The Internet Just Bought an 800-Year-Old Castle in France

Mae Love
December 7, 2017

A crumbling French chateau dating back to the 13th century has been saved from being ruined by thousands of strangers who banded together to purchase it for restoration.

Thousands of people joined forces in a crowdfunding effort to save a 13th-century castle in France.The Mothe-Chandeniers castle in western France's Les Trois-Moutiers has been through hard times.

Mothe-Chandeniers' future is finally looking secure, however, thanks to a crowdfunding campaign by Dartagnans, organised with support from the Friends of the Mothe-Chandeniers.

And while the culture may be French, some 45 different nationalities can now claim ownership of the property.

It was captured twice by the English, nearly destroyed in the French Revolution and later damaged by fire in the 1930s.

While none will be able to move into the storied digs, each donor will be offered shares in a company set up in 2018 to run the chateau, for an additional €1 donation.

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"Two months ago, we embarked on a insane bet", wrote the organizers on a Facebook page set up to promote the campaign, which reached nearly 13,000 "likes" on the site.

Over the years the property was passed to various descendants, and was inhabited by Baron Edgard Lejeune, who undertook a massive reconstruction in 1870 in a Romantic style, and threw lavish parties in the chateau. Most recently a math teacher tried-and failed-to restore it after purchasing it in 1981.

In 1932, shortly after central heating was installed, fire ravaged the building, destroying most of its contents including an entire library of rare books, antique furniture, tapestries and priceless paintings.

Has this ever been done before?

The chateau has changed hands many times over the centuries.

It became derelict after being attacked by the Nazis in the Second World War, but this year's appeal seeks to save it from shrinking into history as a wreck.

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