Hundreds jump at chance to live in a castle for next to nothing

It’s not every day the opportunity comes up to live in a castle for minimal rent, so when the commune of Meggen advertised for someone to take care of the majestic Meggenhorn castle on the banks of Lake Lucerne, the response was overwhelming.

Hundreds jump at chance to live in a castle for next to nothing
Photo: Dennis Jarvis, Wikimedia Commons

By the closing date, 160 applications for the job of castle keeper had been received, exceeding all expectations, 20 Minuten reported.

The successful candidate will be expected to keep an eye on the castle night and day, but in return they will get to live in a three-room apartment for a low rent.

“We are really amazed to have received so many applications,” the paper quoted commune secretary Daniel Ottiger as saying.

One likely factor was that jobs like this don’t come up very often, Ottiger speculated. But the castle’s amazing location was also a huge draw.

“It’s an absolute dream job, not least because of the view from the apartment,” said the current manager who is retiring after 25 years in the position.

There is plenty for the manager to do: just closing the castle’s 60 shutters, for instance, takes half an hour.

Then there is the reservations calendar to manage as the castle is a popular venue for weddings and events.

The commune is currently wading through the applications, and is expected to decide on who gets the dream job at the end of May.


Ferry worker rescues young child who fell into Lake Geneva

A young boy had a lucky escape last week when he fell off a ferry dock into the cold November water of Lake Geneva and was rescued by a crew member who jumped in after him.

Ferry worker rescues young child who fell into Lake Geneva
The CGN ferries operate between Switzerland and France across Lake Geneva. File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
The incident happened last Thursday evening as the Compagnie Générale de Navigation (CGN) ferry named Le Léman docked in Evian-les-Bains, France, after its crossing from the Swiss side of the lake, La Tribune de Genève said on Wednesday. 
A witness told the paper that a man with a pushchair was disembarking the boat when a small child passed in front of him. When he reached the quayside the boy, for unknown reasons, took a step towards the edge and fell into the water beneath.
Luckily, a CGN crew member immediately jumped into the water – currently 12 degrees – to rescue the child. 
“It was lucky that the child was wearing a colourful jacket because otherwise, in the dusk, she [the crew member] probably wouldn’t have found him under the water,” said the witness. 
CGN confirmed the incident to the paper. There are no procedures in place for incidents on the quay, said spokeswoman Sandra Tiano, hailing the employee as a heroine who acted on her own initiative.
The company is currently investigating why the boy fell into the water. 
“Everything that can be improved will be,” said Tiano.