Chillon Castle is the place that inspired one of his most important poems – The Prisoner of Chillon. The underlying theme of the exhibition 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 were 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 gave visitors awareness of the scope of work left to us by Byron, a man who was really a star two hundred years ago.
The exhibition had original and exceptional documents and objects on display that were 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 came 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 set off retracing Lord Byron’s footsteps, on a quest for new emotions while discovering Alpine landscapes, and put themselves in the shoes of those first tourists who were enchanted by all the things there were to discover in Switzerland.