Say France and one thing many people think about is French "Châteaux". Maybe Versailles near Paris or the many fabulous castles along the Loire and Dordogne valleys spring to mind. However here in Normandy we also have our fair share of "Châteaux".
In France the word château fort (strong castle) refers to medieval type castles with towers and moats, thick walls and arrow slits for windows. Your archetypal castle of knights and damsels in distress! The ascent of François 1st to the French throne in 1515 saw the birth of the French Renaissance and with it the building of a new type of château or what we would to refer to as stately homes. Gone were the moats and thick walls to be replaced with windows, decorative towers, landscaped gardens and above all luxury on a huge scale.