What to do this Fall in Switzerland’s Lake Geneva Region
When Americans can travel to Switzerland once again, the Lake Geneva Region will be ready to welcome them back to the snow-capped mountains and the shores of Lake Geneva. They’ll discover new museums, star chefs, new restaurants and reborn hotels. Here’s what’s new this autumn and awaiting visitors when they return.
Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet Opens
The Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet opened on June, 25 2020 in Le Brassus, in the heart of the Vallée de Joux, the cradle of Swiss watchmaking. It offers an immersive experience that retraces more than 145 years of watchmaking history. The striking museum is circular, shaped like a coil and designed to resemble a watch spring. The innovative design and architecture is thanks to Danish architect Bjarke Ingels of the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), who was commissioned to showcase the watchmaking achievements of Audemars Piguet.
The museum displays 300 watches under protective domes, masterpieces of miniaturization, technical complexity and avant-garde design. The rare timepieces include the Universelle, which has a 21 functions and 13 hands, a watch that was crafted by Audemars Piguet in 1899 and considered the most complicated piece that the company ever crafted. There are also a wide selection of emblematic models including many Royal Oak, Royal Oak Offshore and Royal Oak Concept. Visitors can observe watchmakers and artisans at work in transparent workshops. The Musée Atelier can be visited from Monday to Friday by guided tour only and by reservation. In 2021, the four star 50 room Hôtel des Horlogers, also designed by BIG, will open its doors next to the Musée Atelier.
Freddie Mercury Tours in Montreux
Freddie Tours is a new company that offers a guided tour of Montreux and its rich musical past by following in the footsteps of the unforgettable Freddie Mercury of Queen (1946-1991), the singer who had close links with the region. The one hour tour starts at the covered market in Montreux, within walking distance of the statue of the musical icon, and goes along the flower-lined quays of which the artist was so fond. It passes by the façade of the apartment bought by Freddie and includes a visit to the Mountain Studio, located in the Montreux Casino, where Queen recorded six albums. This venue is now called the Queen Studio Experience and is a museum dedicated to the group. The guided tour costs CHF 29 and can be scheduled on any day of the week, with an English-speaking guide.
Reopening of the Abbatiale de Payerne
After more than 10 years of building works, the Abbatiale de Payerne, a masterpiece of Romanesque art in Switzerland, has reopened to the public. The discovery trail at the 11th century Abbatiale is unique and offers a new perspective on the history of the largest Romanesque church in Switzerland. It’s easily explored thanks to an immersive and interactive audio guide that has been created for visitors.
New Permanent Exhibition at PLATEFORME 10
“Come and see here what you won’t see elsewhere!” is the theme of the new Permanent exhibition at the Fine Arts Museum (mcb-a), which is part of PLATEFORME 10, Lausanne’s new arts complex situated next to the train station. The exhibition consists of about 300 art works on two floors that show the breadth of Vaud’s art collections, from the 18th century to the present day. Several rooms are dedicated to single artists, including Louis Ducros, Charles Gleyre, Félix Vallotton, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, and Louis Soutter. Other rooms illustrate major artistic trends with works acquired after World War Two and these exhibits feature drawings and paintings of the second Paris School, geometric abstraction, neo-Fauvism, and new media such as video and installation art. The works on display will be gradually rotated in coming years.