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Five iconic spots in Switzerland to visit in 2020

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Five iconic spots in Switzerland to visit in 2020

Yes, there is the Matterhorn and many other popular tourist destinations. But Switzerland also boasts some legendary venues where, at one time or another, history was made.


Café Landolt, Geneva

The historic 19th-century brasserie on rue de Candolle, where Vladimir Lenin reportedly plotted the Bolshevik Revolution, will re-open in the summer.

Lenin and fellow revolutionary Leon Trotsky, both of whom found refuge in Switzerland at the beginning of the 20th century, regularly met with Bolsheviks at the Landolt where, it is said, they conspired to overthrow Russia's imperial power.

When it re-opens, at least one vestige of the Landolt's past will be on the menu: a Russian salad à la Lenin.

Chaplin's World, Corsier-sur-Vevey (VD)

For 25 years, from 1952 until his death in 1977, Charlie Chaplin lived with his family in a grand house called Manoir de Ban in this small town overlooking Lake Geneva. He moved there from the United States after being accused by an American senator of being a communist sympathiser.

In 2016, the mansion was converted into a small museum dedicated to life and works of the legendary comic and filmmaker, best known for his alter ego, the Tramp.

READ ALSO: Charlie Chaplin fans set world record in Switzerland 

The Tramp's residence in Crosier-sur-Vevey is now a museum. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Einstein's house, Bern

In 1903, Albert Einstein and his wife Mileva lived in a small third-floor apartment at Kramgasse 49; while there, he developed his groundbreaking Theory of Relativity, which would turn him into the world's best-known scientist.

The house, located in the historic centre of the Swiss capital, is now part-museum and part-exhibition space. Sparsely furnished and cramped, it nevertheless provided a good environment for the young Einstein to make world history.

Einstein did his groundbreaking work in this Bern house. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Freddie Mercury / Queen's recording studio, Montreux (VD):

The legendary rock band owned Mountain Studios in Montreux's Casino Barrière between 1979 and 1996, where seven albums were recorded.

The studio's control room has not been changed since the band's days. Visitors can make their own re-mixes of some of Queen's classics and stand in the same spot where Mercury recorded his last song, Mother Love. 

Seven of Queen's albums were recorded in this Montreux studio. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Lord Byron, Hôtel Angleterre, Lausanne

In 1816, Lord Byron visited the Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva, where the monk François Bonivard was imprisoned in the dungeon from 1532 to 1536. This visit inspired Byron to pen his famous poem, The Prisoner of Chillon, which he composed in his room at the Hôtel de l'Ancre in the Ouchy section of Lausanne. 

The historic building still stands and is now the Hôtel (and restaurant) Angleterre, well worth a visit.

Lord Byron wrote his most famous poem in this elegant building. Photo: Wikimedia Commons


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