The castle and its history
Built in the 13th century by the Counts of Savoy, the castle of La Tour-de-Peilz served as a fortress and refuge, as an observation post of traffic along lake Geneva, and as a customs post.
In 1476, during the Burgundy wars, it was heavily damaged. It was nearly three centuries later, that in 1747 the French officer Jean Grésier purchased and transformed the building. It remained private property until 1979, when the city of La Tour-de-Peilz purchased it, after a public vote. Both towers, the walls, the ramparts and the moat were put under a preservation order as a historical monument in 1973.
In 1987 the Swiss Museum of Games was inaugurated on the 1st and 2nd floors. The halls on the ground-floor are put at public disposal for different events.
An architectural contest for the renovation of the castle
The renovation of the Château de La Tour-de-Peilz, home to the Swiss Museum of Games, was subject to a contest for architects in 2015-2016. It was won by architects Aviolat-Chaperon-Escobar of Freiburg.
The main Castle renovations include:
- The Gardener’s house
- The enhancement of the castle with better accessibility and a greater visibility
- Creating a mixed area for temporary exhibitions and various events (parties, seminars, conferences, etc.)
- Creating a modular space for cultural mediation
- An air conditioning system to better preserve the exhibits and make the visit more comfortable for visitors.
While the renovation project of the castle lies in the hands of the Township, the renewal of the Museum is managed by the Foundation of the Swiss Museum of Games. Both are collaborating closely together both with the architects and scenographers.
The planned modifications include :
- to move the Museum reception area to the ground floor and open up the castle from the lake side.
- To entirely devote the two floors to the permanent exhibition
- To use the former café-restaurant space for temporary exhibitions and rentals and move the café-restaurant to the old dungeon.
Key Points for the Renovation
- Improved accessibility
- Opening to the lakeside shores
- A space for temporary exhibitions in the Gardener’s house
- Showcase the medieval dungeon as café-restaurant