The Chillon dragons

The walls of Chillon Castle are marked by the presence of an impressive, legendary creature – the dragon. What better excuse than this summer heat to explore the king of the reptiles’ shady hiding places? We’ll dive into the mural paintings adorning the walls of this Lake Geneva fortress, as well as medieval and contemporary art.

Duel with a dragon (room 19)

On the eastern wall of the Camera Domini, to the right of the entrance, you will find a dragon facing a griffin. In amongst this idyllic decor, they are the only animals to be looking at each other head on. When it comes to bestiaries, the two are always seen as being the wildest of the wild. But here, rather than looking for a theological or a moral explanation – which would be pretty tricky – instead, think of it as a huge battle.

Who wins? You decide.

Un griffon affronte un dragon dans les peintures murales du XIVe siècle au château de Chillon TM

Griffin versus Dragon in the Camera Domini at Chillon Castle

Going down in flames (room 19)

Above the fireplace in the Camera Domini, you’ll find a depiction of Saint George slaying the dragon. The monster languishes on the ground, brought down by the lance of this patron saint and protector of knights. Clearly, he was no match for this medieval superhero, hailed for his noble strength and courage.

Why so much hate?

Saint George slaying the dragon

Beastly blazons (room 18)

In the Coat of Arms Hall, the dragon features in the coat of arms of the Bernese Manuel family, many of whom were bailiffs (a kind of governor) of Chillon. These dragons only have two legs. In heraldic language, they are called wyverns, as opposed to the four-legged dragons.

How many dragons can you see in the room?

Manuel family coat-of-arms

Friendly firebreathers

As you follow the children’s trail around the castle, you’ll spot the Chillon mascot, Drako (often with his friend Draka and little Draki). Far from your typical diabolical beast, Drako is a fun-loving dragon who loves to spend time with children. He even has a special club named after him: the Drako Club. The club offers heaps of membership perks.

Are you signed up yet?

Drako, Draka et Draki in room 13 of Chillon

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