Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva

Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva

Chillon Castle, an architectural jewel located in the most beautiful setting imaginable —on the shores of Lake Geneva, right at the foot of the Alps.

Chateau de Chillon on Lake Geneva

Chateau de Chillon on Lake Geneva

It was made popular by Lord Byron, who wrote the poem “The Prisoner Of Chillon” (1816) about François de Bonivard, a Genevois monk and politician who was imprisoned there from 1530 to 1536; Byron also carved his name on a pillar of the dungeon. The castle is one of the settings in Henry James’s novella Daisy Miller (1878).

This monument with over 1’000 years of history, has always inspired artists and writers, from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Victor Hugo and Lord Byron, from Delacroix to Courbet.

Excavations carried out from the end of the 19th century, in particular by the archeologist Albert Naef (1862-1936), affirm that this site has been occupied since the Bronze Age.

In its current state, the Castle of Chillon is the result of several centuries of constant building, adaptations, renovations and restorations.

The rocky island on which the castle is built, was both a natural protection and a strategic location to control the passage between northern and southern Europe.

I visited here a few years ago while staying in Lausanne. I took a boat to Montreaux and from there visited the castle. I saw Byron’s carved initials.

Location: 04-E5

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