This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
CHÂTEAU DE CHILLON: The Timeless, Tantalizing Jewel of Lake Geneva


Story by Brooke Carbo Photos by Emma Bissell


Majestically perched on a rocky bank of Lake Gene-


va, the Château de Chillon is framed by soaring alpine peaks to the east and the glamorous skyline of the Swiss Riviera to the west. Dating back as early as 1150 A.D., Chillon’s distinctive silhouette is as sure a fi xture on the Geneva shoreline as the sun setting on its French hori- zon. Every year over 300,000 visitors tour the castle, mak-


ing it the most popular historical landmark in Switzer- land, according to the monument’s website. Although Chillon’s resplendent beauty may draw tourists in, there is a history to rival that of Switzerland itself waiting on the other side of the castle doors. Maud Jenni, an art historian and guide for the Fonda-


tion du Château de Chillon of three years, said the castle is one of the oldest in Switzerland. “T is castle is unique,” she said. “It was not built by


dukes or kings. It was built by churchmen.” T e modest island of rock that serves as its founda-


tion was chosen for two reasons: its strategic location and natural protection. “It was the only way to cross Switzerland from France


to Italy,” Jenni said. “T ere is lake all around one side of the castle, a big mountain all around the other side.” T e original structure consisted of only the First


Keep, still the dominating feature of its profi le, and the surrounding grounds. T e extensive network of turrets, bastions and watchtowers seen today is the product of three distinct periods of occupation — by the Savoy from as early as 1150 until 1536, the Bernese from 1536 until 1798 and the State of Vaud from 1798 onwards. Jenni attributed the remarkable preservation of even the oldest structures to the relative peace of each transfer of power. Kaye Sterling of Wisconsin visited Chillon on her


eighth tour of Europe and found it to be quite impres- sive. “It’s the most wonderful, most intact castle I’ve really ever seen,” she said.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124