Situated on the great shores of Lake Leman in Veytaux, Switzerland, the Château de Chillon (or the Chillon Castle) is one of the country’s best treasures. Lovers of literature may have probably first heard of this place from a Lord Byron poem called “Prisoner of Chillon,” narrative poetry about a monk named Francois de Bonivard, who was imprisoned there in 1530 (you can find Lord Byron’s signature in one of the dungeons). Some may have also first read about it from Daisy Miller, an 1878 novella by American writer Henry James.
The castle, which has 100 buildings, were connects to become the building that visitors can still see today. Because it’s said to beSwitzerland‘s most visited historic monument, there are castle tours offered here that would give visitors the best experience in a remarkable and one-of-a-kind castle.
The Castle of Chillon was influenced by three major periods in history: The Savoy Period (12th century to 1536), The Bernese Period (1536 to 1798), and the Vaudois period (1798 to present). Throughout the centuries, the castle has been under different changes, buildings, and renovations. According to archeologists, this castle has been occupied since the Bronze Age. This means that when one visits the castle, so much interesting pieces of history will be unveiled. By going on a guided tour, visitors will learn more about the castle’s history and hear lots of interesting stories about it.
Some of the attractions and activities in store on Château de Chillon are:
The Great Halls – see the beautiful Lake Geneva from the castle’s halls. According to written accounts, these are the spots where the Savoy family had their banquets.
The Underground – If you’ve read Lord Byron’s poem, this is where your imagination will surely go places. Visitors can visit these underground rooms, where Bonivard’s imprisonment said to have happened.
Courtyards – the lower courtyard, the Castellan courtyard, and the Courtyard of honor were used by dukes and counts back then. You can also chance upon great performances here.
Camera Domini – If you want to see where the Duke of Savoy stayed in the 14th century, this may just be the place. This room, with great art and different ornate symbols, is where the Duke reportedly stayed.
Chapel - if you love art or simply want to see impressive architecture with great paintings, don’t miss the Chillon chapel.
Drako Club – for those visiting with children (6-14 years old), you can make them a member of this club, which not only gives history lessons, but also gives great activities, discounts, and events to be shared by fellow club members.
Discovery Stroll - make the kids really feel the place by learning about it with the castle’s mascot Drako. They will be given activities that will aid them in finding their dragon ancestors. They can even wear costumes to make the fun and educational interactive experience more exciting.
The Chillon Castle of Switzerland is open all year round, except December 25th and January 1st. The opening times are 9am to 7pm (April to September), 9:30am to 6pm (October) 19am to 5pm (November to February), and 9:30 am to 6pm (March).