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Chateaux in France

France is renowned for its magnificent Renaissance chateaux such as Chenonceau, Chambord and Blois.

These awesome castles were homes to Kings and courtiers and largely situated along the waterways of the Loire. They were initially influenced by a growing interest in Italian Renaissance architecture. However, this was just a starting point with the French eager to stamp their mark on these elegant and graceful structures.

Chateau de Cheverny, for example, is a noteworthy example of a newly emerging Classical style which departs from the Renaissance. There are also many other architectural styles evident in in French castles.

Take for example Chateau de Josselin in Brittany, a small fortress style castle that began to emerge at the end of the Gothic era (before the Renaissance era). Medieval architectural buffs may, however, prefer some of the French medieval castles situated mainly in the Midi Pyrenees such as Montsegur, Lavardins or the restored castle of Carcassonne.

In fact, Carcassonne is typical of the castles at the centre of religious conflict, namely the Cathar conflict. The Cathars sought out remote, strategic castles such as Peyrepertuse, Corbieres, Ariège and Puivert - all situated on high, craggy peaks.

So, take your pick! The architectural style of France's castles is diverse as is the history that accompanies them.

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