Over 8,900 strangers from all over the world have each donated $61 to buy and restore a historic castle in France.
Built in the 13th century, the Mothe-Chandenier chateau in Les Trois-Moutiers, France, has been through a lot over the centuries. It managed to survive being seized by the British twice during the Middle Ages, and narrowly escaped destruction during the French Revolution. A fire in 1932, caused by a newly installed central heating system, was the final nail in the coffin, and left the castle the ruin it is today.
Surrounded by a moat, the castle’s crenelated towers are entangled in vines. A view from a drone shows vines and trees growing within its walls, unencumbered by any roof. In spite of its ruined state, it still looks like something out of a fairy tale, and its easy to see why so many would be enticed by the idea of just owning just a piece of it.
Enter a website called Dartagnans, which runs crowdfunding campaigns to save historic properties. In just a month, over 8,900 people bought $61 shares to buy and restore Mothe-Chandenier. Having raised over $862,000, the campaign has exceeded its goal of 500,000 Euros (about $590,000). The new co-owners will be the first to visit the chateau in 2018 and will be consulted and actively involved in its restoration.
Dartagnans notes that it’s not too late to join – all new contributors can also become co-owners.