Château de Chillon

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Château de Chillon
Castle of Chillon N.jpg
View from the north with the Dents du Midi in background
Château de Chillon is located in Switzerland
Château de Chillon
Location within Switzerland
General information
Classification Historic monument
Town or city Veytaux
Country Switzerland
Coordinates 46°24′51″N 6°55′39″E / 46.414167°N 6.9275°E / 46.414167; 6.9275

The Château de Chillon (Chillon Castle) is an island castle located on Lake Geneva, south of Veytaux in the canton of Vaud. It is situated at the eastern end of the lake, on the narrow shore between Montreux and Villeneuve, which gives access to the Alpine valley of the Rhone. The castle consists of 100 independent buildings that were gradually connected to become the building as it stands now[citation needed]. Chillon is amongst the most visited castles in Switzerland and Europe.[1]


View from the south

The oldest parts of the castle have not been definitively dated, but the first written record of the castle is in 1005.[2] It was built to control the road from Burgundy to the Great Saint Bernard Pass[3] From the mid 12th century, the castle was home to the Counts of Savoy, and it was greatly expanded in 1248[4] by Peter II.[5] During the 16th century Wars of Religion, it was used by the dukes of Savoy to house prisoners.[6] 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 three major periods: the Savoy Period, the Bernese Period, and the Vaudois Period.[7]


Chillon is currently open to the public for visits and tours. According to the castle website, Chillon is listed as "Switzerland's most visited historic monument".[8] There is a fee for entrance and there are both parking spaces and a bus stop nearby for travel. 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.[9]

See also[edit]

Chromolithograph of Chillon by Helga von Cramm with a Havergal prayer, hymn or poem, c. 1878.


  1. ^ Mc Currach, Ian (27 April 2003). "One Hour From: Geneva". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  2. ^ According to publication Chillon by Auguste Guignard (former secretary of the Association for the Restoration of the Chillon Castle), published by Ruckstuhl SA (Renens, Switzerland) in 1996: "The oldest historical document relating to Chillon bears the date 1005, and from this it is seen that the castle belonged to the bishops of Sion, who confided its care to the d'Alinge family."
  3. ^ de Fabianis, p. 175.
  4. ^ de Fabianis, p. 175.
  5. ^ Cox 1967, p. 20.
  6. ^ de Fabianis, p. 175.
  7. ^ "Château de Chillon - History overview". Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  8. ^ "Chillon Website - Main Page". Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  9. ^ "Chillon Website - Rooms". Retrieved 2013-01-13. 


  • Cox, Eugene L. (1967). The Green Count of Savoy. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. LCCN 67-11030. 
  • de Fabianis, Valeria, ed. (2013). Castles of the World. New York: Metro Books.  ISBN 978-1-4351-4845-1

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°24′51″N 6°55′39″E / 46.41417°N 6.92750°E / 46.41417; 6.92750