The Chateau de la Mothe-Chandeniers has had many owners since its construction in the 13th century. Now more so than ever. Over 13,000 strangers have recently banded together to save the fairytale home—which features turrets, towers, and a sizable moat—from decay and destruction.
A crowdfunding campaign running on the French site Dartagnans has raised more than €1.1 million ($1.3 million) to date for the structure’s preservation, with every contributor becoming a part owner of the historic home.
The chateau is located roughly 200 miles southwest of Paris in Les Trois-Moutiers. Its oldest sections were built by the Bauçay family in the 1200s. It survived two occupations by the English during the Middle Ages as well as being ransacked amid the French Revolution.
Two major restorations, in 1809 and 1870, helped incorporate the original building into a more Romantic style home. The structure was already in a state of disrepair when it was acquired by a math teacher in 1981 who did his best to preserve the site. But it wasn’t enough and nature has sprouted greenery from windows and rooftops.
Rather than see the building destroyed by developers, locals joined forces to raise the money needed to save the structure. “The idea is not just about raising the money, but getting as many people as possible to participate in saving this magical, fairytale place,” said Dartagnans founder Romain Delaume in an interview with the Guardian. “The more the merrier.”