Where We Be
|The castle was never taken in a siege but did change hands through treaties.
For four centuries it served as residence and highly profitable toll station for the Counts of Savoy.
|Castle of Chillon -- Montreux, Switzerland
The Castle of Chillon is, simply put, the best
castle we've ever seen. To get there we took
the train from Gruyeres to Montreux, stored
our bags at the station, and walked 45 minutes
along a beautiful waterfront promenade. The
promenade was a pleasure in its own right, a
manicured path along Lake Geneva filled with
flowers and shade trees, sculptures and park
benches, jetties and circular lookout points,
restaurants, snack bars, and patios.
The castle rises up like a romantic’s dream of
what a castle should be. Built on a small island
right next to the mainland, it has a natural moat
around its walls. Gorgeous! We headed inside
and followed the worthwhile audio tour. The
tastefully restored castle has sentry walks, an
impressive castle keep, a famous dungeon
(Bonivard’s prison, subject of Byron's famous
poem "The Prisoner of Chillon"), courtyards
and banquet rooms aplenty, and bedrooms fit
for the Savoy dukes and Bern noblemen who
once called them home. The views over the
lake from the top of the keep are lovely, and
hearing the lake water lapping softly against
the dungeon walls is particularly memorable.
|The perfect lakeside setting is what sets the Castle of Chillon apart from all others
|We saw several swans with 8 or 9 cygnets clustered around
|We particularly liked the fact that Montreux's promenade is far away from car traffic and noise
|Strolling to the castle along the beautiful waterfront promenade is half the fun (the castle is 3 km from Montreux)
|Francois de Bonivard was imprisoned here for 7 long years (1530-36).
Byron wrote "The Prisoner of Chillon" about him, making the castle famous.
|The Castle of Chillon is Switzerland's most visited historic monument. We're so glad we didn't miss it!
|No self-respecting castle should be without a display of medieval armor and weaponry!
|This is the view of Lake Geneva from the top of the castle keep, looking towards Montreux
|Lord Byron carved his name into one of the pillars in Bonivard's Prison (see also the photo above this one)
|We took this photo before realizing photos weren't permitted inside. Oops! But just look at the size of that fireplace!
|The one-of-a-kind Castle of Chillon near Montreux
|That first glimpse of the castle is amazing!
|Natural moat around the castle walls
|Let me out! This picture gives you a sense of just how close the
water is to the dungeon -- you can hear it lapping against the walls.