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Chillon Castle or Château de Chillon

Chateau Chillon

The Château de Chillon (Chillon Castle) is located on the shore of Lake Léman at the eastern end of the lake, and 3 km from Montreux, Switzerland.

The castle consists of 100 independent buildings that were gradually connected to become the building as it stands now. The oldest parts of the castle have not been definitively dated, but the first written record of the castle is in 1160 or 1005. From the mid 12th century, the castle was home to the Counts of Savoy, and it was greatly expanded in the 13th century by Pietro II. The Castle was never taken in a siege, but did change hands through treaties.

It was made popular by Lord Byron, who wrote the poem The Prisoner Of Chillon (1816) about François de Bonivard, a Genevois monk and politician who was imprisoned there from 1530 to 1536; Byron also carved his name on a pillar of the dungeon. The castle is one of the settings in Henry James's novella Daisy Miller (1878).

The history of Chillon was influenced by 3 major periods: the Savoy Period, the Bernese Period and the Vaudois Period.

Inside the castle there are several recreations of the interiors of some of the main rooms including the grand bedroom, hall and cave stores. Inside the castle itself there are four great halls, three courtyards and a series of bedrooms open to the public. One of the oldest is the Camera domini, which was a room occupied by the Duke of Savoy - it is decorated with 14th Century medieval murals. It is also worth mentioning the undergrounds as the architecture of the 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".
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.
According to the castle website Chillon is listed as "Switzerlands most visited historic monument".

The conference local team will be pleased to accompany you to discover this beautiful castle and its history on Sunday June 16, 2013. We will be traveling from Lausanne to the Castle by boat along the beautiful "Lavaux area (UNESCO World Heritage).
Further information will be provided at the conference registration.

Link to the official website of the Castle