Strangers Club Together to Save Crumbling French Castle

La Mothe-Chandeniers now with more than 7,000 owners
Credit
Getty

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 thousands of joint owners, each of whom reportedly paid at least 50 euros, are hoping to bring Chateau de la Mothe-Chandeniers, which dates back to 13th century, to its former glory.

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.

"Two years ago we put a insane bet" the organizers wrote on the page opened on Facebook to promote their efforts.

More than 6,500 people of 45 nationalities from around the world own a part of the castle.

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

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Matters got worse when it was ransacked and all-but destroyed during the French Revolution. In 1857 it was sold to Baron Joseph Lejeune.

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. Most recently a math teacher tried-and failed-to restore it after purchasing it in 1981.

"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.

Footage of the archaic estate in its current state shows a castle completely overgrown with trees.

The successful crowd-funding campaign will stay active online until Christmas Day, with further funds required for its restoration, should you wish to chip in.

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.

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