The French Connection - Vevey, Switzerland


So, what does Vevey, a small Swiss town situated on the banks of Lake of Geneva have in common with Paris? Quite a few things actually, including Gustave Eiffel, the man who designed the Eiffel Tower for the World Fair of 1889. Like many other French people, Eiffel was so attracted to the region’s hospitable climate and stunning beauty that he purchased the “Villa Valentine” in 1892 and spent several months a year in Vevey. He considered these sojourns to be “interludes” in his hectic life in Paris.


Strolling along the lake, where one’s pace automatically slows down to better appreciate a fisherman’s boat gliding across the water or a group of fuzzy ducklings bobbing along behind their mother, it’s easy to understand Eiffel’s affection for the area.


The regions long list of French residents and famous visitors includes Gustave Corbet, the French artist who went into exile after the Paris Commune; Léon Gambetta, who is famous for having escaped from the siege of Paris in a balloon on October 7, 1870; Elisée Reclus, the father of modern geography; and Romain Rolland, the French author who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1915.


Comments

  1. I always associate Vevey with the first half of Henry James' "Daisy Miller." The movie itself was also filmed there on location.

    So, I guess the gentleman Gambetta also gets a street and Metro stop named after him near Pere Lachaise?

    Maddietravel (Tripadvisor)
    loving and learning from your blog!

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  2. Maddietravel, You're right, it's the same Gambetta. There's also a rue Gambetta that I'm assuming is named after him in Clarens (Montreux) Switzerland. It was fascinating for me to discover all of these links between Switzerland and Paris, but it makes sense because so many French people fled there to escape whatever was going on in France at various times throughout history...religious persecution, etc.

    I was planning to do a post on Daisy Miller because I passed the Hotel Trois Couronnes many times while I was in Vevey. Unfortunately, I didn't have time and decided to cover that and Hemingway and Fitzgerald's connection with the area the next time that I'm there. I love the scene in the movie, Daisy Miller, where the carriage is going along the lakeshore after their visit to Chillon Castle.

    Another book that was set in Vevey is Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner. The movie, however, was set in the Swiss German part for some reason.

    Thanks for reading! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh yes, please do a commentary/report on the Hemingway and Fitzgerald connections!

    I learned so much about that area from Daisy Miller alone...
    -Maddietravel

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