Co-living and co-ownership are pretty common these days, but this 13th-century castle takes things to the extreme, counting no less than 8,942 owners.
The Mothe-Chandeniers chateau in Les Trois-Moutiers dates back to the 1200s and was originally owned by the Bauçay family. It fell into English hands twice during the Medieval period, and was ransacked during the French Revolution before succumbing to fire in 1932.
Since then the 2,000-hectare-estate has languished. It was most recently owned by a mathematics teacher, who was unable to salvage the building from decay.
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. The agency – which specialises in crowdfunding heritage projects – has convinced thousands of strangers to dip into their pockets and donate at least €50 to restore the building to its former glory.
In exchange for their generosity, the donors are all now co-owners of the historic castle and over €731,319 has been raised for work to the structure.
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. The co-owners will also have a say in how the chateau is restored, and will be among the first to visit the site in 2018.
There’s still 19 days left on the campaign, which is seeking to raise an additional €500 for essential work to the site, and the end goal is to open Mothe-Chandeniers up to the public…