As we wrote already in other stories, the region of Lake Geneva, connecting Switzerland and France, is packed with lovely cities and picturesque villages. Geneva and Lausanne are clearly the largest and most well-known cities in the area; they are definitely worth to visit for a few days. But to experience in-depth the beauty of the area, we recommend exploring smaller places. The Swiss terraced vineyards of Lavaux, the overstanding Mount Pélerin, the French village Yvoire, to name a few, have a unique charm. Today we are happy to introduce you to the small but lovely town of Coppet. An additional jewel on the list of places to visit on the shores of Lake Geneva.
We are in western French-speaking Switzerland. Coppet is part of the Terre Sainte (Holy Land) municipality. You can find it on a map a few kilometers eastwards from Geneva, in Canton of Vaud, between Nyon and Versoix. Some believe that this name comes from several pilgrims halting around to rest and regain strength on their way to Santiago de Compostela.
The historical village of Coppet consists of only a few picturesque streets by the lake. Conveniently, the railway station is only a few hundred meters away. From Coppet’s train station, the main historical monument you can come across is the Castle of Coppet. The initial settlement of the town and the castle itself date back to around 1280. However, the castle standing today is approximately 500 years younger (1780). Over the centuries, the Castle of Coppet witnessed multiple events. One of the owners was Jacques Necker, Louis XVI’s finance minister who turned to play a key role during the French Revolution. Necker’s daughter, Germaine de Staël, a woman of letters, invited illustrious guests to the castle, mainly political and cultural personalities against Napoleon. Suddenly, the anonymous Swiss town of Coppet became a key spot for the opponents of Napoleon Bonaparte. After the death of Germaine de Staël, Coppet fell back into oblivion as all celebrities moved away. The castle is still a private domain today, but it can be visited from April to October. The castle’s alley, a small park in front of the main entry gates offers a nice short walk with views over Lake Geneva.
The rest of the historical center mainly consists of one street parallel to the lake’s shores. The old stone arcades and historical houses make it a pretty village to explore. One noticeable monument on the street is the museum the Vieux-Coppet. It is located in a 16th-century house that was gifted to the municipality by its last owner, Ms. Michel. The museum exhibits an authentic 18th and 19th centuries middle-class residence in the village. Don’t hesitate to stop by for a visit; the entrance is for free!
Opposite the museum is the municipality’s buildings. Nestled in a small court on the left-hand side next to the entrance there is a small secret rose garden with magnificent views over the lake and surrounding mountains in the background.
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