Teach Through Educational Travel: Chateau de Chillon, Switzerland
Today, visitors can see a fully restored Castle, complete with guided tours and excavated antiques, including weapons. There is the aforementioned underground dungeon, four great halls, three courtyards, several unique rooms (including Camera Domini, which boasts a bestiary of 14th century murals), a chapel, and a weapons room.
- Look at a slideshow that shows the history of the chapel. From the austerity of the late 13th century to the comparative luxury of the 15th century to a place of worship for prisoners in the 1700-1800s, the chapel has served many purposes. Reflect upon the importance of religion during these times, and how worship was conducted.
Read this history of the Castle, and discuss the difficulties in living in the middle ages, when toilets emptied into the lake, and women sewed by daylight at large windows. What do you think were the biggest challenges for nobles living in the Castle? For servants? Then look at some of Joseph Mallord William Turner’s paintings and drawings of the Castle, at the Tate. Do you see in Turner’s work the jobs that some of the servants do?
Watch this video about the Chateau de Chillon. What role do writers have, in terms of immortalizing a place? Think of Bram Stoker and the Carpathian Mountains in Dracula, Kansas from the Wizard of Oz, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, set in Verona. Discuss how Lord Byron may have changed the face of tourism at Chillon, because of his famous poem.
Wander around the Chateau with this interactive Google street view map. What’s your favorite part, and why?