beautiful scene by Lac Léman
and the Château de Chillon
Montreux, a place spectacularly located.
From Montreux one can view the spectacular panorama of the Dents-du-Midi
peaks across the lake Geneva, and visit Chillon, where the beautiful
Château de Chillon is located.
the early nineteenth century, Montreux was one of the centres
for pan-European and particularly British tourism
to Switzerland, following on from the importance of the impressive
medieval Château de Chillon 3km away, as a controlling
presence on the road over the Alps: an edict dated 1689 from
the Bernese lords of Chillon authorized the building of inns
in the area to accommodate travellers making their way to and
from the Grand-St-Bernard pass, and since then travel and tourism
have been mainstays of the regions economy.
until the 1960s, the name Montreux referred to just one village
in a loose affiliation of some 24 vineyard-communes spread around
the neighbouring hills, including picturesque Clarens to the
west, and Territet to the east.
annual Montreaux Jazz Festival, which broadcasts Montreuxs
name worldwide, performers in all areas of music.
Leman lies by Chillons walls:
A thousand feet in depth below
Its massy waters meet and flow...
There are seven pillars of Gothic mould,
In Chillons dungeons deep and old,
There are seven columns massy and grey,
Dim with a dull imprisond ray,
A sunbeam which hath lost its way
Prisoner of Chillon 1816 (Revolution and
Romanticism, 1789-1834) by Lord Byron
thirteenth-century Château de Chillon, an elegant, turreted
pile jutting out into the water, framed by trees and the craggy
mountains is a great view, and one of the best-preserved medieval
castles in Europe, is in Veytaux, only about 3km south of Montreux.
eighteenth-century gatehouse is supported on stilts, replacing
the original drawbridge. The vaulted and atmospheric dungeons
are the place where the Dukes of Savoy imprisoned François
wrote that the dungeon was excavated to below the water-line,
and Byron also wrote about the damp, but the room is in fact
above the water and is quite an airy place.
real wonder of the castle, however, lies in the rooms upstairs,
gloriously grand knights halls, secret twisting passages
between lavish bedchambers, gothic windows with dreamy views,
a frescoed chapel, and more. The Grand Kitchen still has its
original wooden ceiling and two massive oak pillars, installed
Bernese Bedchamber has original bird and ribbon decorations dating
from the 1580s, while the expansive Hall of Arms, complete with
fireplace and windows over the lake, is covered with escutcheons
of the Bernese bailiffs.
Lords Chamber adjacent, incredibly enough, retains its
original thirteenth- and fourteenth-century wall paintings, rustic
scenes of animals in an orchard with St George slaying the dragon
on the chimneypiece.
chapel features an impression of the full glory of the fourteenth-century
decoration, with slides projected onto the partly decorated walls.
door, the breathtaking Great Hall of the Count has slender black
marble pillars, shimmering chequered wall decoration, a coffered
ceiling dating from the fifteenth century, and four windows over
the lake topped by a beautiful four-leafed clover design.