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Chateau de Chillon

Listed under Castles & Palaces in France.

  • Photo of Chateau de Chillon
  • Photo of Chateau de Chillon
  • Photo of Chateau de Chillon
Photo of Chateau de Chillon
Photo by flickr user Pear Biter
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Picturesque photos of this castle are plentiful and its tall simple white walls and pointed roofs and backdrop of Swiss mountain peaks and Lake Geneva may be familiar to you.

Built on the very edge of the lake on an island, its walls are heavily fortified on all sides save those facing over the water which are ornate with arched pillars and romantic balconies. The Counts of Savoy, who were Italian knights, lived here and kept watch over this important European trade and travel route and it became famous during the 19th century for the romantic literature it inspired in the likes of Shelly, Byron and Alexandre Dumas.

It is thought to have been built from the ground up on top of a vast dungeon complex, that has been carved into the rock of the jagged atoll and graceful pillars support the high roofs and the rest of the chateau. Above ground twenty five buildings comprise the castle, with tall towers built around three open courtyards in the medieval style. The spot on which the castle has been built has long been inhabited, but the first castle was built here around 1150 and took its current form after much extension during the 13th Century.

I highly recommend that you take a guided tour to get the greatest appreciation of the place and its history, one of the chateaus buildings has been renovated into a museum which houses the castles art treasures. It is especially nice to arrive at the castle via boat.

Written by  Kynan Wieltz.

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