Chillon and the Prisoner
15 August 2023
Lord Byron (1788-1824) wrote 1816 in his poem “The Prisoner of Chillon” :
Lake Leman lies by Chillon´s walls:
A thousand feet in depth below
Its massy waters meet and flow;
Thus much the fathom-line was sent
From Chillon´s snow-white battlement,
Which round about the wave enthrals:
A double dungeon wall and wave
Below the surface of the lake
The dark vault lies wherein we lay.
The medieval fortress in Veytaux/Montreux (canton Vaud) is situated on a small rocky islet separated from the shore by a narrow natural waterway.
The period of the Counts and the Dukes of Savoy lasted until 1536. Bern conquered the castle (and Vaud). The Bernese troops liberated the subject of the poem.
François Bonivard (1493-1571) supported Geneva in the struggle between the town and the Dukes of Savoy. He was an enemy of Duke Charles III (1486-1553), who imprisoned him in 1532.
The castle became the property of the new canton Vaud in 1803.
(Source: Chillon Castle; A. Guignard, The Prisoner of Chillon by Lord Byron, Renens, 2016).