7400 strangers scrape together 500000 euros to buy historic French castle

Lloyd Doyle
December 7, 2017

In a little over 40 days, 8000 strangers have banded together to raise over $776,000 (€500,000) in order to purchase a crumbling French chateau and save it from ruin.

The Mothe-Chandeniers chateau in Les Trois-Moutiers dates back to the 1200s and was originally owned by the Bauçay family.

The Mothe-Chandeniers castle, situated 60 kilometres from Tours in north-western France, was put up for sale by its owner because its maintenance costs were so high. Built during the 13th century in Les Trois-Moutiers, France, the structure was twice seized by the British in the Middle Ages before it was almost destroyed in the French Revolution.

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.


"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. In 1809, it was bought by a rich Parisian businessman, François Hennecart, who restored the building and planted a vineyard in the grounds, but retained much of the original medieval building.

In 1870, Baron Edgard Lejeune acquired the property and gave it another overhaul, going on to throw frequent lavish parties within its walls. Countless antiques, priceless paintings and rare books were lost.

"I killed myself for two years trying to save it with preservation works, but I was sickened when my projects were torpedoed by certain people", he told La Nouvelle Republique in 2013. "I'm tempted to declare it a ruin so it can be destroyed", Deyemer said five years ago. But with its fairytale turrets and defiant arches, the property's potential is undeniable.

Has this ever been done before?

At the time of this post, more than 760,000 Euros (about $913,000) had been raised by 9,427 people.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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