Château de Chillon, an ancient castle, is located on the picturesque shore of Lake Geneva. The first record regarding this ancient architectural monument dates back to the year of 1150, a period of time it was the property of the Savoy House. Later the castle belonged to the Bernese, and only in the late 18th century it became the property of Vaud Canton. The building of the citadel began in the 13th century. An impregnable rocky island was chosen for the construction of the castle: twenty-five interconnected buildings create a multiple architectural complex. A 25-meter high tower built in the centre of the complex is surrounded by watch-towers located lower. In the 16th century, Chillon Castle used to be a state prison where inmates from all over the country were kept. For centuries, this famous monument has inspired poets and writers to create their masterpieces. The long and complicated history of this ancient castle was described in The Prisoner of Chillon, a book written by Lord Byron.
The castle is deservedly considered one of the most visited places in Switzerland. A lot of tourists come here to enjoy its unique beauty. Strolling through the rooms of the castle, you can trace almost all country’s history. Solemn and pompous halls for official receptions, living quarters of the local nobility, various outbuildings and surprisingly cells for prisoners are located here. Military equipment and stuffed animals preserved since the Middle Ages have been used in the design of the main rooms. Windows of the four large halls open wonderful views of Lake Geneva and its surroundings.
A great number of secrets and legends has been kept within the ancient castle. Originally, the castle used to have an important strategic task: to control the main road ran between the mountains and the lake. Later the castle passed from one owner to another. It was a reliable fortification, as well as a place where inmates were kept. A large-scale restoration work was held in 1887 – as a result the castle turned into a large museum. In 1891 it was granted the status of a historical monument and since that time Chillon Castle has been a landmark of Switzerland.
Buses operate between Chillon Castle and almost all cities and major ski resorts. They run quite frequent – once every 10-15 minutes. In case you decide to go to the castle by car, you should follow the A9 Road. You can get to Chillon Castle by water as well. Cutters go there from Montreux, Villeneuve and Vevey.