As I teeter through the ruins of my sleep patterns towards the end of the term, there seems to be just about time tonight to attack the blog backlog! And that puts me up against the last set of photos from last year’s trip to Switzerland, in which I and my companion sought out the lakeside castle of Chillon. To do this, we took a train along the shore of Lac Léman as far as Montreux and then, with a certain amount of error margin, a bus the rest of the way and finished up looking at this.
There was, deep within the buildings, a really useful room of interpretation with phase diagrams on the walls that allowed me to get a vague sense of how things got this way. At some point before 1000 someone enclosed a hammerhead peninsula into the lake and stuck a tower at the near end, left as you’re looking here; after a little while a chapel turned up on the far end, but outside the enclosure so as to be accessible from the shoreline settlement; in the early eleventh century the initial tower and some buildings were replaced by a big quadrangular central donjon; the near end then got a new, square tower and the outer sides of the peninsula were sloped into a glacis for the enclosure; and after that, alas, I seem to have stopped paying attention but I guess people slowly filled things in. At some point, quite late on, a new curtain wall enclosed the chapel and its surrounding buildings and now there’s really quite a lot of it.
I took about a hundred and ten photos; processing them and discarding blurs and duplicates still left me with eighty-odd; by great strength of will I have whittled it down to twenty-four to show you. I won’t try and sustain a commentary, though; you just have to go and see…
Back upstairs now!
At last you have to climb the donjon tower. No, you do. Save some breath!
As you can see, it is never hard to find the lake; even the prison has windows against whose sills you can imagine that the water is lapping…
In the end, though, even this castle ultimately has some pretty tough competition for dominating local scenery…
My thoughts exactly when I made a visit several years ago. I was greatly impressed. The wife, not so much.
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