It was absolutely surreal. There was a working farm to grow food for the laborers, stone was sourced from a nearby quarry, there was a smithy on-site, and even some tools were original to the period and were imported from France.
Just looked it up - I guess it closed down. Too bad, but maybe unsurprising: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/arkansas/ar-ozark-medieval-f...
I really enjoyed the book when I read it as a young person. Now that I'm older, I have some issues with the writing (detailed portrayals of violence). Just realize it is R rated stuff - similar to GoT. On the plus side, you will definitely learn about architecture :)
>French is the main language spoken on site; for safety reasons, it is important to speak French.
Edit: spent the last hour watching it. Very interesting and worth the watch.
The workers, architects etc were all very enthusiastic, and boring stuff like medieval masonry, measurement systems, plans etc got really interesting with them.
> Despite all the medieval reenactment, Guédelon is still subject to modern construction regulations. There’s one telephone in the castle, for example – a legal requirement in case of emergency. The wooden scaffold poles are held with modern metal fixings. Some of the cordage, straps and pulleys on the winches are industrially produced. The workers may be dressed in smocks but, as Renucci explains, they have to wear steel-toecapped boots and hard hats (concealed beneath straw hats or a beige cloth). The masons require safety glasses.
Granted, many that are in reasonable shape have evolved over time so doing so would maybe remove a lot of history.... that's not desirable. But there are plenty in ruined states that might be good candidates.
It was such a contrast to where in the US some historical sites are rebuilt wholesale and seeing them operational and alive is a lot of fun.
For example the castle of the Dukes of Brittany in Nantes, was renovated in the mid 19th century to remove the modern additions and get it back to its supposed 16th century state (the period when it was actually used by the Dukes of Brittany).
The castle of Belle-Île was also restored, in the 20th century, to its 18th century state, this one entirely through private funds.
Another castle I know well is the Suscinio castle, which was a complete ruin and was restored in the second half of the 20th century, but not to its former state.
And for another restoration effort with yet another kind of result, het Gravensteen in Ghent was restored in the 19th to its supposed 12th century state, but they got it mostly wrong. That's what happened with most restoration efforts during this period, as far as I know.
Today, the most common stance is often to preserve ruins as they are, keep them from degrading further and do the least work possible on them because we are well aware of all the botched restoration efforts of the past.
They are restoring historical sites to specific eras all the time. Not sure how common it is with castles, though.
(They made some exceptions for modern safety laws.)
The idea came to while walking around various forts. They're various interesting and I don't think any base-building game has really delved into them properly. Stronghold is quite superficial and Dwarf Fortress seems to focus more on the economy.
It’s odd that no one has made a game that fills this same need for me in the past 30 years.
Basically the construction could be faster if well organized and continuous (I believe he said less than 10 years).
However they voluntarily kept the pace relatively slow, for pedagogic purposes, and because it would be more realistic, because the construction of a Middle-age castle could be slowed or interrupted by a variety of factors impacting the availability of manpower, money, or commodities,including farm yields, wars, climate, etc...
or why some places have wooden churches:
And other black volcanic stone ones:
Or gleaming white castles:
Burgundy is known for its yellow stone, clearly visible here in Beaune:
Or here near Solutré:
For France, see https://www.britannica.com/place/France/Soils