Work began on the project in 1997 and will take some 25 years to complete. In the meantime, the public is invited to visit the construction site. All of the building materials are found nearby and the castle is being built using only hand tools which are also produced and maintained onsite.
Here is what the site looked like in 2005:
And here's what it looked like when we visited on Saturday:
The chateau will require about 60,000 tons of stones which must be split
And lifted into place
Without using any modern machines.
Can you see the two guys in the "squirrel cages" who turn the wheels that lift the load?
The blacksmith keeps the tools in shape
Using a foot pedal to turn the sharpening wheel
And the rope maker creates all sizes of ropes from the hemp and linen that grow nearby
Guédelon is surrounded by an oak forest. The woodcutters use hand saws to fell the trees, then transfer the task to the carpenters who fashion everything from the timbers supporting the roof, down to the wooden tool boxes, interior doors, and cart wheels.
When finished, the château will look like this:
Here is the website so that you can plan your own visit.