These days it seems like castles only exist in storybooks and Disney movies. What happened to the foreboding dwellings of our wealthiest ancestors? The truth of the matter is, while there are still many castles in Europe and a few in the United States, many have fallen into disrepair and ruin over time. However, in the Poitou-Charentes region of France, a group of preservationists are trying to save a 13th century castle that is slowly being reclaimed by nature. The story behind the abandoned property is just as fascinating as what’s left standing today.
In the 13th Century, the Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers was the home of the notorious and powerful Barclay family. Although not royalty themselves, they enjoyed a close relationship with several generations of kings.
In the Middle Ages, the castle was taken twice by the English, but was later reclaimed by France and became a well-known site for lavish parties.
However, the party was short-lived. The property was sacked during the French Revolution, and passed from one investor to the next. After a fire in 1932, interest in the Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers dwindled.
Until, in 1981, a teacher named Marc Deyemer purchased the decaying castle, with high hopes to return it to its former glory.
His dream hit a road block when a French bank bought part of the castle’s surrounding property. Now, there were two official owners, and a lot of red tape for Deyemer.
Today, the castle looks as it did in 1932. While Deyemer has visited, he was never able to begin his restoration plans. Slowly, nature is taking back over.
While investors and preservationists have started a non-profit to save the castle, its fate remains unknown.
It’s a desolate place, but one that’s rich with history. Can’t you just imagine affluent and well-dressed guests filing up this staircase?
Time has forgotten the Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers …
But we haven’t. One can only hope this magnificent property will be saved before nature completely takes over.
To see more of the Château de la Mothe-Chandeniers, check out the video below:
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