Montreux Switzerland is a resort town on the southeast corner of Lake Geneva—the Swiss Riviera. Its heyday was in the 19th century. Although it is not as fashionable as it once was, it still has a number of nice resort hotels and a lovely lakeside promenade. A stroll along the promenade gives one an incredible view of the lake and the mountains on the other side—including some of the snow-covered Alps in the distance. In addition, the promenade has food and craft stalls, lovely lakeside plantings, and fun sculptures. It also has a small, pretty Old Town up the hill from the beach.
Queen and Freddy Mercury
Of greatest note, however, is its tribute to Freddy Mercury. The singer came to the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1978 to record the album “Jazz” with Queen. He loved the area and decided to move there. The town erected his statue on the promenade in 1996 where his fans continue to decorate with flowers.
The Queen Experience in the Montreux Casino is a free exhibit that honors the recording studio that Queen bought and used in the town. Queen recorded seven albums there including the final album “Made in Heaven”. The Queen Experience exhibit discusses the band’s history. It displays instruments and a number of “Bad Boy” Freddy’s costumes. The control room has not been changed since the band worked there. Many of the fixtures and sound equipment remain as when the band owned them. Visitors can stand in the same spot where Freddie recorded his last song.
The Montreux Casino is also famous for an additional reason. Although it has been rebuilt, it is immortalized in Deep Purple’s hit, “Smoke on the Water” when in a 1971 night “some stupid with a flare gun burned the place to the ground”.