A unique architectural experiment is underway deep in a French forest.

A unique architectural experiment is underway deep in a forest in France, where builders and masons are creating an entire castle using only 13th Century building techniques. The Chateau de Guedelon's construction started in 1998 and employs several full time staff and volunteers. Since modern cement did not exist in the 13th Century, mortar is made from slaked lime and sand, while basic ironware is being used as tools.

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In woods surrounding the castle, craftsmen ply all the trades required for so monumental an endeavour. Stone-cutters and carpenters fashion the raw materials. A blacksmith forges the nails. Ropes, baskets and roof-tiles are all made on site. “The rule is that only what we know from documents that existed at the time is allowed,” says Sarah Preston, an English guide.

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