on February 24, 2006
Chateau de Chillon is a wonderfully preserved 900 year-old castle, in a stunning setting on Lake Leman at the opposite end of the lake from the city of Geneva.This is one castle where you really come for the beautiful setting more than the history. Unless you're Swiss, or a big fan of the author Lord Byron (who wrote a poem about Chillon's most famous prisoner which was quite well-known in its time), you've probably never heard of any of the history.Its history isn't concerned with the usual kings, emperors, etc. of other European sites, but it doesn't matter too much.It is a good castle to explore around, climbing its tower, seeing its dungeons, and walking through its great halls.I liked the paintings of the coats of arms of all the rulers of the chateau on the walls of one room.With your admission, they provide a nice leaflet for a self-guided tour, describing each of the rooms. If you happen to get there at the right time, they do give guided tours for an extra CHF 6 (admission was CHF 10).Chillon is easily reached as a day trip from Geneva in one of several ways. You can drive it in an hour or so, or take the train to Montreux, then switch to a local train that takes you just a short walk from the castle. Tour buses also go here from Geneva with pretty pricey tours. The drive is mostly expressway, and is very nice, with the lake on one side of you and vineyard covered hillsides on the other.They have a website, www.chillon.ch which tells you everything you would want to know about getting there and its history.Allow at least an hour or two to explore it fully.
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