Seriously, how cool is that? They are not working in the 21st Century:
The 50 paid craftsmen, plus volunteers, wear tunics and use rustic tools. Except for the occasional hard hat or pair of safety goggles, there's little to remind visitors that this is not the 13th century, but the 21st.Started in 1996, the castle is one-third finished, and is no longer funded by the government...now tourism pays the bills.
The craftsmen say "it's satisfying to build something slowly, as a team, especially in the fast-paced Internet age."
...Last year, 245,000 visitors admired the work of Guedelon's stonecutters, carpenters, potters, rope-makers and blacksmiths.
On a recent visit to Guedelon, I watched in awe as a man climbed into a wooden contraption that looked like a huge hamster wheel. He ran frantically, spinning the wheel and activating a pulley system that lifted a load of stones atop a tower.
When he was done, our tour group broke into applause, and poor Jean-Paul climbed off the wheel, huffing and puffing and fanning his tunic. It was all so ... medieval.
This reminds me of my long-held wonder at how the value of things has...twisted. Handmade soap is now a luxury, as are the hand-woven jackets my cousin crafts and sells for a small fortune. The things our ancestors needed to do are now our expensive 'extras', and building a castle stone-by-carefully-carved-stone is a tourist attraction.