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.