Austrians to build castle entirely by hand

About three-quarter horsepower.About three-quarter horsepower.

Talk about old school. A diverse group of engineers, scholars and construction workers are getting together to build a medieval castle in the Austrian town of Friesach. The catch: they’re doing it entirely by hand using only the methods and materials available 500 years ago.

The project is anticipated to take up to 30 years to complete, and the cornerstone for the visitors center will be laid July 5. A number of site huts have been built to house the various shops of tradespeople. Some 4,000 tons of stone will be moved for the project using only human and animal strength.

The project is more than a novelty, however. Research is ongoing to determine the type of mortar used in many medieval structures, which is generally considered superior to modern mortar mixtures.