Conceived as a complete course of arts and cultural education (EAC) combining encounter with works and professionals, artistic practice and acquisition of knowledge, the device «A school, a building site, trades» invites students to discover the local heritage and makes them aware of the challenges of its conservation during ongoing projects.


Château de l'Herm, Dordogne

Immersed in the bucolic setting of the Château de l'Herm, CE2/CM1 students from the elementary school of Rouffignac-Saint-Cernin-de-Relhac (24) discover, fascinated, the restoration work of the building classified historical monument. This first of a long series of visits marks the launch of a project designed several months ago by the Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the Directorate of Departmental Services of National Education, the elementary school and the castle owner himself.

“I pictured it smaller”, “I’m taller”, “Which way can we attack it?” Just arrived, the students, all equipped with their own notebook created for the occasion, come alive at the sight of the Renaissance castle. And for good reason! This first day promises to be full of discoveries and experiments. On the program: visit of the castle and workshops cutting slate, wood, stone and lime plaster, all guided by professionals.

These workshops are an opportunity for students to discover heritage trades, to exchange with artisans (stonemason, carpenter, roofer, etc.) and to experience their professional actions.  They also allow them to better understand the evolution of the site, which they will visit several times.
Between classroom learning and on-site experimentation, this awareness of local heritage will continue throughout the school year. A meeting with the architect and a workshop around stained glass work are planned in class, before a second comparative visit of the castle at the end of the year.

Enfants participant à l'atelier Taille de pierre, Une école, un chantier, des métiers au château de l'Herm, Dordogne.

The project aims to reach out more widely to the Rouffignac-Saint-Cernin-de-Relhac school: the approximately five years of construction will help to build a privileged relationship between the heritage site and the school. Students in Grades 3-4 will be able to continue their work while other classes will engage in this project of discovering and monitoring the site over a long time.

Relive this day in pictures

« Une école, un chantier, des métiers » au château de l’Herm en Dordogne
Le Chherm hill

Over the period 2018-2023 , the DRAC Nouvelle-Aquitaine supports the important restoration project of the Herm Castle (to date, nearly €1.6m out of a total cost of €4m for the owner) entrusted to the chief architect of historic monuments, Olivier Salmon. Alongside him, many trades (mason, stonemason, fitter, carpenter, roofer, carpenter, sculptor, window-dressing, wall-painting restorer) and Neoaquitaine companies (Ateliers Férignac, Les Compagnons Réunis, LLC Didier Leblois, etc.) work to restore all its lustre to the building, built in the 16th century. Passionate, its owner Nicolas de Laâge de Meux is involved in a decisive way in transmitting this heritage to the younger generations and in their discovery of the various professions.