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La Mothe Chandeniers, the incredible rebirth of a castle doomed to disappear.

In just 5 years, La Mothe Chandeniers has gone from an abandoned château to a popular tourist destination. From its rescue to its restoration, its historic opening to the public and the award of its first green star in the Michelin Guide, every step of the way bears witness to the incredible mobilisation around La Mothe Chandeniers.


 

Abandoned for almost 100 years, the Château de la Mothe Chandeniers has been brought back to life since 2017 thanks to the vision of Dartagnans, who have brought together more than 25,000 co-châtelains from all over the world.

On 1 July 2018, La Mothe Chandeniers opened its doors to the public for the first time: a look back at 5 years of exploits and challenges met for this fairytale castle!


 

March 2017: the start of the adventure and the rescue of the château

It all began in 2017, at the initiative of Dartagnans, with the launch of a first worldwide fundraising campaign and a crazy idea: to collectively buy and save a castle doomed to disappear.

The SAS de la Mothe Chandeniers was created around the Dartagnans teams and the thousands of anonymous people who decided to join forces to write the future of the château.



 

April 2018: the magic of La Mothe Chandeniers revealed and the first volunteer workcamps begin

As early as April 2018, the first co-châtelains, hand in hand with the Dartagnans team, got down to work to transform La Mothe Chandeniers and give it a second lease of life while preserving the magical marriage between nature and architecture: the first volunteer workcamps were born and with them the birth of a big family.

Since 2018, more than 200 volunteer workcamps have taken place, enabling the co-châtelains to meet up in their château (at La Mothe Chandeniers), spend convivial moments together and play an active role in the development of their château.



 

June 2018: purchase of the chapel and grounds

In June 2018, the community of co-châtelains voted 98% in favour of buying the château chapel and its grounds.




 

July 2018: the first public opening

After just two months of preparation, work, cleaning, safety measures and historical research, the team at La Mothe Chandeniers was able to open the estate to the general public for the very first time!

Today, our teams offer hundreds of guided tours led by our cultural mediators and dozens of increasingly magical events every year. 




 

December 2018: the first châtelains' Christmas

More than 1,000 co-châtelains attended this first memorable Christmas, where we showed that the strength of our community lies in our ability to bring people together and create unforgettable moments around our common project. This first châtelains' Christmas marked the start of a tradition that will be renewed every year!



 

January 2019: the castle restoration programme begins

We have surrounded ourselves with the best specialists to restore and enhance our château: Carsten Hanssen on the architectural side and Arnauld Delacroix on the natural side. Our aim was to preserve the château while preserving the magic of the natural surroundings.

The work includes: fitting out the entrance to the château, stabilising the clock tower, installing shoring on the staircase turret, clearing the corridors and the main staircase by volunteers, installing an 18 m brace on the turret, masonry work on the west facade and inside the château, installing footbridges in the inner courtyard, provisionally covering the clock tower and landscaping the grounds.



 

October 2021: the creation of the largest events venue in Northern Vienne

In October 2021, Château de la Mothe Chandeniers inaugurated its new events space. Since then, many private and public events have been held in this beautiful glass orangery facing the château, ranging from weddings to seminars and cultural events open to all.

This combination of public events and private hire enables us to make the Domaine de la Mothe Chandeniers a unique and economically profitable tourist site.



 

July 2022: the first Green Star in the Michelin Guide

Last July, we were extremely proud to be awarded our first green star in the Michelin guide to the Châteaux de la Loire.

What a long way we've come! It's great to see our team's hard work bearing fruit. Preparing events, talking to service providers, developing public areas, maintaining the grounds, giving guided tours and sharing their passion for the château are all part of their daily routine.



 

May 2023: 80,000th visitor to the château

Last May, the château welcomed its 80,000th visitor since it first opened in July 2018!


 

5 years later, the story continues!

There's still a long, exciting road ahead: ecolodges, accommodation in the outbuildings, a footbridge in the château, restoration of the chapel... The adventure is just beginning!

Together, let's write the next 5 years of La Mothe Chandeniers!



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