Chateau de Chillon rests on a small island on the shores of Lac Leman (Lake Geneva). The lake itself is hemmed in on all sides by hills that rapidly rise into snow-tipped mountains. The castle's gothic night-time appearance is said to have inspired some of the passages in Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein's Monster'. Similarly, the story of François de Bonivard, a Genevan monk held captive in the castle's dungeons for four years by the Savoys, was the inspiration behind Byron's poem 'The Prisoner of Chillon'. Byron carved his initials into the pillar where he believed Bonivard to have been chained. Now, the castle is open to be explored, from the depths of its dungeons to the towers where you can look out on the lake and the mountainous peaks around.
Avenue de Chillon 21, CH 1820 Veytaux
+41 21 966 89 10
Google map: bit.ly/fZKVdL
Don't miss the Chocolate Train! Departs from Montreux in the morning and meanders its way up through the mountains, with great views of Lake Geneva and some truly Sound-of-Music scenery.
You travel first-class in some wonderfully restored Belle Epoque railway carriages before stopping at the Gruyere fromagerie, where there's time to explore the mountain village of the same name and have a spot of lunch.
After lunch, it's back on the train to the Cailler-Nestlé chocolate factory. It's just like you would imagine a Swiss chocolate factory to be: set in the mountains, with as much chocolate as you can eat!
The day finishes with a scenic ride back down to Montreux. Wonderful scenery, cheese and chocolate - what more could you want? Apart, perhaps, from some local wine pressed from the grapes of the numerous vines covering the mountainside. Advance booking recommended!
Travel around the coast of the lake and visit the Chateau de Chillon, on one side of which there is a precipitous underwater chasm where bodies were disposed of in the old days. This is a castle worth visiting if only to see the grimness of the appalling dungeons.
See those narrow slits in the rock where unfortunates were forced into and sealed up, only to be brought up in the evenings for the entertainment of the Duke and his guests. Tied to large vertical columns of wood which held up the roof while the guests tried to put out their eyes, many terrified prisoners twisted their heads away, - testimony of which are the scorch marks in the wood. But can we in the judgemental twentieth century point the finger at medieval cruelty? Remember Melei and Auschwitz and Bosnia and…..
Château de Chillon
Avenue de Chillon 21
Phone +41 21 966 89 10
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