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Montreux coat of arms
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : Canton of VaudCanton of Vaud Vaud (VD)
District : Riviera-Pays-d'Enhautw
BFS no. : 5886i1 f3 f4
Postal code : 1820
Coordinates : 559.88 thousand  /  142577 coordinates: 46 ° 26 '0 "  N , 6 ° 55' 0"  O ; CH1903:  559 880  /  142577
Height : 390  m above sea level M.
Height range : 372-2022 m above sea level M.
Area : 33.41  km²
Residents: i25,984 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 778 inhabitants per km²
Unemployment rate : 6.6% (May 31, 2,015)
Montreux: View to the Chablais

Montreux: View to the Chablais

Location of the municipality
Genfersee Lac de Bret Lac de Lussy Lac du Vernex Lac de l’Hongrin Lac Lioson Arnensee Frankreich Kanton Bern Kanton Freiburg Kanton Wallis Kanton Wallis Bezirk Aigle Bezirk Lavaux-Oron Blonay Chardonne VD Château-d’Oex Corseaux Corsier-sur-Vevey Jongny Montreux Rossinière Rougemont VD Saint-Légier-La Chiésaz La Tour-de-Peilz Vevey VeytauxMap of Montreux
About this picture

Montreux (pronunciation: /mɔ̃.tʁø/ ) is a city and a political municipality in the Riviera-Pays-d'Enhaut district in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland . The former German name Muchtern is no longer used today. The city lies on Lake Geneva under the protection of 2000 meter high mountain peaks. The climatic conditions and the subtropical vegetation on the waterfront make Montreux an internationally renowned tourist destination, also known as the venue for the Montreux Jazz Festival .


The climate in Montreux is relatively mild throughout the year. In addition, due to its location relatively far to the east near the Alps , compared to other places on Lake Geneva, there is quite a lot of precipitation with a total of 1372 mm and 136 rainy days . Therefore, among other things, numerous southern plant species such as various types of palm , tropical fruits and olive trees grow and thrive . The few ice days in the year and the relatively balanced climate are ideal for viticulture . Therefore, there are also many protected reptile species such as wall lizards, sand lizards, aspisvipers, aesculapian snakes and grass snakes that feel comfortable in this microclimate.

Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Montreux-Clarens
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 4.5 6.2 9.6 13.9 18.2 21.8 24.9 23.9 20.5 15.2 9.3 5.5 O 14.5
Min. Temperature (° C) −0.8 0.3 2.4 5.5 9.5 12.8 15.1 14.7 12.0 8.0 3.3 0.0 O 6.9
Temperature (° C) 1.5 2.8 5.4 9.1 13.3 16.7 19.3 18.6 15.5 10.9 5.8 2.4 O 10.1
Precipitation ( mm ) 90 86 104 109 119 157 130 151 117 104 114 91 Σ 1,372
Rainy days ( d ) 11.6 10.6 12.4 11.9 13.8 13.1 10.3 12.0 9.5 8.9 11.0 11.3 Σ 136.4
Humidity ( % ) 81 77 73 70 71 71 69 72 76 81 80 81 O 75.2
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Aerial photo (1949)

Montreux is located at 390  m above sea level. M. , 24 km east-south-east of the canton capital Lausanne (linear distance). The city extends on the east bank of Lake Geneva , on the alluvial cone of the Baye de Montreux torrent, which juts out slightly into the lake, and on the adjacent slopes of the Vaudois Riviera , at the foot of the Vaudois Alps .

The area of ​​the 33.4 km² municipal area comprises a section on the east bank of Lake Geneva (around 5.5 km of the lakeshore line). The lakeshore is divided by the two alluvial cones of the Baye de Clarens and the Baye de Montreux and the bay in between. In the northwestern municipal area near Clarens, the lake is connected to relatively gently sloping slopes, otherwise the terrain rises rapidly behind the narrow edge of the bank and already reaches a height of 1188  m above sea level on the Cubly . M.

The eastern, pre-alpine part of the municipality has great differences in relief and is drained by the valley of the Baye de Montreux torrent, which flows just a few hundred meters east of the city center through the Gorge du Chauderon . This valley is flanked to the north by the forest heights of Le Cubly and Les Avants; north of it is the valley of the Baye de Clarens, which together with the mountains Le Folly ( 1730  m above sea level ) and Le Molard ( 1751  m above sea level ) forms the northern border. South of the torrent valley of the Baye de Montreux, the heights of Glion and Caux belong to Montreux, while the southern border runs along the Veraye stream .

To the east, the parish extends to the crest of the limestone chain of the Rochers de Naye . A little north of the summit of Rochers de Naye is 2025  m above sea level. M. reached the highest point of Montreux. To the north of this are the Dent de Jaman limestone ( 1875  m above sea level ) as well as Corbe ( 1898  m above sea level ) and Cape au Moine ( 1941  m above sea level ); In between lies the Col de Jaman pass ( 1512  m above sea level ). This chain forms the watershed between the catchment areas of the Rhone and Rhine . A small part of the municipality includes the Alp Jaman east of the pass of the same name, which is already in the catchment area of ​​the Hongrin, a tributary of the Saane . In 1997, 17% of the municipal area was in settlements, 49% in forests and woodlands, 27% in agriculture and around 7% was unproductive land.

City structure

Montreux by night
Montreux: view to the northwest

The settlement focus of Montreux lies along the shores of Lake Geneva. The former villages have grown together into a single urbanized band of settlements since the end of the 19th century. However, some hamlets on the upper slope and in the foothills of the Alps have at least essentially retained their original (rural) character. The city of Montreux consists of the following districts, villages and hamlets:

  • Clarens ( 380  m above sea level ) on the alluvial cone of the Baye de Clarens
  • Les Planches ( 400  m above sea level ) at the exit of the Baye de Montreux from the Gorge du Chauderon
  • Vernex ( 396  m above sea level ) on the lake shore north of the Montreux peninsula
  • Territet ( 400  m above sea level ) at the foot of the height of Glion
  • Baugy ( 440  m above sea level ) slightly increased west of the Baye de Clarens
  • Chailly ( 485  m above sea level ) on the slope west of the Baye de Clarens
  • Tavel ( 423  m above sea level ) on the Baye de Clarens
  • Brent ( 567  m above sea level ) east of the Baye de Clarens, across from Blonay
  • Fontanivent ( 538  m above sea level ) above Clarens on the western slope of the Cubly
  • Chaulin ( 680  m above sea level ) above Clarens on the western slope of the Cubly
  • Chernex ( 580  m above sea level ) above Clarens on the western slope of the Cubly
  • Pertit ( 520  m above sea level ) on the slope above the Montreux peninsula
  • Pallens ( 480  m above sea level ) on the slope above the Montreux peninsula
  • Sonzier ( 665  m above sea level ) on the southern slope of the Cubly above the Gorge du Chauderon
  • Les Avants ( 968  m above sea level ) in a hollow on the northern flank of the Baye de Montreux
  • Sonloup ( 1149  m above sea level ) on the ridge above Les Avants
  • Orgevaux ( 1222  m above sea level ) is an alpine and holiday home area on the southern slope of the Folly
  • Glion ( 689  m above sea level ) on a promontory above the Montreux peninsula
  • Caux ( 1050  m above sea level ) on a ledge above the Montreux peninsula

Neighboring municipalities of Montreux are Veytaux , La Tour-de-Peilz and Blonay in the canton of Vaud and Haut-Intyamon in the canton of Friborg .


Population development
year Residents year Residents
1764 2103 1950 16,730
1798 2527 1960 17,729
1850 3181 1970 20,421
1900 13,519 1980 19,685
1910 17,850 1990 22,917
1920 16.007 2000 22,454
1930 17,662 2010 24,579
1941 14,482

With 25,984 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2018), Montreux is the third largest city in the canton after Lausanne and Yverdon-les-Bains . 74.4% of the residents are French-speaking, 6.2% German-speaking and 4.0% Italian-speaking (as of 2000). The population of Montreux increased significantly, especially between 1850 and 1910, and then showed several economic fluctuations until 1960. Since then a further increase in population has been recorded. The settlement area of ​​Montreux has now seamlessly merged with those of La Tour-de-Peilz, Blonay and Veytaux.


legislative branch

The legislative authority is the municipal council ( conseil communal ) elected every four years by the voters of the municipality of Montreux . The 100 MPs are elected by proportional representation. The tasks of the municipal council include budget and invoice approval, the establishment of municipal regulations and control of the executive.

12 28 7th 42 11 
A total of 100 seats
  • GPS : 12
  • SP : 28
  • ML : 7
  • FDP : 42
  • SVP : 11

The distribution of seats in the 2016 elections was as follows:


The executing authority is the municipal council ( municipalité ). It consists of seven members and has been elected by the people in a majority vote since 1982 ; In the past, the election of the municipal council was the responsibility of the municipal parliament. The term of office is four years. The municipal council is responsible for the enforcement of the resolutions of the parliament, for the implementation of federal and cantonal legislation as well as for the representation and management of the municipality. The Syndic (mayor), also elected for four years, has expanded competencies.

National Council elections

In the Swiss parliamentary elections 2019, the share of the vote in Montreux was: FDP 29.6%, SP 20.3%, Greens 18.7%, SVP 14.9%, glp 6.9%, POP / Sol 3.9%, CVP 2.5%.


The District Court of Vevey is responsible for criminal justice.


Montreux's economy is predominantly geared towards tourism . The city offers around 9,500 jobs. Around 1% of the workforce is employed in the primary sector, 13% in the industrial sector and 86% in the service sector.

On the perfectly sunny slopes above Clarens as well as near Chailly and Brent, viticulture is practiced on numerous smaller vineyards . In the higher areas, agriculture , dairy farming, and cattle breeding predominate. In the foothills of the Alps, Montreux also has extensive alpine pastures .


The industrialization took place in the second half of the 19th century. Montreux never actually became an industrial city, industry mainly covered the tourist needs. Wood processing companies and manufacturers of exclusive pieces of furniture, silversmiths, the jewelery industry, the food and luxury goods industry ( chocolate ) and printing companies set up shop. Suppliers to the hotel industry still play an important role today, alongside printing and publishing as well as the manufacture of laboratory equipment and audiovisual equipment.

The employees in the tertiary sector are spread across the hotel and catering industry, administration, banking and insurance, educational institutions and the medical sector. Montreux with its two mountain health resorts Glion and Caux has numerous private clinics and retirement homes. Caux has been the location of the Moral Armament Conference Center since 1946 .

Montreux around 1900


Since the first half of the 19th century, Montreux has developed into one of the most important tourist destinations in Switzerland. The development took place in three steps: The first hotels were built between 1836 and 1859, but at that time there was no tourist infrastructure. It was only with the construction of the railway (1861), the improvement of the roads and the establishment of the shipyards in Clarens and Montreux that the city was also much easier to reach for guests from abroad. Thanks to its mild climate and attractive location, Montreux has become a world-famous summer health resort. In a third step, the surrounding heights were made accessible for tourism by funiculars . Sanatoriums were built in the high-altitude villages of Glion, Caux and Les Avants. Other important hotels were also built along the lakeshore, such as the “Hôtel des Alpes” and the “Grand Hôtel” (both 1887) in Territet, as well as the “ Montreux Palace ” (1905). Montreux became a popular place to stay for monarchs (such as the Empress Elisabeth of Austria ) and aristocrats, artists and philosophers, politicians and displaced persons, for example. B. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky , Leo Tolstoy and Vladimir Nabokov . The latter lived in a luxurious suite in the Montreux Palace from 1961 until his death in 1977.

Today the waterfront is one of the city's main attractions. Here are the hotel palaces, the casino and the congress center; you can enjoy a wonderful view of Lake Geneva with the Grammont massif and the peaks of the Dents du Midi .

Montreux Palace 2013


Freddie Mercury Memorial

Montreux has a wide range of cultural events and a good reputation as a city of music. The most famous festival is the Montreux Jazz Festival , held annually in July since 1967 . There is also the Montreux Choral Festival and the Nuits du Jazz de Chernex. The Queen group was active in Montreux for many years and had owned the Montreux Mountain Recording Studios since 1979 , which had been housed in the newly built casino since 1975. The casino brand of December 4, 1971 inspired the group Deep Purple to produce their world hit Smoke on the Water . This tells the story of the casino fire from 1971 when the casino burned down completely during a concert by Frank Zappa . Deep Purple wanted to record their latest LP Machine Head under so-called live conditions in the hall of the casino with the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio and were in the hall as guests of the Zappa concert. Claude Nobs , the co-founder and long-time director of the Montreux Jazz Festival, first found the Le Pavillon for the recordings of Deep Purple and it was here that the basic tracks for her most famous song were created: “No matter what we get out of this, I know we will never forget. Smoke on the water, fire in the sky. " before they had to move to the empty Grand Hotel for the next recordings . The casino was rebuilt by 1975. Freddie Mercury , the singer from Queen, spent some of the last years of his life here. A monument was erected in his honor on the lake shore.

From 1954 to 2003 Montreux was also the venue for the international television festival Rose d'Or (every spring). It has been taking place in Lucerne since 2004 . The international advertising festival Golden Award of Montreux, which was carried out as part of the Rose d'Or, continues to take place every year in April in Montreux.

The city has several museums, including the Musée de Montreux, housed in a group of winegrowers' houses in the Sâles district since 1920, the Swiss Museum of Sound and Image (Musée national suisse de l'audiovisuel, or Audiorama for short) in Territet and the Nouveau Musée Ruzo (also in Territet). The Maison Visinand serves as a cultural and leisure center.


As an important educational center in the eastern part of the canton of Vaud, Montreux has all school levels up to grammar school . Various vocational schools and teaching institutes should be mentioned as further educational institutions, including the “European University” and the “Center international de formation hôtelière et touristique” in Glion, a hotel management school founded in 1962.


Montreux peninsula with the Tour d'Ivoire (82 m)
Territet-Glion funicular

Montreux has excellent transport connections. It is located on the main road 9 , which leads from Lausanne along the lakeshore via Montreux into the Valais . The closest motorway connections to the A9 , opened in 1970 , which crosses the municipality and bypasses Montreux and Territet in the Glion tunnel, are located above Clarens (in the north) and at Villeneuve (in the south).

The connection to the Swiss railway network took place on April 2, 1861, when the Lausanne-Villeneuve section of the railway line to Sion was opened. In addition to Montreux train station, there are other train stations in Clarens and Territet. The Territet-Glion funicular was next inaugurated in 1883. As a continuation, the cog railway from Glion via Caux to the Rochers de Naye was inaugurated in 1892. Its extension down to Montreux did not take place until April 8, 1909. On December 18, 1901, the Montreux-Les Avants section of the Montreux-Berner Oberland Railway (MOB), ( French : Chemin de fer Montreux-Oberland bernois) put into operation. In 1910 the funicular from Les Avants to Sonloup was inaugurated. In the Montreux meet today trains with three different track gauges namely, standard gauge of the Swiss Federal Railways , the meter gauge the Montreux-Bernese Oberland Railway and the 800-millimeter narrow gauge of Transports Montreux-Vevey-Riviera (MVR). The three railways open up the area of ​​the municipality of Montreux with a total of 30 train stations and stops.

From 1888 an electric tram operated along the lake shore . It was the first electrically operated railway in Switzerland and was replaced in 1957 by the Vevey – Villeneuve trolleybus . Other bus routes operated by Transports publics Vevey – Montreux – Chillon – Villeneuve (VMCV) open up the villages and hamlets on the slopes above Montreux.

From 1898, the Trait Planches rack railway also ran, which had to cease operations 14 years later after an accident that had actually been minor.


Montreux, depiction on a postcard around 1890
Montreux Palace

The earliest traces of settlement in the municipality of Montreux go back to before the turn of the century. The remains of a settlement from the late Bronze Age have been found near Baugy . During the Roman era , the important military route led from the Great St. Bernard to Aventicum (Avenches), or to Lausanne through Montreux. The foundations of a Roman villa were discovered, which was probably inhabited from the 2nd to 4th centuries. A burial ground dates from the Burgundian period .

In the Middle Ages , the area of ​​Montreux initially belonged to the Abbey of Saint-Maurice in Valais, later it came to the Bishop of Sion , who founded the large parish of Montreux. The city's name originally comes from the Latin word monasterium (monastery). In 1295 the area came to Girard of Oron. In 1317 the division of Montreux was sealed when the Lords of Oron sold the southern parts ( Les Planches and Veytaux ) to the Count of Savoy . The northern part (later the lordship of Le Châtelard ) initially remained in the hands of the Lords of Oron as a Savoy fief, but later passed to the La Sarraz family as a result of a marriage.

With the conquest of Vaud by Bern in 1536, both parts came under the administration of the Bailiwick of Chillon , which was renamed the Bailiwick of Vevey in 1735. After the collapse of the Ancien Régime , Le Châtelard, Les Planches and Veytaux belonged to the canton of Léman from 1798 to 1803 during the Helvetic Republic , which then became part of the canton of Vaud when the mediation constitution came into force . In 1798 the parishes were assigned to the district of Vevey.

As early as the middle of the 18th century, Montreux gained a certain degree of fame through the stay of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and later of Lord Byron . The actual economic upswing began after 1850 with the improved transport connections, the construction of numerous hotels, guest houses and sanatoriums (for lung patients). The first major cultural events took place, including the Daffodil Festival, which was held from 1897 to 1957. The peak as a tourist destination was reached around 1910. The hotel industry suffered a slump in the First World War and later in the Second World War . Many hotels had to close during these times and some were converted into apartments. With the launch of new festivals, namely the September Musical (since 1946) and the Festival of the Golden Rose (since 1954), Montreux once again achieved international renown. In 1967, Claude Nobs , an employee of the tourism authority, launched the Montreux Jazz Festival , which attracts 200,000 visitors every year. In 1990 the city received the Wakker Prize in recognition of the preservation of the 19th century tourism infrastructure.

The community of Montreux is established

The present municipal area of ​​Montreux and Veytaux has been administered by a central authority since the 19th century . The municipalities of Le Châtelard had four MPs, Les Planches two and Veytaux one MP for this district council. The communities themselves, however, continued to represent politically independent units. The Montreux peninsula was thus divided into two parts, because the border ran exactly along the Baye de Montreux stream .

It was not until 1953 that the name Montreux appeared in a prominent place on the political community maps. At that time, Le Châtelard-Montreux was renamed Montreux-Châtelard and Les Planches received the official name Montreux-Planches . On January 1, 1962, the merger of Montreux-Châtelard with Montreux-Planches to form the new municipality with the name Montreux was finally completed. The residents of Veytaux rejected the merger in 1961, which is why the village continued to be an independent municipality.

Since 2012, the altitude of the municipality has been part of the Parc naturel régional Gruyère Pays-d'Enhaut .


Saint Vincent Church

The parish church of Saint-Vincent, mother church of the parish of Montreux, was first mentioned in 1228, but was probably founded as early as the 11th century. The current building with a polygonal choir and ribbed vault dates from the end of the 15th century. Next to it is an ossuary from the 16th century. The Catholic Church is a neo-Gothic building from 1883 to 1885.

On a hill above Clarens is Châtelard Castle, which was built in 1441, partially destroyed by the Confederates in 1476 and then rebuilt. It has a massive square donjon (residential tower) with machicolations made of brick, reminiscent of the northern Italian style. The residential tower was extensively restored and redesigned in the 17th century and has a rich interior from this period.

In Montreux and Clarens there are numerous notable hotel and residential buildings from the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century. These include the Montreux Palace (1904), the Grand Hotel in Territet (1887), the Palace Hotel in Caux (1902), the Villa Karma (1904–1906) and the Villa Chartran.

Chillon Castle is located three kilometers southeast of Montreux .


Director Friederike Pöhlmann-Grießinger preparing Miles or the pendulum clock from Montreux by Henning Mankell in Montreux

Town twinning

Web links

Commons : Montreux  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Panorama picture Montreux

Individual evidence

  1. Permanent and non-permanent resident population by year, canton, district, municipality, population type and gender (permanent resident population). In: bfs. . Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 31, 2019, accessed on December 22, 2019 .
  2. Demandeurs d'emploi, chômeurs et taux de chômage par commune. ( XLS , 115 kB) Statistique Vaud, Département des finances et des relations extérieures (Statistics Vaud, Department of Finance and Foreign Affairs), accessed on June 14, 2015 (French).
  3. Climate diagrams and standard values ​​per station. Federal Office for Meteorology and Climatology (MeteoSwiss), accessed on December 8, 2018 .
  5. ^ Federal Statistical Office : NR - Results parties (municipalities) (INT1). In: Federal Elections 2019 | August 8, 2019, accessed August 20, 2020 .
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This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on June 17, 2005 .