Chillon Castle is an island castle located on Lake Geneva (Lac Léman), south of Veytaux in the canton of Vaud. It is situated at the eastern end of the lake, on the narrow shore between Montreux and Villeneuve, which gives access to the Alpine valley of the Rhone. Chillon is amongst the most visited castles in Switzerland and Europe.
Chillon began as a Roman outpost, guarding the strategic road through the Alpine passes. The later history of Chillon was influenced by three major periods: the Savoy Period, the Bernese Period, and the Vaudois Period.
The oldest parts of the castle have not been definitively dated, but the first written record of the castle is in 1005. It was built to control the road from Burgundy to the Great Saint Bernard Pass From the mid 12th century, the castle was summer home to the Counts of Savoy, who kept a fleet of ships on Lake Geneva. The castle was greatly expanded in 1248 by Peter II.
During the 16th century Wars of Religion, it was used by the dukes of Savoy to house prisoners. Its most famous prisoner was probably François de Bonivard, a Genevois monk, prior of St. Victor in Geneva and politician who was imprisoned there in 1530 for defending his homeland from the dukes of Savoy.
Over his six-year term, de Bonivard paced as far as his chain would allow, and the chain and rut are still visible. He was rescued in 1536 by his countrymen and Bernese, who took the castle by force. The prison was residence for Bernese bailiff until Chillon was converted into a state prison in 1733.
In 1798, the French-speaking canton of Vaud drove out the German-speaking Bernese authorities and declared the Lemanic Republic. The Vaudois invited in French troops to help them maintain autonomy from the other Swiss. When the French moved in and occupied, Chillon was used as a munitions and weapons depot.
Angkor Wat is an Indianized temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world, with the site measuring 162.6 hectares. It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple of god Vishnu for the Khmer Empire, gradually transforming into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the...
Meteor Crater is a meteorite impact crater approximately 37 miles east of Flagstaff and 18 miles west of Winslow in the northern Arizona desert of the United States. Because the United States Board on Geographic Names commonly recognizes names of natural features derived from the nearest post...
United States Capitol
The United States Capitol, often called the Capitol Building, is the home of the United States Congress, and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Though not at the geographic center...
Strokkur is a fountain geyser located in a geothermal area beside the Hvítá River in Iceland in the southwest part of the country, east of Reykjavík. It is one of Iceland's most famous geysers, erupting once every 6–10 minutes. Its usual height is 15–20 m, although it can sometimes erupt up...
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait, the one-mile-wide, one-point-seven-mile-long channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The structure links the American city of San Francisco, California – the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula...
The Zlatni Rat, often referred to as the Golden Cape or Golden Horn, is a spit of land located about 2 kilometres west from the harbour town of Bol on the southern coast of the Croatian island of Brač, in the region of Dalmatia. It extends southward into the Hvar Channel, a body of water in the...