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Ozark Medieval Fortress
1671 Highway 14W
Lead Hill, AR 72644
This is located about 1 hour away. Makes a very interesting day trip. http://www.ozarkmedievalfortress.com/
Have you ever dreamed of medieval castles? Real strongholds of the past, built with quarried stones, felled oaks, forged tools, and bare hands. Do you wonder how it felt to raise these fortresses from the ground up, to perform such an amazing feat?
An Outdoor Laboratory, a Living History Book
In the heart of the United States, between Springfield, Missouri, and Little Rock, Arkansas, a dazzling historic vision is rising in the middle of the Ozark Mountains. The creation is the brainchild of Michel Guyot who launched a similar and very successful project in Burgundy, France, ten years ago.
A team of architectural experts, working together with historians of the Middle Ages and dedicated artisans, is raising a genuine, full-sized, fortified castle, with 24-foot high towers, a drawbridge, and 6-foot wide stone walls surrounding an expansive inner courtyard, using the materials, techniques, and rules of the 13th century.
Ground was broken in June, 2009 and the Ozark Medieval Fortress will be open to the public in May, 2010.
Why in Arkansas?
Michel Guyot, the owner and restorer of one of the largest castles in France, Saint-Fargeau Castle, brought his castle-expertise to Arkansas thanks to Solange and Jean-Marc Mirat, a french couple who moved to the United States twenty years ago.
In september 2008, fascinated by the concept, they contacted him and offered a portion of their land for sale, a suitable place to build a castle in the middle of a forest, on a natural site that provides all the necessary building materials: water, stone, earth, sand, and wood.
An Exciting, Dazzling Trip Into The Far Past
Thirty masons, carpenters and stone carvers authentically dressed, will work all year round for twenty years, the time required to build a fortress in the Middle Ages. Imagine a place where you leave behind our technically advanced society to hear the clang of hammers on chisels as stones are being carved, and to hear snorting cart-horses pulling heavy stones on creaking wooden wagons. The blacksmith, the rope maker, the woodcutter will work right in front of you as they practise medieval techniques of construction.
The Ozark Medieval Fortress will be a thrilling educational, scientific, and emotional experience, a soaring flight into ages past, an outdoor laboratory, a living history book!!
A Green Project.
The Ozark Medieval Fortress is remarkable because it puts into practice 13th century work methods, techniques and tools to create a castle in the middle of a forest, on a natural site that provides all the water, stone, soil, sand, and wood that the project requires.
You will witness craftsmen at work transforming nature’s resources into an edifice rising from the earth: an experience which will deepen your understanding of human culture.
The project’s charter focuses on authenticity. Techniques and materials will mirror those of our 13th century predecessors to create a living wonder made of stone, iron, and wood in a forest in Arkansas.
One of the goals of the Ozark Medieval Fortress is to reproduce with utmost authenticity the technology used in the 13th century, with the exception of adhering to modern safety standards.
To guarantee the authenticity and credibility of this project, a Franco-american team of architectural experts along with historians and scientists are providing the plan based on a European model.
They will validate each stage of the building process.
Interaction Between Workers and Visitors
We are building a human structure that is more than a pile of beautifully arranged rocks. The craftsmen will transmit their know-how to visitors. The fortress is a place where knowledge will be transmitted orally every day. For part of each day the workers and craftsmen will respond to questions from the time-travellers who are watching the Middle Ages in action.
The Ozark Medieval Fortress is a living and permanently developing tableau of history where tourists, students of all ages, researchers, and the staff of the fortress will come together.
Have you ever wanted to take your kids to a construction site where the “beep beep beep” of machines backing up is replaced by the ting ting ting of hammer to anvil and chisel to stone?
Show them something that is not moving at warp speed.
This unique experience that the fortress offers will bring alive the intersection where book knowledge meets the fascinating and colorful reality of the Middle Ages.
Ozark Medieval Fortress offers to educators of all levels and subjects, a fascinating, visual, open air classroom focused on the Middle Ages.
Interpretative programs and guided tours adapted to all age groups are available.
GPS coordinates 36.436, -93.062.
Open 7 days a week. Rain or shine.
From May 1 through Nov 30
Hours: 10:00 am- 6:00 pm
Giftshop and picnic facilities on site
Ideal destination for families, field trips, and group tours.
Activities: subject to availability.
For more information, please call 870-436-7625