Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ozark Medieval Fortress: Opening Day is May 1st

I blogged previously about the building a medieval-styled fortress in the United States using 13th century technology.

Mark your calendars: The opening day of the Ozark Medieval Fortress has been set for Saturday, May 1st.

They have been feverishly working to get the site ready for that big day.

Here is a description of the project from their website:

Ozark Medieval Fortress is an educational adventure, inviting onlookers by showing and explaining the past: the extraction of boulders, shaping of stone, the assembly of a wall, woodworking transportation of materials by means of horse and cart. Educational visits and field trips are available will be reserved for children. Ozark Medieval Fortress is a fun, outdoor, living history book!

The scientific objective of Ozark Medieval Fortress is to build it in order to understand it. It acts to recreate in real life the procedures of construction, and the organization of a project from the 13th century. It is just like an archaeological dig in reverse, an open air laboratory. In order to insure the credibility and quality of the project, a scientific committee is in charge of studying and validating every stage of the construction.

I was given gracious permission by their general manager, Julie Cox-Sonveau, to publish recent pictures taken at the worksite.

A blacksmith fashions a tool.

Two workers moving a heavy stone.

A draft horse hauls stone and lumber from one area to another.

The start of a tower.

The artist's drawing of what the site is projected to look like this year.

An aerial view of the site.

The human "hamster wheel" is ready to lift heavy stone once the walls get high.

If you look closely, you can see a man inside the wheel powering it by walking. That technology dates back to the time of the Romans.

For more information about this incredible living history project, please visit their website. You can also find the Ozark Medieval Fortress on Facebook and Twitter.

The project is expected to take twenty years to complete, but I cannot wait that long to see it. I hope to be there at opening day. If so, I will have my own pictures to share.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross - by Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee as Charlemagne

The Christmas gift giving season will be over as well as Saint Charlemagne's Day (January 28th), but on March 15, 2010, afficionados of all things Charlemagne will have something new they simply must acquire.

That is the date when a CD entitled Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross will be released starring the vocals of Sir Christopher Lee.

Lee is best known as an actor whose career has included over 280 films playing such memorable characters as Dracula, Saruman the White (Lord of the Rings) and Count Dooku (Star Wars.)

Lee's official website has four samples of songs from the forthcoming CD as well as a link to an official fan page on MySpace to promote the CD.

After looking at the table of contents, it is clear that the music is based on the man and not the legends of Charlemagne, so there will be no odes to his paladins such as Orlando or Renaud de Montauban. Instead, you can hear Christopher Lee proudly singing, "I shed the blood of the Saxon men!"

Here is a video where Lee talks about the CD and his being descended from Charlemagne. The music is described as "symphonic metal."


Christopher Lee on Charlemagne

Charlemagne - Christopher Lee | MySpace Music Videos

It is a CD about Charlemagne, sung by a descendant of Charlemagne. Of course it will sell.