Prangins Castle is home to one part of the Swiss National Museum. At Prangins, the displays focus mainly on daily life in the castle and the region. There are also displays relating to Swiss history, as well as temporary exhibitions and cultural events. There is a café, serving drinks, snacks and lunch. The terrace has views of Lake Geneva and the Alps.

Prangins Castle has been a seat of power for centuries. The first record of the domain is from 1096. The current building dates from 1732, and has been extensively restored and furnished in the original style. The gardens are particularly unusual as they include an extensive sunken kitchen garden which has been replanted to match its original 18th century organisation.

An earlier building on the site was destroyed in 1293 by the Dukes of Savoy. It was rebuilt and changed hands repeatedly over the coming centuries. Nicholas de Diesbach enlarged the property in 1613. His family ceded the property to Emilie de Nassau in 1627. The demesne was sold in 1656.

It was sold again in 1719, this time to Jean Rieu, a Genevan citizen and a Paris banker. Four years later, in 1723, he passed it on to another Paris banker, Louis Guiguer who built the palace you see today. The building on the site was probably close to a ruin.

The castle was inherited by Guiger's nephew, Jean-George. He gave Voltaire, who was then exiled from France, the use of the property. In 1755 Jean-George Guiguer came to live at Prangins. He commissioned the temple and improved the gardens. After his death, Prangins passed to his son, Louis-François Guiguer de Prangins. Starting in 1771, Louis-François kept a journal detailing the daily life of the region. Over the following 15 years, he filled 7 volumes. His writings form a key part of the current museum offering.

His son and heir, Charles-Jules, became a general in the Swiss army. In 1814, he sold the castle to Joseph Bonaparte, the elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte. From 1873 to 1920, the castle was used as a school by the Frères Moraves, a Protestant monastic order.

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Founded: 1732
Category: Castles and fortifications in Switzerland

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

marco del freo (2 years ago)
Good for learning about Switzerland, the best thing is the Castle model showing how it was built. Great brunch.
Ravi Pariah (2 years ago)
Organised a bday party... all the kids seemed to have fun and the adults were all good to have a brunch while the kids were at the treasure hunt... really recommend this place for a nice day out or a kids party. Great food at the restaurant too...
ramzi jaber (2 years ago)
Lovely herb, vegetable, fruit garden for the castle. Great info from staff/guides about horticulture.
Thomas Fitzpatrick (2 years ago)
Lovely place. Be warned though parking is quite far away from the actual chateaux (and uphill) so can be tricky with small children or wheelchairs.
Gabriella Horváth (3 years ago)
Nice place, with a tidy kitchen garden and great view of the lake from its terrace, but note that on weekdays it closes at 5 pm!
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