A little history
A peaceful and internationally famous area, the Montreux Riviera took off as a tourist resort at the beginning of the XIX century. Two centuries later, the terraced vineyard became part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
Although Vevey developed quite extensively already during the XVIII century, Montreux was only a collection of small villages of farmers and craftsmen. It was mostly thanks to the success enjoyed by the works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (“La Nouvelle Héloïse”, 1761) and of Lord Byron (“Le prisonnier de Chillon”, 1816) that the Montreux Riviera began to attract its first visitors. Enchanted by the descriptions of Chillon Castle and its surroundings, the European aristocracy (and especially the English) found what corresponded with the sense of serenity and change of scenery they were looking for.
In order to accommodate the ever increasing number of visitors, a first guest house opened in Montreux in 1815. Things accelerated with the building of the first large hotels from 1840 and the arrival of the railway in 1861.
Attracted by the beauty of the scenery, the gentle climate and the excellent quality of life, many celebrities soon started staying and even settling in the area. Among the most famous are Victor Hugo, Gustave Eiffel, Charlie Chaplin, Gandhi and Freddie Mercury.