The visitor itinerary is punctuated with display cabinets, exhibiting archaeological objects uncovered during the excavations carried out at the end of the 19th century.
These objects illustrate everyday life in a medieval castle and act as media for various thematic developments. They range from crockery to reliquary, interspersed with coins, locks and even children’s toys.
From 1896 onwards, major archaeological research was carried out at Chillon under the management of Albert Naef (1862-1936), castle architect and future archaeologist for the canton of Vaud. All the walls, floors and floorboards in the fortress were systematically excavated, along with the courtyards and even the moat, which was drained for the occasion in 1903.
Hundreds of objects were found: lances, arrows, nails, earthenware dishes, pottery, bowls, knives, polychrome decorations, reliquary, glasses, wooden combs, coins, toys, leather shoes, decorative stove tiles, joint covers, swords, etc. These items, often simple fragments, would play a significant role in the castle collection. Naef paid them particular attention as they enabled him to rebuild the castle’s history, piece by piece. He set out meticulously labelling the objects and dividing them into two categories: the lapidary museum (architectural fragments, castings and tiles) and the findings museum (objects of all kinds).
In 1925, the findings were moved into the castle attics alongside several pieces of furniture. Only a tiny portion of the findings were exhibited, firstly in the Aula Nova, and secondly in the Domus Clericorum. This collection merged with the canton’s depot in Lucens in 1991, following an inventory. Then, it contained almost four thousand pieces.
A new selection was created in 2008 when preparing the new visitor itinerary. Several dozen of the objects were brought back to the castle at this time.
Sous la direction de Lionel PERNET, Révéler les invisibles : Collections du Musée cantonal d’archéologie et d’histoire de Lausanne. 1852-2015, Gollion : Infolio Editions, 2017.
Catherine KULLING, Catelles et poêles du Pays de Vaud du 14e au début du 18e siècle : château de Chillon et autres provenances, Lausanne : Swissprinters IRL, 2010.
Claire HUGUENIN, Patrimoine en stock : les collections de Chillon, Lausanne : IRL, 2010.
Sous la responsabilité de Denis BERTHOLET, Olivier FEIHL et Claire HUGUENIN, Autour de Chillon : archéologie et restauration au début du siècle, Ecublens : DIP SA, 1998