Dwight Peck's personal website

Castles in Switzerland

The Château of Chillon

There may be neater medieval castles somewhere, but if you think so, try convincing somebody who's seen this one!!

If in your present frame of mind if any, you prefer not to see photographs of a walk through the Castle of Chillon, Switzerland, then you need to go somewhere else. Not here.

Marlowe goes to Chillon. Twice.

Marlowe Tyson Peck, tongue hanging out again, visits the Château de Chillon for the first of many times in November 1986, at the age of TWO.

Marlowe inspects fish with her Mum on the pier at Chillon, 1986.

Marlowe cavorting merrily at Chillon, her first visit, in 1986. Chillon sits on a piece of rock just off the coast of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) near Montreux in Switzerland, and served throughout the Middle Ages Etc. as a customs toll booth on steroids, since all travelers, merchants, pilgrims, schoolkids, ornithologists, rugby players, and invading armies had to pass right along where Marlowe is here cavorting merrily, and pay their dues.

And now she's back -- Chillon on Marlowe's annual Christmas visit to the Old Dad, 2002, this time with Young Dima in tow.

Chillon's had a major face-lift in the intervening years, a strengthening of the whole thing and extensions of the walkable routes inside. That's welcome foresightedness, these days.

Marlowe and her Dima pose in front of the landward walls and the moat, December 2002.

Chillon's had one previous brief exciting episode before Marlowe's visit -- during the Reformation troubles of the 1530s, Bonivard, a religious guy on the wrong side, got locked up in the dungeons here, and languished for six years in a pretty nasty semi-sub-lake-level room hollowed out of the rock, then got sprung by the Bernese, probably grinning foolishly and drooling by that time.

Byron wrote one of his many elaborate catch-penny poems on the subject, The Prisoner of Chillon -- in fact, he wrote it whilst sipping excellent coffee on the terraces of the lakeside hotels in Ouchy (Lausanne), and indeed he supposedly carved his name into one of the pillars in the Chillon dungeon, somebody did anyway, and it's covered in inviolable plastic now.

One line of this ponderous poem I will never forget, a perverse invocation of the Stockholm Syndrome -- after six years attached to this pillar, Bonivard says "My very chains and I grew friends". Pick a better metaphor for the USA today!

Marlowe smirks from the balcony of the Great Hall (2002);
The Old Dad smirked from the balcony of the Great Hall (1979).

The third courtyard, the keep on the left.

Marlowe and her best pal Dima. The second courtyard.

Dima and Marlowe in the Lords' Hall and armoury exhibit

Marlowe on the window seat

Marlowe and the Old Dad

The rampart walk behind the lakeside walls, the original glacis on the left

Marlowe and Dima, on the top floor of the central castle keep, discussing computer games

Views from the keep

The classic synoptic view of the whole pile.

One of Marlowe's favorite castles.

Marlowe's visits to Chillon, 1986 and 2002

Alison's visit to Chillon, 2003

Marlowe's supplementary views, 2007

Alison and Mark at Chillon, 2009

Marlowe & William at Chillon, 2012

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 24 February 2003, revised 25 November 2012, 8 September 2014.

Marlowe Tyson Peck