Zugegebenermassen, wir haben ein unrealistisches Bild vom Mittelalter. Vor unserem inneren Auge sehen wir kämpfende Ritter mit blitzenden Rüstungen, Helden wie Robin Hood und König Artus und nicht zuletzt mächtige Burgen. Manchmal fragen wir uns aber, wie diese gewaltigen Gebäude gebaut wurden und mit welchen Mitteln. Ein Besuch im burgundischen Guedelon kann uns das handfest vermitteln. Dort entsteht seit Jahren eine Burg, wie sie im 13. Jahrhundert gebaut wurde und zwar genau mit den Techniken und Materialien von damals. Noch ist das Projekt, an dem rund 50 Handwerker arbeiten, noch lange nicht fertig. Es stehen erst zwei Türme und das dazwischenliegende Haupthaus, der Palas. Und auch da ist noch viel zu tun, vor allem der Innenausbau. Und die Besucher – inzwischen mehr als 1 Million – können zu sehen, welche Werkzeuge benutzt und mit welchen Hilfsmitteln die schweren Steine und Balken nach oben gehievt wurden.

Freilich, noch beeindruckender ist, wie eben diese Steine herausgebrochen und bearbeitet werden oder aus einem Baum ein viereckiger Balken entsteht. Überhaupt sind die Werkstätten rund um die entstehende Burg das Highlight der Besichtigung. Neben Steinbrecher und Steinmetzen, Holzfällern und Zimmerleuten, Maurer und Dachdeckern gibt es Schmiede, Töpfer, Seiler und Korbflechter, die man beobachten und über ihre Arbeit befragen kann. Das ist Mittelalter jenseits von Hollywood! Das einzig „Unhistorische“ an diesem Projekt sind wohl die Arbeitsbedingungen. Für die einfachen Arbeiten wurden die umliegenden Bauern zum Frondienst eingezogen und sie mussten ebenso wie die Handwerker von Sonnenaufgang bis Sonnenuntergang schuften. Und die Handwerksmeister, über ihnen der Baumeister und letztlich auch der Bauherr sorgten schon dafür, dass sich kein Müssiggang einschlich. Aber das ist für uns Besucher nicht so wichtig. Wir tauchen ein in die Welt des Mittelalters, wenn wir an der mittelalterlichen Mühle stehen, ein rauschender Bach das Mühlrad dreht und mit ihm den Mühlstein, in dem Korn oder Kies gemahlen wird.

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