Dwight Peck's personal website
Château of Chillon
may be neater medieval castles somewhere, but if you think so, try convincing
somebody who's seen this one!!
photographs to accompany earlier walks through Chillon (here).
dungeons of Chillon (night-vision goggles on) -- BYRON's dungeon as it were, or BONIVARD's dungeon. Early on the Chillon tour,
we descend into the semi-sub-lakelevel dungeon where Bonivard was chained to a
pillar for six years in the 1530s and Lord Byron scratched his name on the same
pillar whilst being inspired to write his moving minor epic poem The
Prisoner of Chillon during, I suppose, his 1816 residence in the region.
a gazillion previous visits to Chillon, the narrator has tried to photograph Bonivard's
dungeon and it always came out utterly black. This time, however, in September
2003, daughter Alison's fancy Sony digital camera flipped into infrared
or night-vision mode or whatever it is (like US Special
Forces use in Afghanistan to locate wedding parties), and here -- finally
-- is a view of the Chillon dungeon.
a view of the pillar, near where some chap or chappesse could conveniently be
shackled. Byron's signature graffiti is protected under glass now. He didn't write
his famous poem here, of course -- he visited frequently for inspiration, no doubt,
but wrote the poem whilst seated comfortably on the terrace of an hotel in the
Lausanne port of Ouchy, an hotel now named . . . the Hotel
CRYPT -- a Carolingian era crypt, no less (i.e.,
8th-9th century) -- in the foundations of one of the towers. Dwight and Satoki
assessing its cryptness (left); Alison's night-vision camera (right)
and her camera rising from the crypt
rooms in the main block of the castle
well-stocked castle kitchen -- cooking utensils and crossbows on the wall.
loo (suspended out over the lake), with companionable side-by-side seating (another
old tradition we've lost)
first courtyard, just inside the gatehouse, from opposite sides (above and below).
inside of the walls on the landward side, on a rainy day in September 2003. The
scaffolding has to do with still more excellent restorations.
inside of the landward wall on the right, the glacis of the older outside wall
on the left.
a rampart walkway from the gatehouse up into the castle keep about a third of
the way up, D. and A. Peck wield duelling cameras and A. Peck wins.
Swiss engineering marvel (upper left), the elevated A9 autoroute (highway) high
above the lake at its narrowest approach to the mountains, heading from Lausanne
and Berne towards Italy. Below the highway, the Route Suisse or "lake road"
(which leads off left towards Geneva) and the main railroad line between Paris
and Rome. This is where it all comes together, at
Veytaux next to Montreux. Seen from top floor of the castle keep.
and Satoki having scrambled up five or six stories of the keep or donjon to the
gatehouse tower and the covered rampart walkway leading up to the keep.
gatehouse and main entrance . . . well, the ONLY entrance . . . on a rainy day,
the keep looming in the background.
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 13 December 2003, revised 26 November 2012, 19 September 2019.