Resort town (pop., 2000: 22,455), western Switzerland, on the eastern shore of Lake Geneva. It was formed by the merger in 1962 of the villages of Le Châtelard, Les Planches, and Veytaux. The nearby 13th-century Château de Chillon was made famous by Lord Byron's poem “Prisoner of Chillon.” It hosts a popular annual jazz festival.
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Montreux is a municipality in the district of Vevey in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland. It was a haven for Catherine Berkley and Lt. Fredric Henry in Ernest Hemmingway's classic, A Farewell to Arms.
The region was subject to various princes, most notably the princes of Savoy from the south side of the lake. They unified the territory which comprises the present canton of Vaud and were generally popular sovereigns.
After the Burgundian Wars in the 15th century, the Swiss in Berne occupied the region without resistance, an indication of the weakness of the princes of Savoy. The Reformation made the region around Montreux and Vevey an attractive haven for Huguenots from Italy, who brought their artisanal skills and set up workshops and businesses.
In 1798, Napoleon liberated the region from the Bernese. In the 19th century, the tourist industry became a major commercial outlet, with the grand hotels of Montreux attracting the rich and cultured from Europe and America.
Montreux hosts several noteworthy festivals:
Montreux boasts one of the most beautiful walks along the lake, stretching from Villeneuve all the way towards Vevey. The main square of the town, Place du Marché, features a statue of Freddie Mercury facing Lake Geneva. Some of the numerous small villages around Montreux include La Tour-de-Peilz, Clarens, Territet, and Villeneuve. The Chateau of Chillon provides a marvelous view of the entire Lake of Geneva and can be easily accessed via bus, walk or boat.
We all came out to Montreux on the Lake Geneva shoreline / To make records with a mobile - We didn't have -much time / Frank Zappa & the Mothers were at the best place around / But some stupid with a flare gun burned the -place to the ground / Smoke on the water, fire in the sky
The Casino was reopened in 1975.
Montreux is the home of Mountain Studios, the recording studio used by several artists. "Bonzo's Montreux" by Led Zeppelin is named after the city where the drums session of John Bonham was recorded in 1976. In 1978, the band Queen bought the studio. It was then sold to Queen producer David Richards. In 2002 the Mountain Studios has, very unfortunately, due to a complete renovation of the Casino, been converted into a bar. David Richards has left Montreux to settle down somewhere else. Queen also appeared in 1984 and in 1986 at the Golden Rose Festival and Queen guitarist Brian May appeared in 2001 at the Jazz Festival. Montreux was also the subject of the 1995 Queen single A Winter's Tale on the album Made in Heaven, one of Freddie's last songs before his death on 24th November 1991. The album cover features the statue of Mercury beside the lake.
In 1990, the Wakker Prize was awarded to Montreux.