Montreux Riviera and Tourism
19 December 2022
More than two centuries before the ‘famous’ fire in the Casino of Montreux on 4 December 1971, Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) wrote his Nouvelle Héloïse in 1761. Lord Byron (1788-1824) wrote his Prisonnier de Chillon in 1816.
Both works were of significant influence on the reputation of the village of Montreux (canton of Vaud) among the European beau monde.
Chillon is located a few kilometres from Montreux; Rousseau wrote enthusiastically about nature in Switzerland, including the region by Lake Geneva.
The region became one of the first tourist destinations in Switzerland. From 1840 onwards, the first Grand Hotels, casinos, restaurants and later golf courses, tennis courts and other facilities for tourists appeared.
Until the Second World War, Montreux was one of the top destinations for the aristocracy, artists, politicians, top athletes, film stars and other public personalities.
Freddie Mercury (1946-1991), Gustave Coubert (1819-1877), Fjodor Michajlovitsj Dostojevski (1821-1881), Keizerin Sisi (1837-1898), Ignacy Paderewski (1860-1941), Henryk Sienkiewics (1846-1916), Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977), Carl Gustaf Emil von Mannerheim (1867-1951) or Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923) lived or died in this city or were regular visitors.
After the Second World War, many musicians found their way to Montreux.
The world-famous hit “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple (Smoke on the Water) was written in Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva (lac Léman).