Re: Sancerre visit in June
Sancerre is a small hilltop medieval village (pop 1,750) famous for its vineyards.
Bourges and Gien nearby are lovely towns, Bourges being nearly the size of a city and a fine place as well, with a beautiful cathedral.
Gien is pleasant and very famous for its quality "faience" (earthenware).
Briare, near Gien, has an unusual "canal bridge" (the longest in the world apparently). Boat trips are available.
East of Sancerre is the abbey of Vézelay, arguably France's most famous abbey, and a UNESCO World site heritage.
But the most amazing site in that area (north of Sancerre) is in a tiny place called Guedelon, it's a castle, but not any castle, it is a castle that is... being built by a group of 50 craftsmen using the same techniques and tools as in the Middle-Ages, an amazing feat and an amazing site. It is currently drawing 100s of 1000s of visitors a year, it truly is unique, €9 well spent.
FROM THE WEBSITE:
In the heart of Puisaye, in Yonne, Burgundy, a team of fifty people have taken on an extraordinary feat : to build a castle using the very same techniques and materials used in the Middle Ages.
The materials needed for the construction of the castle - wood, stone, earth, sand and clay - are all to be found here, in this abandoned quarry. Before the gaze of thousands of visitors, all the trades associated with castle-building : quarrymen, stonemasons, woodcutters, carpenters, blacksmiths, tile makers, basket makers, rope makers, carters and their horses are working together to complete the castle.
Work on the site began in 1997 and is scheduled to take 25 years to complete.
Guédelon offers a unique opportunity to witness the different stages of a castle's construction; each phase being of interest in its own right.
Let yourself be transported from the present day, back to the sights and sounds of a 13th century construction site.
Guédelon offers something for everyone : academics, historians, teachers, students and families.
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