An architectural jewel located in the most beautiful setting imaginable, between the shores of Lake Geneva and the Alps, 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.
Visiting the Castle of Chillon is like going back in time! Each hall or room unveils a part of the castle’s history. Modern means enable us to better understand the daily life of the Court of Savoy and also of the Bernese bailiffs.
There are four formal great halls in the castle, whose windows all look out over the marvellous landscape of Lake Geneva. The Savoy family held sumptuous banquets in them, whilst the the Bernese renders justice in some of them.
Chillon’s chapel is a little architectural jewel. The 14th Century paintings make it one of the rare religious buildings to have escaped the iconoclastic zeal of the Reformation.
The architecture of underground rooms reminds us of the great Gothic cathedrals of the 13th Century. This part of the castle certainly greatly stimulates the imagination, with the numerous legends that have arisen from this place. The most well-known is that of the imprisonment of Bonivard, made famous by Lord Byron, who made him the hero of his poem « The Prisoner of Chillon".
Three courtyards lead on from the entrance of the castle, beginning with the lower courtyard, which must have been the busiest, up to the Castellan’s courtyard and finally to the Courtyard of Honor, reserved for the use of the counts, later dukes of Savoy and their retinue.
Today, these areas are regularly used for performances and events.
The lake side of the castle is a princely residence dedicated to all the luxuries of the court. However, the mountain side is a veritable fortress, with its watchtowers, sentry walk, double ramparts, moat and turrets, everything was in place to prevent attack at any time.
Classified under Swiss Cultural Heritage.