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1816-2016 Byron is back!

From 29 April to 21 August 2016

The aim of the 2016 summer temporary exhibition is to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Lord Byron’s visit on 26 June 1816 to Chillon Castle, the place that inspired one of his most important poems - The Prisoner of Chillon.

The underlying theme is Byron’s 5 month stay in Switzerland from 20 May to 10 October 1816.

Many events, meetings and discoveries which had a major impact on his literary work will be highlighted.

The experience of the tour is purposely emotional, close to the homage given to a man who so greatly marked his era by his talent and the immediate immense success of each one of his publications.

Documents, archives, objects and rare publications presented in context along with rich and diverse images will give visitors awareness of the scope of work left to us by Byron, a man who was really a star two hundred years ago.

The “Byron” experience

The tour is set to be an emotional one. Chillon Castle will be paying homage to this man, who marked his era with his talent and the immediate success of each of his publications. Byron was a real tar 200 years ago, as big a star as David Bowie was for this generation!

The exhibition has original and exceptional documents and objects on display that have been lent to us by various prestigious institutions. Among these objects, we find the manuscript of “The Prisoner of Chillon”, copied out by Claire Clairmont, the first edition, as well as numerous original editions written by Lord Byron. The main documents being exhibited have come from, amongst others, the National Library of Scotland, Archives d’Etat de Genève (State of Geneva Archives), Archives cantonales vaudoises (Canton of Vaud Archives), Bibliothèque cantonale universitaire de Lausanne (Canton of Lausanne University Library) and numerous private collections.

With the “Alpine Journal” as their guide, the public will set off retracing Lord Byron’s footsteps, on a quest for new emotions while discovering Alpine landscapes, and will put themselves in the shoes of those first tourists who were enchanted by all the things there were to discover in Switzerland.

The exhibition will be in French, English and German. 

The Martin Bodmer, Brocher and Chillon Castle Foundations are commemorating Percy and Mary Shelley’s, as well as Lord Byron’s presence on the shores of Lake Geneva in the summer of 1816. Combined ticket to see the exhibitions “Frankenstein : Creation of Darkness” (Bodmer) and “1816-1820 Byron is back ! Lord Byron’s return” (Chillon).

Press kit


Byron exhibition closing
On Sunday 21 August from 10:00 to 17:00, a special exhibition closing will mark the end of the 4-month temporary exhibition.
More information...

Byron Vintage
Try the white and red wines skillfully selected by Badoux Vins SA and offered for sale exclusively for the bicentennial of Lord Byron’s visit to Chillon. This is a once-only limited vintage!

Events elsewhere

Several different events are being held to celebrate Byron and his friends’ stay in Switzerland. The Musée du Léman exhibition « Wanted! A la chasse sur le lac » will be open until 8 January 2017. Byron appears in a large fresco by the artist Aloys. Discover the exhibition about Mary Shelley & Frankenstein in Sasso Corbaro's castle, Bellinzona, available until next 31 July!

Discover the Mary Shelley & Frankenstein exhibition currently at the Sasso Corbaro Castle in Bellinzona open until 31 July 2016!

From 26 August, the musical comedy “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” will be on at the Grand-Champ theatre in Gland before going to Geneva. While in Geneva the Musée Rath has organised an exhibition called “Le retour des Ténèbres” (Return from the Darkness) around the myths of vampires and Dr. Frankenstein’s monster from 2 December 2016 to 19 March 2017. The Brocher Foundation also has a cycle called “1816-2016: the Frankenstein Bicentennial”

Practical information

Our Museography Manager

Mrs Claire Halmos is at your disposal for all requests.

Chillon Castle Foundation
Av. de Chillon 21
CH - 1820 Veytaux / Montreux

Tél.:  021 966 89 27 (direct)
         021 966 89 10
Fax:  021 966 89 12


Exhibition leaflet

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