Chateau_de_Chillon Switzerland

End-of-semester trip: Seeing Switzerland through its castles

26 Jul 2016 | by Tom van der Meij


It was already the last outing of semester — how time flies when you’re having fun. This time we planned to visit three castles of French-speaking Switzerland. On the list were Château d’Aigle, Château de Chillon and the remains of the castle of Sion. Even though the trip was planned for an early morning after a Saturday night with enough options to party, we still managed to get enough of us to fill a bus for this free outing organized by the Sports and Events department.

The first stop was the Castle of Aigle which was first mentioned to exist in the year 1179. This castle had a long history before becoming a part of Bern, in the period when the Helvetic Republic was created. More information can be found here:

Chateau_Aigle Switzerland

From 1804 until 1976 the castle was used as a jail, but later it was changed into a wine museum and made open to the public. We had the chance to visit this interesting museum, but also had a good look at the old architectural building right in between the vineyards of Vaud.

Our second stop was Château de Chillon — definitely a must-see if you are in the area and interested in historical buildings. This castle has its first records of existence from the year 1005. During the 12th century it was home to the Counts of Savoy, who kept a fleet of ships on Lake Geneva. For those interested in the history of this castle you can go to:

Chateau_de_Chillon Switzerland

This is one of those rare castles that is kept in its original state, so I mention again that it is an absolute must-see when you are in the area.

The last stop was in Sion, the capital of Valais, where the Tourbillon is situated on a hill and you have a panoramic view over the Rhone valley. The castle was ruined in a fire in 1788 and is now a Swiss heritage site of national significance. Currently Sion is celebrating its 1,000-year anniversary of existence by offering numerous activities, so this will be an active and cultural summer. Sion can be easily visited by public transport or car, and it is not far from the Les Roches campus.


Sion chateau Switzerland


Tom van der Meij


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