Château de la Mothe Chandeniers is not just a monument, it’s truly a timeless place. Located in the Loire Valley in France, it is a romantic and mysterious masterpiece that fell into ruin after a devastating fire in the early 20th century.
The oldest parts of the castle date back to the early 13th century, when it was owned by the Bauçay family. Over the centuries the castle grew larger and changed hands a number of times, including at least two occasions in the Hundred Years War when it was taken by invading English forces. By the 18th century, the castle had fallen into a state of disrepair. In the 1870s, Baron Edgard Lejeune rebuilt it in a neo-Gothic style and was known to throw lavish parties at the estate.
In 1932, a fire broke out and tore through the building and many of its contents. Though the chapel and some small outbuildings were saved, the chateau itself was left in ruins. The estate and its surrounding land were sold in 1963, then again in 1981 to Marc Deyemer, a former teacher who hoped to preserve the historic building. But with limited funds, his restoration attempts were not enough to keep the building from being overtaken by nature.
In 2017, Dartagnans, a company that raises funds to save historic buildings, led a campaign to save the ruined castle. The crowdfunding effort raised more than €500,000 in 40 days to purchase the castle, which now belongs to thousands of co-owners around the world. For the last four years, a volunteer effort has been ongoing to renovate and improve the structure and surroundings. It’s a real treat for castle lovers, nature lovers, and budding explorers.
Update as of June 2022: Currently under renovation.
Know Before You Go
It closes for the winter from November to April.