The French word chateau has a wider meaning than the English castle: it includes architectural entities that are properly called palaces, mansions or vineyards in English. The number of chateaus in France is estimated to about 45,000.
During WW2 in France, chateaus were often used by both axis and allies as headquarters for senior officers or military police. The Gestapo also used chateaus as headquarters during the German occupation of France. Some chateaus also functioned as headquarters for the Resistance. Escaping Allied pilots and important arms depots were also hidden at chateaus.