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Chateau De Chillon, Lake Generva, Montreux, Switzerland
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Switzerland Travel Guide
Chateau de Chillon, Montreux, Swiss Riviera, Vaud, Switzerland
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Swan Swimming in a Lake with a Castle, Lake Geneva, Chateau De Chillon, Switzerland
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Clock Tower, Zurich, Canton of Zurich, Switzerland
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Montreux Featured Hotels
Switzerland Travel Guide:
An exceptional city - Zurich Switzerland
Bern: The City of Bears, Tourists, and History
Bernese Oberland Travel Information
Concerts - Smoke On The Water
Cool people vacation in Verbier
Great Hospitality at Basel Hotels
Interlaken - Blaze of Glory in Switzerland
Interlaken Hotels offer the best of services and facilities
Lausanne Travel Information
Lucerne Hotels offering the best of facilities and boasting of world class services
Montreux Travel Information
Ski Chic In St Moritz
The Picturesque Switzerland
Switzerland's Allure
Switzerland holidays - great in summer, not just winter
Switzerland: A Land of Wonders
The most beautiful mountains of the European Alps
Unfurl The Earth's Paradise - Switzerland
Vacations - Swiss Riviera
What Are Some of the Must-see Places in Geneva, Switzerland?
Where to go when you travel to Switzerland
Zermatt: Peaks, Prowess And Pleasure In A Swiss Ski Resort

Montreux Guide

Mostly known for its world-famous month-long Jazz Festival (a bit of a misnomer: you're just as likely to catch David Bowie or Beck as, say Steve Coleman), Montreux is well worth a wander through, if only to get to the scenic Château de Chillon or to get to Hauts de Montreux.

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Hauts de Montreux
Less than 20 kilometers away from and 800 meters above the swanky Swiss Riviera, Hauts de Montreux is a hiker's dream. On a good day you can see to Geneva in the west and Bern in the east. If you look hard, you can even see the sparkle of all those flashy watches and dripping diamonds on the rich old people shuffling around the muggy lakefront.

Château de Chillon +41 21 966 89 10. Open every day until 6pm. A historic castle, the country's most visited say the Tourist Board, on a small island in Lake Geneva only a few meters from the shore. It was built originally to allow the occupants to extract a toll from people and goods passing between Italy and the rest of Europe on the road north from the St. Bernard pass. 

Montreux, Lake Geneva and French Alps from Rochers de Naye, Montreux, Vaud, Switzerland
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The roadway here is wedged between the lake and the cliffs, so there was no way to get around Chillon. The Castle is more famous in modern times for having inspired Lord Byron's poem, The Prisoner of Chillon, based on the true story of François Bonivard, a political prisoner from Geneva who was released in 1536. Byron is said to have carved his name in one of the columns in the dungeon where Bonivard was detained during a few years. 
Vineyards and Chateau, Montreux, Switzerland
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Marmots' Paradise. The mountains around Hauts de Montreux are threaded with forest trails, suddenly isolated villages, caves, grottos, and wildlife. Rochers-De-Naye itself is home to an odd little compound called "Marmots' Paradise" where marmots from all over the world live in an observable system of underground burrows. Kind of a rodent UN or something. Any of the train stops will lead to several hiking options. For a real hiker's hike, tackle the four hour, 1000 metre climb from Caux to Rochers-De-Naye. Saner folks might want to get off at Dent-De-Jaman, just below the peak, where you can enjoy the views and fresh air with out the huffing and puffing. 

The Golden Award of Montreux, which takes place annually in April in Montreux, is traditionally, since 1989, the first international advertising and multimedia competition in Europe- starting the global season for awarding creative excellence. 

The object of this competition is to honor creative achievements within the cultural surroundings of television and music festivals, reflecting in this way the advertising is part of the global world of creativity.

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Concerts - Smoke On The Water   by Michael Russell

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In this article we're going to tell the true behind the scenes story of one of the most famous songs in rock history that was actually the result of an incident at a concert.
Everyone knows the song "Smoke On The Water". Every kid who ever picked up a guitar for the first time plunked out that four chord blues riff. For many kids, it's the only thing they were ever able to play. And many of these kids think they know the story of how that song was recorded. Yes, there was a fire, a bad one. But what most, if not all of them, don't realize is that the fire that broke out that day was during a Frank Zappa and the Mothers Of Invention concert.

The date was December 7, 1971. It was thirty years after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Maybe that should have been an omen. Certainly this was not an insignificant date in history.

Anyway, Deep Purple, the band who recorded "Smoke On The Water" was setting up their camp in Montreux, Switzerland to record their next album. 

Chateau De Chillon, Montreux, Lake Geneva, Swiss Riviera, Switzerland
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They were going to use a mobile recording studio to do this which they rented from The Rolling Stones, known as their Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. They set up at the Montreux Entertainment Complex which was part of their casino. This is referred to as the "gambling house" in the lyrics of the song.
Old Town and St. Martin Church, Montreux, Swiss Riviera, Vaud, Switzerland
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Well, on the eve of their recording session Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention were performing live in concert at the casino's theater. They were to perform a number of their popular songs including the epic "The Nancy & Mary Music", "Sharleena", "Duke Of Prunes", and "Hungry Freaks Daddy". Frank Zappa was strange to say the least. However, before they could really get into the meat of their performance a fire broke out during the concert. It was said to have been caused by a Swiss fan shooting a flare gun at the ceiling, as was stated in the "some stupid with a flare gun" line that ultimately destroyed the entire casino complex, along with all of Frank Zappa and The Mother's equipment.

The smoke on the water that was talked about in the song was the smoke from the fire that spread over all of Lake Geneva. From their hotel across the way from the casino, the members of Deep Purple watched the fire burn and the smoke cover the lake. In the lyrics they mention a "funky Claude" running in and out. This was actually the director of the Montreux Jazz Festival running in and out of the casino trying to get people to safety. The aftermath of all this was that Deep Purple had no place to record and Frank Zappa and the Mothers were part of the most famous concert in history to get cancelled mid way through.

Deep Purple eventually found another place to record, using a near empty Montreux Grand Hotel. They converted its hallways into a makeshift recording studio.

As for Frank Zappa, the concert was cancelled and never rescheduled. But he had become a part of history that little kids with electric guitars will be thankful for, for a very long time.

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About the Author - Michael Russell - Your Independent guide to Concerts


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Fairmont Le Montreux Palace
Built in 1906 and famously known as Jewel of Belle-Epoque architecture, this Fairmont Palace Hotel offers a traditional, elegant atmosphere as well as personalised service in true Swiss style to make your stay memorable one.  Situated on the shores of Lake Geneva, the Fairmont Palace Hotel Montreux is at the foot of Alps and a kilometre from the Montreux Train Station.  The hotel offers 235 well-appointed accommodation units that are luxuriously furnished, offering both comfort and the latest technology for your pleasant stay.  Set in a cosy ambience, the La Brasserie du Palace Restaurant offers a typical cuisine of a Parisian brasserie for you to feast on. The Harry's New York Bar serves delicious a la carte, tapas, Thai-style dishes as well as a fine drink for you to enjoy.
Grand Hotel du Lac Vevey Montreux
Grand Hotel du Lac, where the charm of the last century is united with today’s comfort and taste. Faithful to the tradition of welcome of a region which is known for its climate and scenery, the Grand Hotel du Lac offers an atmosphere of calmness and pleasure, where the service and naturalness create a climate of well-being. Discover one of the region most renowned dining experiences in either “Seasons” fine dining restaurant or “La Veranda” casual dining, overlooking Lake Geneva and the Majestic French Alps.The Bar is original and unique. Its style of far away origins with a traditional fireplace, Chinese tapestries and furniture, takes you late into the night.
Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic Montreux
Offering an utmost comfort, convenience and quality service, this property makes you to feel at home.  Majestically overlooking the Lake Geneva and Alps, the Grand Hotel is in the in the heart of Montreux.  Offering beautiful views of lake and mountains, the 140 well-appointed accommodation units are equipped with all the essential amenities to ensure you utmost comfort.  The Grand Cafe serves delicious traditional cuisine for you to feast on. You can also sip your favourite drink at the cosy bar.  This property offers well-equipped meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 90 guests for organising various important events. During leisure, you can relax at the lobby, which is also an ideal place to meet friends.
Hotel De Famille Montreux
Enjoy the tranquil ambience and luxurious accommodation at the De Famille Hotel, where holiday at Montreux becomes an unforgettable one for any kind of visitors.  The De Famille Hotel is conveniently located in the city centre. All public services, including the train station and shopping centre are a few steps away and just a short 5-minute walk will take you to the lakeside.  This property offers 60 beautifully decorated guests rooms that are equipped with modern in-room amenities to ensure you a comfortable and pleasant stay.  Being one of the best restaurants in Vevey, the hotel's restaurant with a romantic and sophisticated decor make it a wonderful setting to enjoy delicious regional cuisine and selected local products prepared with love and skill.
Hotel Eden Palace Au Lac Montreux
Being one of the jewels of the Victorian architecture on the Swiss Riviera, the Eden Palace Au Lac Hotel offers the best tradition of the Swiss hospitality and invites you to an oasis of warmth, convenience and well being.  Situated in one of the most beautiful landscapes of the world, the Eden Palace Au Lac Hotel offers splendid view over the Lake of Geneva and the Savoyan Alps.  This hotel has a wide choice of luxurious accommodation units that offer a sublime touch of aesthetic, discreet comfort and a warm welcome. The rooms will makes you to remember each stay at the Eden Palace Au Lac Hotel as an unforgettable moment.  Offering French cuisine, the onsite restaurants welcome you for an unforgettable pleasure of dining in perfect relaxation.
Hotel Helvetie Montreux
Offering friendly atmosphere, warm welcome, personalized service, this property prides itself as an ideal location for business and leisure travellers.  Situated in the centre of Montreux, the Helvetie Hotel is opposite to the casino and 200 metres from the lake. This property is close to the main shopping area and a kilometre from the Montreux Train Station.  This hotel offers well-appointed accommodation units that have been elegantly furnished with an array of in-room amenities to ensure you a pleasurable stay.  The Helvetie Restaurant serves delicious French cuisine for you to enjoy.
Royal Plaza Montreux
Positioned directly on the shores of lake Geneva, this hotel is an hour's drive from the Geneva International Airport and just minutes from the railway station in Montreux as well as the town centre.  The Royal Plaza offers 146 air-conditioned and well-decorated guestrooms that are provided with all the modern facilities that ensure utmost ease and luxury. Facilities and services for the disabled are also offered at this hotel.  Guests at this hotel can relish delicious food at the onsite restaurants in elegant settings. The onsite bar is the perfect place to enjoy a fine drink and unwind or meet up with friends for a chat.
Villa Toscane Swiss Q Hotel Montreux
A art nouveau villa, built at the turn of the century Villa Toscane Swiss Quality Hotel is a very nice hotel with a very friendly atmosphere close to the centre of Montreux.  The hotel is in an ideal location in Montreux, close to the conference centre and the Stravinski auditorium. Many pleasant restaurants are located close by for you to try out different dishes.  All guestrooms vary is size and colour scheme and all are in very good condition.  The onsite restaurant offers breakfast for the guests to start their day energetically.  A garden terrace and a flat roof is provide for sunbathing. Convenient parking facilities are also provided for the guests who arrive by their own mode of transport.
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