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Chillon Castle

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Must knows about Chillon Castle

  • The Chillon Castle is a medieval fortress dating back to the 12th century. It’s located in Veytaux along Lake Geneva, close to Montreux.
  • The castle is one of Switzerland’s most popular cultural destinations.
  • Brochures and audioguides are available in many languages.
Chillon Castle

Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva near Montreux.

A brief history of Chillon Castle

The beautifully located Chillon Castle, or “Château de Chillon” in French, dates back to the 12th century. Its first written testimony appeared in 1150. The Counts of Savoy controlled the fort then. It was gradually expanded over the following centuries, serving as a fort, arsenal and prison. The Bernese habitants took it over for a while, until the Vaudois Revolution of 1798 when the castle’s ownership passed on to the Canton of Vaud. By that time, it began to attract writers and artists. A major restoration project was started by the end of the 19th century. Restoration is still going on today.

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ROUTE

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What a visit to the castle looks like

You can explore the castle on your own, using an information brochure and reading the information on signs. You can also rent an audio guide for more information and background stories about the castle and its surroundings. The property consists of several sections, including underground chambers, courtyards, the great halls, several themed chambers, a weapons’ room and a chapel.

The building houses several (temporary) culture and art exhibitions. It also has a connection to wine, which goes for the entire Lavaux region on the northern shores of eastern Lake Geneva. The winemaker in charge grows grapes at the castle’s own 12.500 m2 vineyard, and both red and white wines are produced.

If you want to take a break, you can do so at the picnic spot next to the castle, or grab a bite in the adjacent Café Bryon. Toilets and luggage lockers are available. After your visit, you can shop for souvenirs.

How to prepare

No special preparations are needed for a visit to the castle. You'll be mostly indoors. There’s a lot to explore, so a visit will easily take half a day or even a whole day. A quicker tour can be done within 1,5 to 2 hours.

Combine your castle visit with other activities

The fortress is located along the north-eastern shore of Lake Geneva, so you can easily combine your visit with a boat trip. A trip to Rochers-de-Naye or the nearby towns Montreux or Lausanne can be added too. If you're making a transfer trip between the of Lake Geneva area and the Valais (for example Sion, Brig or Zermatt), a visit to the castle can be a nice break along the way.

Insider tips

  • The castle can well be reached on foot. There’s an easy paved path along the lakeshore between Montreux and Villeneuve.
  • If you’re short on time, you can skip the optional audioguide and explore the site at your own pace.
  • There are special offers for children, such as family workshops in weekends and educational kids’ workshops during school holidays.
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