Friday, January 15, 2010

Medieval Magic

If you're coming to Arkansas this summer, I want to remind you that the Ozarks have many wonderful things to offer. We have some of the best trout fishing in the world here on the White River. Don't pass up the beautiful lakes, Beaver, Bull Shoals, the Buffalo River. Everywhere you travel in Arkansas you will enjoy nature, wildlife, scenic drives and antique shopping.

But, I don’t suppose that visiting a medieval fortress is something that comes to mind when you think of vacationing in the Ozarks, is it? Well it didn’t for me either until I read about this Castle being built to 13th century French specifications. The fact is, Ozark Medieval Fortress is scheduled to open this May and it's within 15 miles of the farm Mom's family have called home for 7 generations! Located half way between Lead Hill and Omaha Arkansas, the Castle is currently under construction. It's going to take awhile since the fortress is being built by hand, stone by stone, staying true to building methods from the Middle Ages.

Michel Guyot is the mastermind behind this plan to build in the remote hills of Boone County Arkansas. His on site project manager Julie Solange says he wants to portray medieval history for American audiences. He has restored and worked on many French castles. Ten years ago he began building Guedelon, a medieval fortress near his home in Burgundy, France. It is now a well known attraction for tourists and historians alike.

If you go North 25 miles, Silver Dollar City at Branson, Missouri celebrates the Ozark heritage. For over 50 years it has allowed tourists to step back in time and sample a taste of an 1880's craft village. Ozark Medieval Fortress reaches all the way back to our European ancestors and hopes to allow visitors to see first hand how 13th century artisans cut stone, made rope and even made the tools they needed to build the castle.

The Castle will have 6 foot wide stone walls 1000 feet around that will surround a courtyard. A drawbridge and 6 towers, some as tall at 45 feet will be seen from miles away since the site sets high on an Ozark Mountain. Rough hewn huts will be the work areas for rope makers, basket weavers, stonemasons, carpenters and blacksmiths. Down to every detail, a stable will house draft horses. The project is able to cut the limestone on site as well as having plentiful timber for building.


On site at the Ozark Medieval Fortress

Workers are cutting the stone from this Arkansas mountain to build the walls of the Castle...

Guedelon in Burgundy,France








Scheduled to take more than 20 years to build, visiting this Castle in the making will be a learning experience like no other. Visit the website and be prepared to be blown away when you read the proportions of this giant historical project!

8 comments:

  1. WOW..THAT SOUNDS LIKE QUITE THE PLACE! WHAT A LOT OF WORK WENT INTO IT TOO. I WON'T BE COMING THERE..WISH I WAS THOUGH! THIS EARTH IS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL PLACE, SO FILLED WITH BEAUTY AND WONDER! I WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOUR BEAUTIFUL STATE! COME SAY HI :D

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  2. WOW, that would be a great place to visit! Since we have family in Arkansas, we might just make it one day... Been to Silver Dollar City before, it was 20 years ago though. Gosh, that makes me feel old now...

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  3. Truly a labor of love - 20 yrs to build, my goodness! It would be fun to visit and see the progress. It's a great idea!

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  4. Thanks for sharing this info, Joycee. Am going to send a link to my newly-minted Arkansas buddy. Sounds like something she needs to keep tabs on/check out.

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  5. Now I'm hooked. I've read several of your posts and I'm interested in all you've written. I'm new to Arkansas, Texarkana, and am interested to find out about my new residence. My friend Judi from Beauty and Bread suggested I check your blog. You will now be one I check frequently

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  6. Wow. Went to the web sight. How cool.
    We have been to Silver Dollar City. It is great.

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  7. Oh, how fabulous! I would love to see that. I just finished reading "Pillars of the Earth" which is all about the building of a cathedral in the Middle Ages and is an amazing glimpse into that time. Now I'm gonna have to figure out how to get to Arkansas sometime in the next twenty years. Wonderful post! Thanks for enlightening us!

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  8. Wow, what an awesome endeavor. My family has been attending the Texas Renaissance Festival for 11 years now. We may have to make the trip to Arkansas. Thank you for sharing.
    Blessings,
    Lorilee

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