Montreux Switzerland is a fantastic place to go skiing, the perfect place to spend the Christmas holiday, and a prime destination for Jazz and other music lovers, but it is also a very cultured place with a very rich history. The town is located at the foot of some very famous mountains and alongside one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland. The small, quaint Swiss town has a rather small population, with not even 30,000 inhabitants in the town itself, but the sweeping views of the spectacular scenery are anything but small.
While some people visit Montreux strictly to ski the Swiss Alps, and others visit the town because it is the perfect place for a romantic holiday getaway, almost everyone who visits Montreux cannot help but be at least a little bit interested in the history of town as well. As soon as visitors arrive in the town they immediately notice the large number of old Swiss chalets that are all over Montreux, and this alone makes visitors want to embark on a historical tour of the rest of the town. Fortunately for those who do want to learn about Montreux’s history there are a number of different places where they can go to learn all different things about the town’s history that they may not have known.
Although settlements have been discovered to have existed in the Montreux area long before, the history of the town of Montreux itself dates back as far as at least 1215 when the town was first mentioned in the form of the similar name Mustruel. Montreux did not really start to grow as a city, though, until it was sold in 1295 and began to be split up a little later between 1309 and 1317. Over the years following the town changed hands and geographical make-up multiple times before finally ending up being what it is today. And it is no wonder so many thousands of travelers end up visiting Montreux Switzerland every year. If you are one of those people that loves history and sees your trip to Montreux as an opportunity to take a historical journey then there are a few places in particular that you will want to pay a visit to.
- Chateau de Chillon – If there is one place that has to do with Montreux history that you must see then it is definitely Chateau de Chillon. This 1000 plus year old castle may be a little bit outside of the town of Montreux but it is well worth the trip to go see it. There are castles in other towns across the world, but the Chateau de Chillon is a special sight to see. The castle is definitely reminiscent of ancient Swiss architecture, with both beauty and austerity. It sits on the shore of Lake Geneva and guests can tour both the inside as well as the beautiful grounds outside of the castle. Throughout you will find amazing examples of period furniture and other ancient wares. And guests can learn a little bit about what Montreux used to be like long ago. This alone will be enough to satisfy your craving for all things historic, but it doesn’t have to because there are other great sites to visit that tell Montreux history.
- Old Montreux – Old Montreux could possibly end up being your very favorite parts of Montreux. The charm of the old town alone is enough to take you back into time and see a different side of Montreux, but when you actually visit some of the shops, restaurants, and old chalets in the village only then will you truly realize the value of such an old town. If a stroll through the old town is not enough to make you want to go there, though, then you will be delighted to find out that there is often something going on in the Old Montreux as well. All sorts of festivals, including the famed Christmas Market, and other gatherings take place here because the setting is not only reminiscent of old Montreux, but also because the old town is just simply beautiful. This is the place to be if you really want to get a feel for Swiss culture and history.
- The Museum of Montreux – Finally, if you want an opportunity to really learn about Swiss culture, as well as the cultures that came before Montreux was Montreux then you surely have to pay a visit to the Museum of Montreux. The museum covers multiple years of Montreux history and is ideal for all ages, and a great educational experience for children that you may have in tow. The best thing is that the museum is only a short walk from the village so you can go anytime during your stay, and the price is considerably low, something that you do not often see in Montreux. Add to that the fact that the building that the museum is housed in is a piece of history alone, and the fact that there is a delightful little restaurant at the museum and you can see why it is so worth visiting.
There is history all over Montreux, to be sure, but these three places offer a particularly well-rounded view of the history of Montreux. You should not limit yourself to only these places but they should definitely be included in your Montreux historical tour.