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(shătō`, Fr. shätō`), royal or seignioral residence and stronghold of medieval France—the counterpart of the English castlecastle,
type of fortified dwelling characteristic of the Middle Ages. Fortification of towns had been in practice since antiquity, but in the 9th cent. feudal lords began to develop the private fortress-residence known as the castle.
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 of the period. In such a fortress, peasants of the surrounding country took refuge during time of war. The early fortified château, called a château-fort, reached its culmination in the late 15th cent., when the magnificent feudal Pierrefonds was built near Compiègne. The 16th-century château, with its gardens and outbuildings, was usually surrounded by a moat, but was only lightly fortified. Notable châteaus of the transition period between the military château and the later country estate with extensive landed property are those of the Loire, Indre, and Cher valleys, such as Chambord, Amboise, Blois, Chenonceaux, Azay-le-Rideau, and Chaumont.


See study by F. Gébelin (tr. 1964).


A castle or imposing country residence of nobility in old France; any large country estate.


château, 1
1.A castle or imposing country residence of nobility in old France.
2. Now, any French country estate.


, château
1. a country house, castle, or manor house, esp in France
2. (in Quebec) the residence of a seigneur or (formerly) a governor
3. (in the name of a wine) estate or vineyard
References in periodicals archive ?
The Chateau is in the Medoc's Pauillac commune where no less than three chateaux are first growth - the other two being Lafitte and Latour.
AC: The Relais Gourmands program was developed in 1972, as an offshoot of Relais & Chateaux, which was developed over 50 years ago.
Today the descendants, the Prats brothers Bruno, Jean Marie and Yves, are the owners of the three properties and part owners also of chateaux Petit Figeac and Lafleur Pourret.
Chateau Accueil, Chateaux en Vacances, Chez Vous: traditional hospitality for paying guests
SynXis' RedX Distribution Management System will give the Relais & Chateaux hotel members in more than 50 countries access to the industry's most advanced reservation management system perfectly adapted to their average room capacity of 29.
The food - pate and game from the Sologne forest, fresh fish from the rivers - the wine, the chateaux and the fabulous gardens are best seen in June and July.
This is a good base for visiting the Loire's famous chateaux, such as Chenonceau and Villandry.
By connecting Relais & Chateaux to the major global distribution systems and to more than 1,000 online distributors, both travel agents and consumers have access to real-time availability and pricing for all of Relais & Chateaux' member hotels.
The food - pate and game from the Sologne Forest, fresh fish from the rivers - the wine, the chateaux and the fabulous manicured gardens that are best seen in May and June, when the countryside is a riot of colour.
Among the highlights of the 2004 season: Bordeaux Prestige Program, the ultimate splurge for the Bordeaux connoisseur, including VIP tastings at all five First Growth chateaux (Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Margaux, Haut-Brion, Mouton Rothschild) and the most legendary estates of Pomerol, Sauternes and Saint Emilion; Cooking and Wine in Provence, a week of hands-on cooking classes with noted chefs including Michelin 2-star chef Edouard Loubet, wine tasting classes, winery visits and sightseeing, with luxury accommodations at the 18th century Chateau de Gignac; Burgundy and Champagne, a week-long exploration of the Cote d'Or's finest estates and Champagne's most famous producers; and Northern and Southern Rhone, featuring a black-tie dinner dance with the winemakers of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Accommodations for this tour will be as exceptional and exclusive as the tastings: 2nd Growth Chateau Pichon Longeuville Baron, one of the Medoc's most beautiful chateaux.
With the new Relais & Chateaux and Leading Hotels Gift Certificate program, the choice, literally, is yours.