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

For as little as $61 per person
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2017 1:24 PM CST
The Internet Just Bought an 800-Year-Old Castle in France
Thousands of people from around the world have chipped in to be part-owners of this ruined castle in France. You could too.   (Wikimedia Commons/Pierre Mair?)

The French castle about 200 miles away from Paris was built in the 13th century, captured twice by the English in the Middle Ages, sacked during the French Revolution, and partially burned down in 1932, the Guardian reports. Now the internet may have saved the Chateau de la Mothe-Chandeniers. According to the BBC, which has breathtaking drone video of the castle, thousands of people have donated at least $61 each to buy a future for it. The chateau has changed hands many times over the centuries. Most recently a math teacher tried—and failed—to restore it after purchasing it in 1981. As nature reclaimed the chateau and plants sprouted from its windows—giving it what Architectural Digest calls "a beautiful if not eerie aesthetic"—the math teacher mused about having it demolished.

Instead, more than 9,000 people from around the world have donated more than $885,000 toward saving the Chateau de la Mothe-Chandeniers, according to a fundraising site. While the castle's new co-owners won't get to live in it, they will have some say in the plans to restore it and the chance to be the first to visit it when it opens to the public. Donors can also buy stock in the company being set up to run the chateau. "The idea is not just about raising the money, but getting as many people as possible to participate in saving this magical, fairytale place," the founder of the company behind the fundraiser tells the Guardian. For anyone who's ever dreamed of being part-owner of a real-life castle, there are still more than two weeks left to donate, which you can do here. (Italy decided to give away castles, with one little condition.)

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