other blogs I follow, in fact most of them emphasize that all comments must not be rude or negative. And to the person who is posting these comments, (and you know who you are) I find it sad that you think it appropriate to voice your opinion the way you do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Clean,
      Why don't you stick around instead and put your two cents in when you disagree?

      Delete
  21. Please people! BE RESPECTFUL!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Its so unfortunate that my husband left me after five years in marriage. thought he finally left the house in the third year of our marriage just because i was unable to conceive. i wonder what happened to Andrea Delacruz my husband that makes him leave the house. he is a God fearing person and very humble. i know that leaving me wasn't ordinary. we dated for seven months and i never notice such character in him before i married him. i cried and wept through my days and night because i really love Andrea Delacruz my husband. in the process of crying and thinking, i recall that his grand mom never support our marriage, she never wanted me to be married to the family. i never give up and i prayed for God to intervene. one a faithful day it was a Thursday morning when my fellow college in my working place noticed my attitude and behaviour seems different from the real me and i never wanted to disclosed my Family issues but i shared with her my feeling and what i have been going through. she told me that something similar to these happened to her Elder sister and she told me that everything will be fine. she later invite me to her house to meet her elder sister then i opened up to her and she refers me to a man called Prophet Adeyemi and i did just as she said. i called Prophet Adeyemi immediately and he respond to my call in that moment and the first thing he said was 'WOMAN WOMAN' you have to believe and have faith that your problem will be solved. i asked, what should i do? then he said to me in two days time my husband will be back and i asked, Prophet Adeyemi is this going to be real? the last thing he said was that i will testify of his work. i did just as instructed and i watch for good forty-eight {48} hours. hmmmm, it was a good night time at 10:05pm within the days that Prophet Adeyemi told me that my husband Andrea Delacruz will be back, at first i heard the bell rings getting close to my door i heard someone saying HONEY!!!, it sound familiar i opened the door and i saw my husband standing and weeping in front of me. i was not surprised because its all i have been praying for him to come back home. Guess what in six days after i noticed my system and my body temperature is changed and i went to clinic for check up and the doctor told me that there is life in me which means i am pregna i really wants to use this opportunity to thanks Prophet Adeyemi so much and my lovely collage who directed me to Prophet Adeyemi if you have any problem or predicament that is worse or exactly like this you have been into, i plead you to contact Prophet Adeyemint.

    Prophet Adeyemi E-MAIL: adeyemispelltemple@gmail.com

    Prophet Adeyemi PHONE: +2348145810121

    ( Go through his site for more details)
    Indeed, he is a great and a lovely man, God bless him for uniting my family.

    ReplyDelete