Chillon Castle is the inspiration for Walt Disney to build a castle in the animated film "The Little Mermaid" and is a famous destination in the city of Montreux, Switzerland.
Chillon Castle - an architecture from the Middle Ages
Château de Chillon is a romantic castle in Lake Geneva near Montreux. Chillon Castle is the most visited historic site in Switzerland and is a family and child friendly destination.
The history of the castle Château de Chillon dates back to the twelfth century, built on a small rocky island by Savoy rulers. From here, Savoy could control trade and traffic in the Lake Geneva area, as well as the very important trade routes to Italy.
In 1536, Bernese took over the castle with a war of aggression until the Vaud revolution (1798). By that time, the castle had lost its strategic importance and acted as a site that should be preserved before it becomes the most popular historic site in Switzerland. From the nineteenth century onwards, the Château de Chillon has been a major tourist attraction for visitors to the Lac Léman region as well as for skiers in the Valais Alps in the Rhone valley and the Chablais Alps in France.
The most famous historical figure associated with Chillon Castle is François Bonivard, a Genevan priest who was imprisoned here between 1530 and 1536. Bonivard was only freed when the Bernese Protestants forced Duke Savoy out western Switzerland
Located in the middle of a lake, a mountain on the other, the scenery of Chillon castle is extremely unique. Each year, Chillon attracts more than three hundred thousand visitors from all over. The castle has an arch shape, 110m high and 50m wide, built on a giant oval rock, taking a stroll back in time to the Middle Ages.
Highlights inside the castle
The architecture of these underground rooms reminds us of the great gothic cathedrals of the 13th Century. There is also a weapon supply site and was turned into a prison around 1290.
This part of the castle certainly stimulates the imagination of many people with the countless legends that have arisen from this place. It is the most famous mythology concerning the imprisonment of Bonivard made famous by Lord Byron, who turned this priest into a hero in the poem "The Prisoner of Chillon".
Garden spaces : Chillon Castle has four courtyards that guide you inside, although the courtyards are not intact as before, but have been renovated for visitors.
The room overlooks the small garden inside the castle
There are three large formal halls in the castle, all with great windows overlooking Lake Geneva. Here the Savoy family held lavish parties in it.
Defensive fortress: The lakeside part of the castle is the residence of the prince dedicated to all the royal luxuries. However, the ridge was a real fortress, with a watchtower, guard walkway, ramparts, a moat and a turret, with everything to stop the attack at any time.
Chillon's chapel is a jewel in the castle's architecture. The paintings of the 14th Century make it one of the rare religious constructions of the era's earliest religious reform. The Chapel of Saint-George is the private chapel of the earl and later the Duke of Savoy. Abandoned during the Reformation, it was used as a granary and later as a flour brothel during the Bernese period. The chapel returned to its original function in the 19th century.
Chillon Castle is not a hollow castle like most other castles in Europe. Inside the castle, the rooms are fully equipped, from bedroom, dining room, reading room, weapon room to ... bathroom and WC. Everything is respectful of time, which means it looks ancient, old and has almost no objects of modern life.
It's so fun after a visit you can save something for yourself! Outside the fortress, visitors can walk through the hundred-year-old market where they will find postcards, a variety of items and souvenirs. In the interior of the castle, a shop offers the castle's toys, selection books, and wines.
During warm days, a refreshment bar opens in the Savoy garden to welcome guests with sandwiches, ice cream and other snacks.
Today, tourists to Switzerland often choose for themselves tours to visit Chillon castle to experience and feel about a great history of Europe. You can book this tour in Geneva, Switzerland a few days in advance of your trip.