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Chateaux Styles And Designs

Chateaux Styles And Designs

January 3, 2014 in Blog, Chateau News by

 Chateaux Styles

Architecture has always been of great importance in France. As a country, they have longed been famed for the stylish abodes of their rulers and aristocracy. In the modern era, the French countryside is still scattered with innumerable examples of stunning chateaux, in styles ranging from Gothic to Neoclassical. If you are looking to purchase a luxury chateau, chances are you have a clear image in your mind of your perfect property. The search for your dream chateau can be a long one, with so many properties available, in so many styles, settings, and states of repair. A great starting point when approaching an agent to source your chateau is to know a thing or two about the style of architecture that you are most attracted to. Below, you will find a list of the main characteristics of each major architectural style to help you pin down just what you are looking for.


The first chateaux, built-in the Middle Ages, were heavily fortified castles. Surrounded by large walls, they were usually built on promontories above settlements and villages. Basically symbols of strength and feudal authority, examples include Mon St Michel, Avignon, Chinon and Carcassone. Many are now in a state of disrepair or owned by the state and maintained as historical attractions. Châteaufort style properties usually require a lot of maintenance and a hefty budget to own.


Gothic style chateaux are distinguished by their arched windows and doors, as well as tall elegant spires. Inspired by the architecture of medieval churches and castles, they are typically very ornate and lacking symmetry. Gothic architecture developed along with the Romanticism movement, to which freedom of expression was integral. The designs tend to incorporate nature and these stunning buildings have provided inspiration for great plays, poems and novels.


The Renaissance period ran from the middle of the 15th century up until the early 17th Century, and it spread across different regions in Europe. The word renaissance means rebirth – and the movement was a conscious revival of Greek and Roman culture and ideals. Renaissance chateaux often feature domes, columns, and facades – their design incorporating a great deal of symmetry and geometry.


A prime example of Baroque architecture is Palace of Versailles commissioned by Louis XIV. The design was inspired by the residence of his finance minister. Baroque styles incorporate dynamism – a sense of motion. Sweeping curves and richly sculpted surfaces abound. Most Baroque designs feature complexity and decoration.


From the French words rocaille and coquille, meaning rock and pebble, Rococo is a term used for a style similar to Baroque, but using light pastel colours and smooth designs. Typically these chateaux are more gentle and playful than those of the weighty Baroque style.


Neoclassical designs share some features with those of the Renaissance period, but a greater familiarity with Roman ruins saw the development of the distinctive Temple style. Properties in this style are most obviously distinguished by the architect’s use of peristyle or colonnades.

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