Caux, Switzerland

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Grand Hotel in Caux

Caux is a small village in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland. It looks out over Lake Geneva from an altitude of 1000 meters.

The former Caux-Palace Hotel in the village is the home of Initiatives of Change's conference centre,[1] which can accommodate up to 450 people. The building is operated as a hotel school for much of the year, the Swiss Hotel Management School [2], though it still houses the Initiatives of Change annual conferences each summer.

During World War II, the hotel fell into disrepair and was used to house civilian refugees. Later it held interned escaped Allied prisoners of war. Finally some 1,600 Jews from the Kasztner train from Budapest found refuge there [3].

In 1946 the hotel was purchased and renovated by the Moral Re-Armament organization (MRA), for use as an international conference centre to work on the reconciliation of European peoples. They held many workshops and brought together people at many levels of government and society. The historians Douglas Johnston and Cynthia Sampson describe the MRA work as "important contribution to one of the greatest achievements in the entire record of modern statecraft: the astonishingly rapid Franco-German reconciliation after 1945."[2]

The building can be seen from Montreux and the surrounding area; it is said to have been the inspiration for the castle in Disney's animated movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. There is a small historical exhibition that is open to the public.[3]

The village of Caux [4] is known as a destination for tourists en route to the Rochers de Naye and the Col de Jaman. This is a popular area for birdwatchers, as it lies along a major migration flyway for birds heading south in the autumn.


  1. ^ Initiatives of Change - Building trust across the world's divides
  2. ^ Douglas Johnston and Cynthia Sampson, Religion, the Missing Dimension of Statecraft, Oxford University Press, 1994
  3. ^ [1]

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Coordinates: 46°25′58″N 6°56′12″E / 46.43278°N 6.93667°E / 46.43278; 6.93667