With its idyllic location in Veytaux near Montreux, Château de Chillon, a medieval castle surrounded by water, exudes a unique charm and draws large numbers of visitors whatever the season. If you are planning what to do around Lake Geneva, a trip to Switzerland's most-visited historical building is a real must!
Chillon Castle was built in the 12th century on a natural rocky island under the reign of the Counts of Savoy. The fortress is only connected to the mainland by a bridge and was used as a customs house for shipping, among other purposes. The castle appeals with its magnificent Gothic windows as well as its rooms which are set around three courtyards.
A visit to Château de Chillon will take you back to a time when the Savoys were extending their domain and sought shelter within the thick walls of the castle. A tour of the impressive building offers visitors some three hundred interesting exhibits to marvel at – from furniture to suits of armour and weapons. You can also take a look at some of the chambers, such as the bedchamber which once belonged to the Count and later the Dukes of Savoy and is decorated with murals. The adjoining Savoy Park and the promenade and gardens make for a relaxing change of scenery. You can treat yourself to a little break at Café Byron and enjoy views of the wonderful surroundings.
Switzerland's mysterious Chillon Castle was worked on by well-known medieval castle architects such as Jacques de Saint-Georges d'Espéranche. The castle was also frequently visited by famous travellers – such as the English poet Lord Byron. His stay in the castle in 1816 inspired him to write his poem "The Prisoner of Chillon". The poem brought the castle worldwide fame.
Château de Chillon has tailored offers for visitors that will take you on a romantic journey back to the Middle Ages. You can visit the castle complex on your own or join a guided tour. The tour guides wear authentic medieval clothing, which is a real highlight for younger visitors in particular and helps to bring this period of history to life.
The castle is also frequently used as a venue for exhibitions, concerts and theatre performances. Gourmets can treat their taste buds to a Clos de Chillon wine-tasting: the wine, which is produced from grapes grown in the castle vineyard and is bottled in the castle, is aged for three years in the depths of Lake Geneva, giving it a unique aroma.