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CHATEAU (from Lat. castellum, fortres...

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Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 960 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CHATEAU (from Lat. castellum, fortress, through O. Fr. chastel, chasteau), the French word for castle (q.v.). The development of the medieval castle, in the 15th and 16th centuries, into houses arranged rather for residence than defence led to a corresponding widening of the meaning of the term chateau, which came to be applied to any seigniorial residence and so generally to all houses, especially country houses, of any pre-tensions (cf. the Ger. Schloss). The French distinguish the fortified castle from the residential mansion by describing the former as the chateau fort, the latter as the chateau de plaisance. The development of the one into the other is admirably illustrated by surviving buildings in France, especially in the chateaux scattered along the Loire. Of these Langeais, still in perfect preservation, is a fine type of the chateau fort, with its loth-century keep and 13th-century walls. Amboise (1490), Blois (1500–1540) , Chambord (begun 1526), Chenonceaux (1515–156o), Azay-le-Rideau (1521), may be taken as typical examples of the chateau de plaisance of the transition period, all retaining in greater or less degree some of the architectural characteristics of the medieval castle. Some description of these is given under their several headings. In English the word chateau is often used to translate foreign words (e.g. Schloss) meaning country house or mansion. For the Loire chateaux see Theodore Andrea Cook, Old Touraine (1892).
End of Article: CHATEAU (from Lat. castellum, fortress, through O. Fr. chastel, chasteau)

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