If you’ve ever been to a medieval castle or church, you too have marveled at their grandeur and also wondered how the heck people were able to construct these things centuries ago, without the aid of the bulldozers, cranes, and power tools.
As BBC News reports, there’s a French guy who’s been mulling over this very issue, and as a result, decided to conduct a somewhat insane, over-the-top elaborate architectural experiment deep in the forests of central France. Local landowner Michel Guyot is in the process of erecting a real-deal castle, called Chateau de Guedelon, staying true to the building methodologies and materials of the 13th century.
The project began in 1998, and a dozen years later, it’s still far from finished (completion isn’t due until around 2023!). But considering that workmen are fashioning walls out of red Burgundy clay, blacksmiths are forging nails by hand, and even ropes, baskets, and roof tiles are all made on site, it’s not at all surprising.
The construction site has turned into a major tourist attraction, drawing tens of thousands of visitors each year, who flock to the woodsy location to view the craftsmen—who, incidentally, dress the part in authentically old time-y-looking garb—in action. It’s kind of like the older French version of colonial Williamsburg.