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Things to Do in Montreux

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Freddie Mercury Statue
11 Tours and Activities

Standing nearly 10 feet tall on the lovely lakeside promenade in Montreux – the home of the second-largest jazz festival in the world – and gazing over to the foothills of the Alps in the distance, the Freddie Mercury Memorial has become a place of pilgrimage for die-hard Queen fans. Larger than life, made of bronze and always adorned with garlands and flowers, his statue was created by Czech sculptor Irena Sedlecka and placed in this spot in 1996, as a celebration of the iconic pop star who made Montreux his home and whose band recorded seven albums at Mountain Studios, which they eventually bought.

Freddie died of AIDs in 1991, and on the Montreux waterfront he is now remembered in a typically flamboyant stance, arms outstretched and head flung back, emulating his pose on the cover of the last Queen album, Made in Heaven. The statue looks particularly dramatic in the evening hours, as the setting sun creates a colorful backdrop.

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Montreux Flower Promenade (Chemin Fleuri)
1 Tour and Activity

The beautifully tended Lakeside Promenade Fleuri winds its way for 6.25 miles (10 kilometers) along the Swiss northwestern shoreline of Lake Geneva from Vevey to Villenueve, taking in the stylish town of Montreux and the fortified lakeside Château de Chillon. The pathway is lined with cacti, palms and plane trees as well as numerous funky sculptures, including one of Freddie Mercury in the center of Montreux; there are benches from which to contemplate the delightful alpine views and neatly planted parks full of exotic flowers. On summer evenings it seems the whole of Montreux gathers along the promenade to take the air, chat, jog, rollerblade or simply admire the spectacular views. There are plenty of bars and restaurants scattered along the sparkling lakeside, and kids will love the little train that chugs up and down the prom in Montreux during the summer.

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Chillon Castle (Château de Chillon)
20 Tours and Activities
Jutting out off the shore of Lake Geneva, close by the French border, Switzerland’s most fairytale-like castle is a vision of Gothic grandeur, entirely encircled in water and reachable via the reconstructed remains of an ancient drawbridge. The medieval Château de Chillon (Chillon Castle) features rounded turrets, sloping roofs and an impressive roman fortification system, as well as housing a fascinating network of passageways, rooms and outhouses behind its picturesque facade. The some 300,000 annual visitors can explore the castle grounds, as well as its renowned dungeons, famously immortalized in a Lord Byron poem whose words ring true to form in the dark and eerily lit cells.
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