The Mothe-Chandeniers chateau in Les Trois-Moutiers, western France has been through some tough times.
Taken by the English twice and all but destroyed during the French Revolution, it was later further damaged by a fire in the 1930s after it had been carefully restored.
But a group of 6,500 internet users have now donated at least €51 each towards a total of €500,000 to buy and restore the one-time party palace.
Each of the donors is now a part-owner of the property, which was bought on December 1st by Dartagnans.fr, a website specializing in conserving cultural heritage and which together with cultural organization 'Adopt a Castle' organized the crowdfunding campaign.
“Two months ago, we embarked on a crazy bet,” wrote the organizers on a Facebook page set up to promote the campaign, which reached almost 13,000 'likes' on the site. “Love of heritage has triumphed and the beautiful adventure is just beginning!”
The entrance of the castle. Photo: Guillaume Souvant/AFP
In total, 45 different nationalities took part in the effort, so people from all over the world now have a stake in the piece of French heritage.
Co-owners will not only be the first to visit the castle in 2018, but will have their say in how restoration is carried out and will be able to follow the progress via an online collaborative platform.
The castle is surrounded by a moat, and its ornate balconies and arches are currently overrun by nature, but the drone video below gives an impression of its former glory.