Aigle Castle dominates the skyline in its home town in Aigle, Switzerland, and many claim that this town boasts some of the best mountain scenery in all of Switzerland. Combine the castle's lovely design with the impressive alpine backdrop, and it results in a very appetizing tourist destination. It's not all about the visual appeal, however. Chateau d'Aigle, as the castle is locally known, has an interesting history, and you might be interested to know that the surrounding vineyards produce some of the best wines in the country. When you're not touring the castle, you can visit two different museums that revolve around wine, and it's also possible to sample the local product at the castle's restaurant.
The history of Aigle Castle starts in the thirteenth century. This is when the powerful Counts of Savoy both founded and expanded the fortress. The purpose of the castle was to protect the valley in which it is located, and while it did a good job of this for a while, it was eventually burnt to the ground by the also powerful Bernese. The year of this event was 1475. The Bernese quickly went to task building their own castle on the site, and as is true of nearby Chillon Castle, the fortress ultimately became a possession of the Vaudois. Interestingly enough, Chateau d'Aigle Switzerland became the Aigle town prison after the Vaudois Revolution of 1798, and it remained a prison all the way up to 1972. The move to turn it into a tourist attraction began in 1973, and various renovations were carried out.
On a visit to Aigle Castle, you can learn more about its long history and its former occupants by taking a tour. The history of the place is on display throughout. Much of the castle has been converted in a wine museum, and the various exhibits are spread out among a series of rooms and a lovely courtyard. Other rooms wait to be explored as well, and each guest is welcome to grab a pamphlet that describes what they will see in the different rooms. Highlights include the private living quarters, the wine cellar, and the art gallery. There is also a re-creation of tavern from the 1700's at Aigle Castle, and no visit would arguably be complete without a walk around the ramparts. During a walk around the ramparts, you can admire the acres of vineyard that surround the castle complex and take a look at old frescoes that can be found in some of the watchtowers. Taking in the views of the majestic Alps is also a joy while making the rampart rounds.
When visiting Chateau d'Aigle Switzerland, you might make time for the small Wine Label Museum that can be found opposite the castle gates. This museum displays wine labels from all over the world, and some of these labels are hundreds of years old. When your castle and museum tours are over, finishing the visit off with lunch at the restaurant can be an excellent idea. The restaurant terrace is a divine place to dine, especially when the weather is nice.
The Aigle Castle is open daily during the months of July and August. The rest of the year, it is open every day except for Monday. The closing hours vary according to season, though the opening hour is always 10 a.m. Combined entry tickets for the castle and the Wine Label Museum are available, or you can purchase them separately if you only wish to visit one.
The town of Aigle can be found in southwestern Switzerland near the eastern shores of Lake Geneva. Only some eight miles away is the popular Swiss Riviera resort of Montreux, and it can make for a good place to arrive when visiting the region. Numerous trains stop at Montreux on a daily basis, and from there, you can catch a connecting train to Aigle, take a taxi, or drive the short distance yourself. There are a couple of central hotels in Aigle, so you might look to the more numerous Montreux hotels when trying to find a place to stay in the region.