Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley visited Montreux Switzerland in 1816 and sailed on Lake Geneva, then called Lake Leman. Byron toured Chillon Castle which stands on the lake, and wrote his poem, “The Prisoner of Chillon,” about Francois Bonivard who was imprisoned in Chillon’s dungeons from 1532 -1536.
“There are seven pillars of gothic mould,
in Chillon’s dungeons deep and cold.”
“There are seven columns, mossy and grey,
Dim with a dull imprisoned ray”
(The dungeon is below.)
“They chained us each to column stone,
And we were three, yet each alone”
You can see the columns and just make out the iron loops for the chains towards the bottom of the closest one. A class of bored school children were listening to their teacher. She droned on way too long. If one just read the more gruesome lines of Byron’s poem and let the kids explore the dungeon, I bet they’d be hooked on poetry for life! I speak terrible French, but I swear I heard the teacher, say, “Listen Johann, you will be tested on this!” Laughing, there was nothing that would have made me listen less, but I digress…..
Chillon castle was home to the counts of Savoy from the mid 12th century.
The oldest bedroom in the castle has 14th century medieval murals.
Montreux and Lake Geneva are beautiful. There is an old city center that is fun to explore and lots of wonderful restaurants. We bid farewell to Switzerland now, as we head back to Germany.
Cheers to you from Sweet Suise!
Quotations from “The Prisoner of Chillon,” Lord Byron 1816.
For more on Bonivard check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois_Bonivard
Cindy you’re having the time of your life, way to go.
One must live one’s life now! You never know what coming next! Cheers to you Ranu~
What a stunning place—wonderful photography 🙂
Awwww, very kind and most appreciated! Happy weekend~
The photos are great,I loved the post !
Yay!!! Makes me happy! Cheers to you~
So little time; So much to learn. Thank you for taking us there today and back in time.
Thank you for coming with me Wally. You really do make the trip better! Be well my friend~
Cheers to you as well, Cindy, and many thanks for this terrific post! 🙂
More thanks to you my friend for the kind appreciation!
Fantastic photos! Interesting mix of rough and smooth stonework in the construction.
Thanks Timothy and I noticed this too and assumed the smooth surfaces were newer, but I am not certain about this…..
Some of the plastered sections my be newer, but there doesn’t seem to be a style change from the areas you photographed, so I would guess most of the work is within a similar time period.
Interesting, it is a most fascinating place to explore, Byron obviously thought so too~
I am loving my virtual vacation…hope I brought enough underwear!
Laughing….laughing more! This is always an issue on vacation!!! Still laughing~
Glad I made you smile because you always make me…have a wonderful weekend.
I hope the rest of your trip is as picture perfect Cindy
So far so good and we’re almost done! Cheers to you & thanks too~
Did you eat pounds of fabulous chocolate while you were in Switzerland? Love the photos.
No, I did that in Belgium to excess, so except for the Rosti I have been good in Switzerland! :'(
I’ve read the poem but never seen this fabulous castle. Thanks for great pics. And your digression makes lots of sense!!
Oh good, so happy you enjoyed both. And yes, the poem makes the castle even more special. Thanks Byron! 😉
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (soon to be Shelley, daughter of early feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin)) was likely with them and reportedly conceived her idea here for Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (“Frahnken-steen!” as Gene Wilder so aptly puts it in the movie Young Frankenstein (1974)). Beautiful place!
Frankenstein is really one of my favorite books of all time. So powerful and moving. And Mary Shelley, what an amazing woman.
And then of course you transition smoothly to Gene Wilder in Mel Brooke’s Young Frankenstein. Oh now you have me laughing remembering Madeline Kahn. These comments rock!!!
Oooh, Chillons!!! I thought I fell in love with the place when we visited there… Your beautiful photos made me fall in love the second time. Thank you, Cindy!
It’s truly wonderful isn’t it? One of the best I have seen! So happy to share that experience with you Amy~
Only those condos were not there…
Love your photographies
Love the fact that you do! Thank you~
I agree with you, Cindy. Give the children Lord Bryon’s verse and then let them explore.
Exactly, Byron can clearly speak for himself!
Have posted Bryon’s poem along with one of your images with a link to this page. Hope you don’t mind.
This makes me want to take a vacation! Beautiful.
Oh I hope you do and post about it too!
Lovely post! Lake Geneva ist magnificent. Wonder where you are heading for in Germany now…
Have a wonderful weekend, Dina
Oh yes Lake Geneva is just stunning. Montreux is too. My visit in Germany is kind of a surprise, a lesser visited place, except by Germans who do visit. It will be in my next post to please stay tuned & have a fantabulis weekend!
Now I’m even more curious! 😮
Happy and safe travels, Cindy!
Have a wonderful week and talk to you soon!
Ah, the mysterious dungeon…enjoyed the travelogue.
It was a very dungeony dungeon, with the sound of lake water lapping just like Byron wrote….
As always, your pictures are breathtaking, Cindy! And how eerie to be in that dungeon and still be able to make out the loops where the chains were.
Yes, and imagine being chained down there for years. Pretty horrific, although I have seen even worse medieval dungeons, those awful obliettes….if one can rate dungeons!!!
I completely agreed about reading the gruesome lines to the children and let them explore the place. That really makes the place come alive.
The view of the city on the lake looks fantastic!
Thank you my friend. It is such a beautiful place and so is the castle but not the dungeon where I did not linger long!
I can’t help but think about Mary Shelley’s epic literary contribution, Frantenstein, when I think of Lake Geneva. Beautiful photos, and a wonderful historical and literary lesson.
Yes indeed! One of my all time favorite books! What a woman she was to write that book at that time. Still impresses the hell out of me. So glad you feel as I do and thank you too~
How beautiful! The murals and architecture are so amazing as well as the water. 🙂
Thank you! It is a gorgeous place. Have a good weekend~
You too 🙂
Great timing on this gorgeous moment!!
Thanks for taking me with you on your journeys
Having you along makes the trip more fun! Cheers to you~
Love the photos, history and quotes of Lord Byron. I have heard he is a favorite poet to many and such beautiful words. Very poetic to go with the wonderful photos.
So happy you enjoyed and thank you for your very kind words! Cheers to you~
What a beautiful castle! I love the places you see and share with us! Hugz Lisa and Bear
Hugz back at you Lisa and Bear too, of course!
I love this post Cindy, Chillon Castle is so interesting……and old! Great photos.
I am so glad you do and grateful too! Have a great weekend!
Such beautiful scenery! I love the flowers that are everywhere, even in the castle! Thanks for the history and poetry lesson and taking us with you on the tour!
Thank you more for the thoughtful comment and kind appreciation~
I could sit beside Lake Geneva for days and never move. What a beautiful peaceful place.
Thi sis such an amazing place.
I really was thinking, hmmmm…..what would it take to move here. It’s a short drive to the Alps too, with a relatively mild climate.
I can see armored knights riding through the castle gates on their chargers…, and archers on the walls. What a great photo essay, Cindy…., kudos ! Now to Germany for some isenwein and auslese. Enjoy , Cuz 🙂
And schnitzel too!! You are so right about the knights, there is a room with nights in armour that cast shadows on the walls. I took photos, but the room had two small windows, one of which was emitting too much light. I fiddled with it, but couldn’t fix it, other wise I would have put it in and you would have your “Knights of Chillon Castle!” As usual you are right on the mark Paul! Cheers to you and be well~
Oh, my !!! How could I ever forget the schnitzel ?!!?
Trust me I am not forgetting it!!! 😛
What great shots. You are making my feet itchy. 🙂
Oh good, where WILL you go? Enquiring minds want to know~
Well I thought I might venture down the shops :-D.
Next year I was thinking of the Channel Islands. Jersey, Guernsey, Sark (only tractors, bikes and horse drawn buggies) and the extraordinary Scilly Isles. 🙂
Oh that sounds like perfection! I hope you do go!
Ha, those poor students needed a dose of inspiration…like your beautiful photographs, for instance!
Oh, you are very kind and yes, students this age are so much fun to teach, if you love what you are doing with a passion!
Cindy, very interesting post. Thank you for sharing your travel with us. Hugs! Veraiconica
Thank you for coming along Veraiconica, you make my trip more fun! <3
What a beautiful place to visit. .. I love the photos. .
I hope you visit someday soon. I think I am going to get a better camera for Africa. It is our next planned trip, and since this one is about to end, I’m already thinking about it!
Wow fabulous and thanks for the info!
So happy you enjoyed and the best to you!
Absolutely gorgeous 🙂
Awwwww, so kind!
Beautiful. Your posts remind me how small the world I occupy often is.
Thinking of the song now! No matter where I travel, now matter how far or different, I am always struck by the common core of people. We are one world, one people, with similar hope and love.
Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
Have celebrated some landmark anniversaries and birthdays beside this lake. In Switzerland even the graffiti is tasteful, the chocolates devine and the scenery stunning. Thank you Cindy for continuing to take us along for the ride.
Ahhhh, thank you for your kindness my friend. Your memories I can tell are quite lovely just like Lake Geneva and beautiful Montreux! Cheers & be well~
You too Cindy -safe travels.
Well captured. Reminds me of my short visit to Geneva in June this year!
It is a remarkably beautiful country isn’t it! So glad you visited and cheers to you!
Yes. Mother Nature has been indeed very kind to the denizens of that country!
Allow me to share this post with you, concerning our Geneva visit: http://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/getting-connected-to-global-peace-and-harmony/
Cindy, I have thoroughly enjoyed your trip through Europe. Wonderful photos and commentary!
Well, I appreciate your very kind comment and am so glad you have traveled along with me!
Stunning photographs. <3
Merci beaucoup mon ami!
Soyez le bienvenu. ~(~_*)~~
The castle was magnificent and so wonderfully photographed, Cindy! I love the serenity in the first photo, with the blues so gorgeous. I wish I could just float away on a small boat, drifting along there for awhile. . . I find this interesting that Lake Geneva was once called, Lake Leman. I learn and feel transported, in each of your posts, Cindy.
You are such a wonderful blogging friend! I look forward to reading your cheerful posts and am so lucky to have people like you in my life! <3
Beautiful! It’s amazing how much history there is there. Keep ’em coming!
It is always an eerie feeling to walk in places that are this old! It’s like a bit of time travel. I do love it and am so glad you are enjoying it too!
Wow, stunning photos. What a beautiful trip. 🙂
Well, thank you kindly for your thoughtful comments!
Totally tempting Cindy! While it is very beautiful, I get the feeling I would need to see it in the summer as I don’t do cold! 🙂
Next fall would be good, or late spring perhaps, before or after the peak tourist season is my favorite time!
It is lovely but the cold and I just do not get along! 😉
One of my favorite posts of your travels Cindy – appreciating the areas’ history through your lens is perfect. The architecture is fantastic.
Awwww, so kind and very happy you enjoyed. Thank you! Like most of Canada, Switzerland is so beautiful it is actually hard to take a bad photo. It gives Canadians and the Swiss a photographic advantage! It really does! Lucky folks~
Hard to beat Byron, a fascinating castle, and a beautiful lake. –Curt
Put them all together and you have pure romance, a place that is “practically perfect in every way!” 😉
Chillon is chilling! What a great place to make a Dracula movie. (or Frankenstein)! Great shots. Thank you, Cindy!
I see a fancy dress ball there with all the women in your art gowns, candle light and torch light. Perfection!
I love the photos of Switzerland and the Byron quotes along with the place. Really inspiring and you certainly are having a very grand tour of Europe.love the fat birds too, baby sparrows? Take care and enjoy!
I am so glad you enjoyed and appreciate your thoughtful comments!
This is definitely the stuff of fairy tales! “Wish I was there” with you.
Wish you were too Dor! Heading back to The Holler soon though, before the air gets too nippy! Back to drought and perpetual sunshine~
I was going to say – what a peaceful shot and so it is but then I read about the gruesome history – thank you for this
Trust me. I selected the more benign stanzas. Byron really did the dungeon justice, but I didn’t want to depress anyone. Thank you for the appreciation!
What perfect blues in the first picture. So soothing… calming. Just the kind of thing i needed to see right now. Hugs!
Ahhhhh, so glad. Sending cheers and hugz to you!
What a chilling, yet fascinating place. That first photo is so serene! 🙂
It really is a beautiful castle. All the castles had dungeons, and errrrr …….people who were in them! It was all part of the middle ages I guess. Can you imagine eating dinner with prisoners in the dungeon? I think I would prefer a cottage!
I love how you have caught the light on those beautiful flowers the colour and delicacy really make a contrast to the surrounding buildings. Lovely composition Cindy
Awwww, thank you for looking so closely Pauline!
What an astonishing post. Thank you, Cindy!
What a kind comment! Thank you~
Aaaaaa, the Swiss…….gotta love place, I like to call it little castles, the buildings look like they have come out some fantasy child type of movie, the little town houses do have something to them. Not a lot of skycrapers there, which in one sense is good since I don´t look up constantly and end up with neck pain.
I am with you on skyscrapers, the Swiss does countryside looks like a beautiful fairy tale! Cheers to you my friend and be well~
wollte noch mal schauen, so schön ist das, schönen Sonntag, Klaus
Sie sind sehr freundlich ! Danke !
That castle is just spellbinding. And the view of those mountains in the distance – wow! Cheers, Cindy.
So happy you enjoyed it as I did Halim and cheers back to you my friend~
Wieder wunderschöne Fotos ich wünsche einen schönen Sonntag und gute neue Woche lieber Gruß von mir Gislinde
Sie sind ein guter Freund Gislinde ! Vielen Dank !
A lovely place, Cindy. You photos are gorgeous. 🙂
You are most kind and most appreciated my friend. Good luck with the new home improvement project~
Awesome castle! But I wouldn’t want to be chained up in that dungeon! I feel for those school children…”Test” is a dirty word at the moment as it also applies in my workplace and so far it’s not going at all well 😉 If I’m lucky I might still have a job at the end of it all! If not I will probably be chained up in that very dungeon you talk about here!! 😉
Eeeeks! Retirement is the only long term solution to such a job I am afraid. But they will never succeed in chaining you my friend. Let them try, Wolfie will eat them. Besides your mind flies high and clear in your blog and can never be chained. Let us know who dares to try such and we will bury them in bloggery!!! 🙂
Seriously, if they don’t appreciate YOU, then they suck.
That is just my professional clinical opinion~
You can tell I was good at my job. I was, and I am right about this!!! <3
The colors are still vibrant on the 14th century murals, which is amazing to see!
This was a ceiling and I am not sure if it is of the same time period as the murals which I have photos of also. I am not sure of the century. Still this is an old castle and these are old ceilings and I agree with you, they are amazing. Thank you and cheers too~
Yikes on the story … but on-my-gosh wonderful on the location!!!!
Yes, exactly my reaction!!!
Such a paradisiacal place dear Cindy. Wonderful photos!. Sending you love, Aquileana 😛
Sending it back to you my friend with appreciation too!
This took me straight back to going round Chillon when I was 7 or 8. It made a great impression on me and was the first postcard I ever bought! RH ps my father had Byron’s room at Trinity, Cambridge. I hoped to follow suit but the room allocations by the time I was at Trinity didn’t work out for me, sadly!
What an amazing history! It would really be special to have Byron’s room! Did it induce poetic inspiration in your father??? 😉
amazing pictures, Cindy! sending hugs from baldy x
Thank you so much for the appreciation and hugz back to you!
danke für deinen Besuch, eine gute Woche, Klaus
Vielen danke! Freundlich!
Not only did I read and hear this post- I felt it! Thank you.
Oh that is lovely! Thank you!
Oh I just love this! I’ve always had a love of castles as well as a love of Byron’s poetry. It’s almost magical to be able to see these pictures while reading some… 😀
So glad you love Byron too and yes it is wonderful to read and actually see where the poor prisoner was held! Cheers to you and thank you too~
whew, that dungeon looks very scary. Thanks so much for this tour of Switzerland, I’m sad to see it go, but I think Germany will be great too. 😀
So happy you enjoyed my friend and yes Germany is always wonderful too!
Such beautiful work Cindy ~ and Switzerland is this great place of beauty I’ve long admired…thanks for the tour!
Thank you more for the thoughtful comments my friend!
I was just at Lake Constance in July ~ so these posts took me back to the beauty (and incredible food)! Cheers!
Ahhhhh, yes!! Beauty and food, worth traveling a long way for!!!! 😉
I am always moved by what you share… the images always leave me breathless, along with your words such a delight to embrace. But I also wanted to let you know something that is not said enough…thank you for always blessing me with your visits…they are priceless blessings to me Cindy. God has allowed many in this world to become sisters and brothers through his genuine and selfless love. You are one of those gems! God bless you and thank you always!
Awwwww, so kind of you Wendell and so appreciated too! Thank you~
Fascinating to explore the history behind the poetry. It’s eerie and moving but also beautiful in your photos. Thanks for sharing.
Such a kind and thoughtful comment! Merci beaucoup~
Wow! Stunning! I love the way the columns emerge out of solid rock!
Good eyes! Yes the whole castle is built on this irregular rock island!
Those folk were tough back then! No auto anything and yet…
look what they create!
Images of that bring the the desire to live beautifully. Thank you!
Oh that makes them more worthwhile! Thank you so much~
Great photos brought to life by the poem you were clever enough to add…those kids should have had you for a guide.
I would have loved it! I used to teach my kids science olympiad teams and it was such a blast! Thanks so much and cheers to you~
Love the flying buttresses.
Gorgeous structures aren’t they! I do too~
Poor Bonivard imprisoned in those dungeons for four years, never able to see the beauty of the surrounding waters and views. I bet it was extra damp in those dungeons.
What is it with some teachers — that they can bore children silly with something that could be made interesting if delivered in a more entertaining style?
That is a million dollar question! I think either they are unexcited about the subject or just plain burned out. It is so fun to teach kids, but I imagine that day in and day out, year after year, one might get quite tired of it.
That first shot is dreamy, Cindy! And then the harsh reality of Chillon and the dungeons. I’ll keep my head in the clouds, I think 🙂
Better than in a dungeon any day!
After dreamy and scary and harsh realities the blue water is soothing washing away all worries 🙂
Oh so glad and cheers to you too! <3
I really should have looked closer at your blog when I first followed. I’m loving it all. Thank you 🙂
So glad! We have some similar traveling history so it is great to know you!
I have a few posts in drafts that are relating to my recent trip to Switzerland and Italy. I’ve been waiting ages for my husband to go through all the pics (5000 in total) and choose some for me to use, but he’s not had the time. I’ll probably end up just posting the review with only a few images at this rate.
Lovely to make your acquaintance.
Right time for me to go to bed.
Lovely to meet you too and look forward to your posts and photos!
Beautiful photos of a fascinating place! It’s incredible how some teachers can turn something that kids should enjoy into something dull – takes a talent of sorts!!
Laughing, yes maybe we can call it a reverse talent! 😉
Pingback: “Lake Leman Lies by Chillon’s Walls” | penpowersong