“Lake Leman Lies by Chillon’s Walls”

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

188 thoughts on ““Lake Leman Lies by Chillon’s Walls”

      1. 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.

  1. 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!

    1. 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!!!

  2. 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!

    1. 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!

  3. 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!

    1. 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~

  4. 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.

  5. 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 🙂

    1. 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~

      1. 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. 🙂

    1. 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!

    1. 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.

  6. 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.

    1. 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~

  7. 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!

    1. 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!

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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!! 😉

    1. 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

    1. 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~

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. And 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.

        Night night.

  14. 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!!

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