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Montreux Overview


Montreux is a resort town in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland, on Lake Geneva with a population of 22,897.


Montreux hosts several noteworthy festivals:

  • The Golden Rose Festival, which awarded the Golden Rose of Montreux, an international award for television; annually in spring (1961-2003)

  • The Montreux Jazz Festival; annually in July since 1967


Montreux is the home of Mountain Studios, the recording studio used by several artists. In 1978, the band Queen bought the studio, which now is still owned by Queen producer David Richards. Queen also appeared in 1984 and in 1986 at the Golden Rose Festival and Queen guitarist Brian May appeared in 2001 at the Jazz Festival.


Montreux boasts one of the most beautiful walks along the lake, stretching from Villeneuve all the way towards Vevey. The main square of the town, Place du Marché, features a statue of Queen singer Freddie Mercury facing Lake Geneva. Some of the numerous small villages around Montreux include La Tour-de-Peilz, Clarens, Territet, and Villeneuve. Chateau Chillion provides a marvelous view of the entire Lake of Geneva and can be easily accessed via bus, foot or boat.


Deep Purple made Montreux famous with their song "Smoke on the Water", which tells the events of 1971, when a Frank Zappa fan with a flare gun set the Montreux Casino on fire. "We all came out to Montreux on the Lake Geneva shoreline To make records with a mobile - We didn't have much time Frank Zappa & the Mothers were at the best place around But some stupid with a flare gun burned the place to the ground Smoke on the water - A fire in the sky Smoke on the water"''


The Casino was reopened in 1975.