Medieval craftsmanship brought to the masses !

How is it to be young, alive, active and trying to get good rewarding jobs when you're living in some lovely french countryside, 2 hours away from Paris ? Well you have little choice but go the city and work, and that's no surprise to us because that's how it happens all over the world. The question for the people that will to stay and work at home is always the same : what could we do now ?

There are many answers and among them you'll find that most initiatives have something to do with tourism and the holiday business. Gueledon, the medieval castle building project, relies on tourist money too but it's not exactly the kind of site you'll encounter everyday...

In Gueledon, small forestry village 100 miles south of Paris, a huge 20 years project started in 2002 : thirty five craftsmen and women have suddenly decided to build a medieval castle, strictly following XIIIth century techniques. The nearby natural forest is due to provide all the building material necessary : wood, water, stone, earth, sand and iron. Quarriers, stone hewers, masons, carpenters have started work in front of visitors, as they once did 7 centuries ago, using only local raw materials and transforming them with no more than hand tools.

Yes that's crazy but it's an example of how extreme sustainability can be obtained just by looking at the past. And it also shows how remote places can create positive activity while developping relationship with big urban centers. The site attracted 222,000 visitors in 2003 and has created 45 full time jobs.

::Gueledon castle project [by Erwan Pianezza, Locronan, Brittany]