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Massandra Palace in Crimea, a château of Tsar Alexander III, completed in 1900

Châteauesque (or Francis I style,[1] or in Canada, the Château Style[2]) is a Canadian revival architectural style based on the French Renaissance architecture of the monumental French country houses (châteaux) built in the Loire Valley from the late fifteenth century to the early seventeenth century.

As of 2011, the Getty Research Institute's Art & Architecture Thesaurus includes both "Château Style" and "Châteauesque", with the former being the preferred term for Canada.

The style frequently features buildings incongruously ornamented by the elaborate towers, spires, and steeply-pitched roofs of sixteenth century châteaux, themselves influenced by late Gothic and Italian Renaissance architecture. Despite their French ornamentation, as a revival style, buildings in the châteauesque style do not attempt to completely emulate a French château. Châteauesque buildings are typically built on an asymmetrical plan with a roof-line broken in several places and a facade composed of advancing and receding planes.



A relatively rare style in the United States, its presence was concentrated in the Northeast,[3], near Canada. It was mostly employed for residences of the extremely wealthy, although it was occasionally used for public buildings.

The first building in this style in Canada was the 1887 Quebec City Armoury.[4] Many of Canada's grand railway hotels were built in the Châteauesque style, with other buildings mainly public or residential. The style may be associated with Canadian architecture because these grand hotels are prominent landmarks in major cities across the country and in certain national parks.

In Hungary, Arthur Meinig built numerous country houses in the Loire Valley style, the earliest being Andrássy Castle in Tiszadob, 1885–1890, and the grandest being Károlyi Castle in Nagykároly (Carei), 1893–1895.

The style began to fade after the turn of the 20th century and was largely absent from new construction by the 1930s.

Architects who designed in Châteauesque formEdit

Examples in EuropeEdit

United KingdomEdit

Examples in the United StatesEdit

Examples in CanadaEdit

Many of the Châteauesque-style buildings in Canada were built for the Canadian Pacific Railway's CP Hotels chain, now part of the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts empire.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Whiffen, Marcus, American Architecture Since 1780: A guide to the styles, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1969, p. 142.
  2. ^ Maitland, Hucker and Ricketts, A Guide to Canadian Architectural Styles, Broadview Press, Peterborough, Ont., 1992, p. 93.
  3. ^ McAlester, Virginia & Lee (1996). A Field Guide to American Houses. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 375. ISBN 0-394-73969-8. 
  4. ^ Maitland, Hucker and Ricketts, A Guide to Canadian Architectural Styles, Broadview Press, Peterborough, Ont., 1992, p. 94.
  5. ^ Craven, Wayne (2009). Gilded Mansions: Grand Architecture and High Society. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 111–126. ISBN 978-0-393067-54-5. 

External linksEdit