Chillon Castle, nestled on a tiny island on Lac Léman, also called Lake Geneva, near Montreux, is a sight not to be skipped on any trip to Switzerland. It has the unique title of being the most traveled heritage structure in the nation, with 350,000 tourists per year, thanks to its ideal location with spectacular views of the Alps. Chillon was the home and lucrative fare site of the lords of Savoy for nearly four generations.
The Lords controlled Chillon for about four centuries because of its strategic location on Lake Geneva, which allowed them to dominate significant trading routes from Italy to the north via the St. Bernhard's Passage. The Lords of Savoy, especially Peter II, who transformed the Castle into a part-summer-residence, part-fortress, enjoyed unwinding from time to time. Throughout this period, the current fortress came into focus, and art pieces from the fourteenth century can be seen at present.
The Castle stands in Veytaux, on the shores of Lake Geneva, and is easily accessible from Montreux. It is commutable by train, bus, and ferry.
The bus runs each ten minutes on average, but at least three times each hour during lighter hours. Bus Line 201 connects three major Swiss cities: Vevey (30 minutes), Montreux (10 minutes), and Villeneuve (15 minutes) to Chillon Castle (5 minutes).
Veytaux is the nearest train station to the Chillon castle. From there, it's a ten-minute stroll along the lake to Villeneuve. Alternatively, you can take a taxi.
This lovely island castle on Lake Geneva can also be reached by boat. Vevey (40 minutes), Montreux (15 minutes), and Villeneuve (15 minutes) are the three major Swiss cities where boat rides are possible (10 minutes).
What To Explore
In Geneva's Chillon Castle, there are numerous halls where tourists can learn about history.
- It was renamed the Aula Magna when a mill and press were built in the 13th century.
- It was dubbed the 'Hall of Justice' in 1839. The roof and fireplace are from the 15th century, while the black marble pillars and lakeshore windows come from the 13th century.
- The Savoys utilized this chamber as a reception, luncheon room, or banquet hall during the Middle Ages.
- It was also where they housed and gave judgment to their courtiers.
Castellan's Dining Hall
- For nearly 700 years, this chamber has been hosting visitors! Renovation work completed in the early twentieth century gave it a medieval appearance.
- These, like the rest of the castle walls, were painted with diluent paint and modeled on later 13th-century designs. The wooden beams date from the 13th century.
- The furnace and coffered ceiling are both from the 15th century. The huge 13th-century windows in this chamber are from a section of the castle that was once used as a house.
- It served as a dining hall for the liege lord in the Middle Ages. It was divided into two parts during the Bernese period: one was a kitchenette, and the other was a lounge area.
The governance of the Chillon castellan and the bailiwick of Chablais was based on two stories in the 13th century in the "Domus Clericorum," or clerks' home.
In the 16th century, this structure either fell or was removed. In the early half of the twentieth century, the clerks' chamber on the bottom floor was completely renovated. The art pieces were recreated between 1947 and 1948 using vestiges of the 13th-century design. The ceiling was painted using the remnant décor discovered in the torture chamber as a reference.
Things To Note
Ticket pricing is as follows:
- 13.50 CHF for adults
- Children aged 6 to 15 years old: 7 CHF
- 35 CHF for family tickets
Visitors can participate in a 50-minute group tour of the castle. It ranges in price between 95 CHF to 145 CHF.
Where To Eat
Chez John Tthe Roadhouse
- The cuisine at Territet's Restaurant Chez John the Roadhouse offers a diverse selection of bistro meals, with the meat on a slate, which comes in a variety of sizes and is served with sauces and fries, being the standout.
- A fondue with cheese, Chinese food, salmon, or salads is also available.
- For 17 francs, a daily dish is served at midday.
- The wine list features a diverse selection of high-quality wines.
- Address- Avenue de Chillon 68, Territet, Montreux 1820 Switzerland
A rustic Argentinean pub and eatery that serves a variety of steaks and grilled chicken.
The vibrant wine from Mendoza help to define Argentinian culinary.
This place is the ideal combination of a cozy atmosphere, great steaks, and excellent wine.
Address- Avenue de Chillon 70, 1820 Territet, Switzerland
Restaurant La Rouvenaz
- A contemporary Rustic Brasserie offering Italian specialties and seafood facing the lake in the heart of Montreux.
- A peaceful ambiance and one-of-a-kind décor, with delectable seasonal traditional dishes.
- The menu deftly incorporates some of the best Italian classics with alpine products and methods.
- After a stroll around the lakeside, this is a great place to stop for lunch or dinner.
- Address- Rue du Marché 1, 1820 Montreux, Switzerland
Tourists can sense the significance of the fort's heritage when they explore. Chillon Castle is an excursion that should not be skipped on any journey to Switzerland, from the breathtaking vistas of Lake Geneva and the Alps that drew the Savoys in the summertime to the depressing cellars that have housed countless sad souls through the ages.