Chateau Chapiteau is a fairy-tale kingdom in the heart of Georgia, where people from all over the world come to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
The community was established in 2019 on a nearly 12-hectare site in northeast Georgia. The project cost a total of approximately $3.8 million, of which $500,000 was covered by community funding.
Founder Ivan Mitin has spent the last twelve years working to create community spaces around the world. He is also behind the ‘anti-café’ chain Ziferblat, famous for its innovative payment system. Customers pay for the time they spend there, not for the food and drinks. In addition, three other community initiatives have been launched in recent years, the links to which can be found at the bottom of this article. He leads the team of fifteen people who run Chateau Chapiteau.
The people who live here see themselves as a community who have come together to communicate values that are important to them to the world and, in doing so, to change it. They have organized their own lives around these values, living together through democratic cooperation, cultivation of culture, respect for the ecosystem, science-based decision-making, and, above all, a love of life.
Visitors and residents can get away from the fast-paced modern world and experience the conserving force of real communities. It also serves as a creative community where everyone can immerse themselves in shared art-making, develop new skills, and fulfill their creativity.
The estate is in the valley of the Lagodekhi Mountains along a river and is surrounded by picturesque scenery from all directions with a national park nearby. In addition to peaceful and caring coexistence with people, they also value cooperation with nature. This effort extends not only to the flora, but also to the fauna, as the site also serves as a small animal sanctuary, among many other functions. There are currently five dogs and three cats in the community, all rescued by the residents. Their goal is to eventually find loving homes for all rescued animals.
Food is a central part of life for the residents. Sitting around a table together and eating good food is a joyful event in itself, as it provides an opportunity to connect and spend quality time together. But it’s also important to know that it’s all the fruit of collaboration, with everyone doing their part as there is an organic farm and two greenhouses on the site. In addition, the community is responsible for preparing the food, so friendships can already form during the preparations.
You can also join the community as a volunteer, usually for three weeks, but also for longer periods. Over the years, more than 200 people have been accommodated at Chateau Chapiteau. You can help with the construction projects, work around the animals or even participate in the cooking. No matter what you do, you can make themselves useful.
Of course, it’s also a place for those who just want to relax and experience this community spirit. There is also the possibility to rent a cabin or a tent.
But the story doesn’t end there. In the future, they intend to expand further, with current plans to build around sixty houses on the site. They are aiming to build a village with authentic Georgian wooden houses, an organic farm, restaurants, and more art spaces.
You can check out finished designs by various architectural studios on the website, such as the illustration below. Either way, Chateau Chapiteau is a magical place to visit if you have the chance. We can’t wait to see what happens next!
If you like the initiative and would like to get involved, you can support them financially from the comfort of your couch. Visit their website to find out more.
Further initiatives by Ivan Mitin: