This year, Chillon Castle in Switzerland is celebrating the bicentenary of English poet, Lord Byron’s visit to the castle.
As a libertine, a dandy and an adventurer – Lord Byron (1788-1824) left his mark on the generation of the Romantics. During a trip to Switzerland from 20 May to 10 October 1816, he visited Chillon Castle on 25 June. He was so moved and profoundly touched by the story of François Bonivard – who was imprisoned in 1530 for opposing the Duke of Savoy – and by his visit to the underground passages, that he wrote the famous poem The Prisoner of Chillon.
Activities to celebrate this anniversary begin with the exhibition “ 1816-2016 Byron is back! ” focusing on Byron’s trip to Switzerland. This exhibition displays documents, objects, archives and rare publications, with a plethora of visual aids to plunge visitors deep into the year 1816.
Byron will also take centre stage in a programme rich in activities that will take place throughout the four months of the exhibition. The agenda will be peppered with “ Travel Journals ” (drawing and creative writing workshops), a “ Dark Romanticism ” themed Night of the Museums, the Romantic Book Festival in collaboration with the Geneva Salon du livre et de la presse (Book and Press Fair), guided tours on Sundays and the “Byron is Back!” event day on 26 June 2016.
What’s more, all the castle’s events such as the Mother’s Day Brunch on 8 May or the Night of the Museums on 21 May will be tinted with a hint of Romanticism to pay homage to this emblematic figure.