Arbalète @Fondation du Château de Chillon
Plan arbalète
Pointe de traits
Arbalète 2

Item of the month of October 2019

Crossbow and arrowheads.
Located on the second floor of the keep, the permanent exhibition of old weapons of Chillon CastleTM includes a crossbow and a series of arrowheads dating from the medieval period, as well as a jack called a "windlass" to reload the bolts on the weapon.

In Switzerland, the first indicated crossbow appears on the seal of Councillor Johann von Hildisrieden of Lucerne in 1235. Although slow, this weapon is precise, powerful (crossbows shoot arrows at more than 300 kilometers per hour) and easy to handle. This makes it an extremely deadly object. The Church forbids its use, but European sovereigns do not take this into account.

The model presented in Chillon - a donation made by a private individual in 1825 - dates from the 15th century. It is made of fruit wood with inlays of deer antlers and horn. Originally, the bow at the front of the weapon was covered with painted birch bark. Its range is estimated at 150 meters, beyond the usual 70-90 meters. When it was manufactured, crossbows became so rigid that jacks were needed to bind them, like the windlass presented in the exhibition window (17th century). After the appearance of firearms, their use was reserved for hunting. Finally, in the 19th century, they became sports weapons.

All of them found at the castle during archaeological excavations carried out at the turn of the 20th century, the various points presented date from the 13th to 15th centuries. They tend to tighten and lengthen, and make it possible to appreciate the enormous size of the projectiles.

Crossbow
15th century
Wood, deer antler, horn
Musée cantonal d'archéologie et d'histoire, Lausanne
MCAHL 00736
Gift from M. Rossier ( ?), 1825

Windlass
17-18th century
Unspecified metal
Musée cantonal d’archéologie et d’histoire, Lausanne
MCAHL 00736
Unknown origin

Arrowhead (crossbow bolt or arrow)
13-14th century
Unspecified metal
Musée cantonal d’archéologie et d’histoire, Lausanne
PM/1044
Found in the moat in 1903

Crossbow quarrel (large crossbow)
14-15th century
Unspecified metal
Musée cantonal d’archéologie et d’histoire, Lausanne
PM/1054
Found in the Tower Z1 in 1903

Arrowhead (crossbow bolt or arrow)
14-15th century
Unspecified metal
Musée cantonal d’archéologie et d’histoire, Lausanne
PM/1056
Found in the 4th courtyard in 1900

Arrowhead (crossbow bolt or arrow)
14-15th century
Unspecified metal
Musée cantonal d’archéologie et d’histoire, Lausanne
PM/1057
Found in the 4th courtyard in 1900

Arrowhead (crossbow bolt or arrow)
14-15th century
Unspecified metal
Musée cantonal d’archéologie et d’histoire, Lausanne
PM/1058
Found in the 4th courtyard in 1900

Arrowhead (crossbow bolt or arrow)
14-15th century
Unspecified metal
Musée cantonal d’archéologie et d’histoire, Lausanne
PM/1059
Found in the 4th courtyard in 1900

Arrowhead (crossbow bolt or arrow)
14-15th century
Unspecified metal
Musée cantonal d’archéologie et d’histoire, Lausanne
PM/1060
Found in the 4th courtyard in 1900

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    The castle is open every day of the year, except on January 1st and December 25th.

    Today: from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm (last entry at 6:00 pm)

    INDIVIDUAL VISITORS
    Admission fees
    Adult CHF 12.50
    Child 6-15 years CHF 6.00
    Family (2 adults with up to 5 children 6-15 years) CHF 29.00

    GROUPS (20 peolple min.)
    Admission fees
    Adult CHF 9.50
    Child 6-15 years CHF 5.00

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