If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a French chateau, you’re not alone. On Friday, 7,500 internet users banded together to buy a crumbling castle in the South of France through crowdfunding.
Sadly for them, that doesn’t mean they all get a room to crash in. Instead, for a minimum of 60 euros, each participant gets a share of the castle, a membership card, and a say in what happens to its future.
The organisers of the project are part of a French group called “The Friends of the Castle of la Mothe-Chandeniers” that’s dedicated to the preservation of the castle. The money was raised on Dartagnans, a French platform that crowdfunds French heritage preservation projects.
“It’s done, it’s historic! The Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers now belongs to thousands of Internet users,” wrote the group on the fundraising page.
The castle looks straight out of a fairytale, and it’s not hard to see why the new owners decided to invest – here’s what it’s like.
The castle is in a tiny town in Western France called Les Trois-Moutiers.
The construction timeline of the castle is unknown, but the organisers think it dates back to the thirteenth century.
According to the campaign organisers, it was looted and abandoned during the French Revolution before being bought and restored by a wealthy Parisian businessman in 1809. Later, a squire of Napoleon bought it and undertook a massive restoration.
But disaster struck in 1932 when a fire broke out and destroyed the castle.
It was eventually abandoned and left to nature. Today, it is a crumbling monument to its former glory.
Some of the detailing of the original interior remains.
The group launched the project in November, and was able to gather the 500,000 euros needed to buy the castle in only two short months.
The end goal is to raise a million euros so that a compete restoration and architectural study can be done.
Eventually, the group wants to open the castle for the public and host events and reenactments.
It’s not too late to get in on the fun. New contributors have until December 25 to donate to the project and become co-owners.
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