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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 ?
Relais & Chateaux Club 5C members will enjoy 10 per cent off all Hertz basic rentals, including Hertz Collections worldwide.
When Tapies arrives here on a holiday, like any other Relais & Chateaux loyalist, he can go tiger spotting at Sher Bagh on the edge of the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, experience the Thar Desert at The Serai, Jaisalmer, take a yoga break at Shreyas Retreat, Bangalore, and get a dose of Kerala's ayurveda tradition at Malabar House, a Dutch merchant's residence dating back to the 1700s in the historic Fort Cochin.
MOUSSET, France: Construction cranes are as ubiquitous as wine critics in Bordeaux's prized vineyards as leading chateaux brand their estates by transforming their cellars into architectural show pieces.
Larger chateaux nearby include Azay-le-Rideau, which stands in a lovely lakeside setting, and Villandry, which has extensive Renaissance-style flower and vegetable gardens.
Art Culinaire interviewed executives from Relais & Chateaux, Mobil Travel Guide and Citysearch, to help you better understand what they do, what they're looking for and how to get the best possible rating for your property.
Some of France's most beautiful chateaux have been converted into hotels and the good news is that many of them are only a short drive from the Channel ports - so it is possible to live the dream, if only for a few days.
Switzerland became the focal meeting point of the Relais & Chateaux organisation recently, when Zurich and Geneva were chosen as the locations for the organisation's prestigious annual International Showcases.
The festival also kicks off a week of lavish parties at distilleries and chateaux. The mayor's annual reception includes a lunch at City Hall.
Relais et Chateaux: the best of regional cuisine and lodging
0844 544 4208 Code LV 14 March 2014 4 days from PS269 Combine the magical city of Paris with visits to the breathtaking Chateaux of Versailles and Vaux le Vicomte.
Chateau Lafite Rothschild is leader of only four wine-producing Chateaux of Bordeaux to have achieved First Growth status in the 1855 classification.<a title="Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855" href=""><br /></a>
If you're planning on visiting the chateaux of the Loire Valley on holiday, but don't fancy the long journey - three hours to Dover, Channel Tunnel and onwards - then I have a cheaper and quicker alternative.