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Since Montreux, Switzerland has a very special place in my heart, I thought I'd try and give you a bit of detail behind some of the incredible architecture within the city.
The period known as La Belle Époque (literally meaning the beautiful era) left it's mark on the Swiss Riviera. This entire region expands from Villeneuve to Vevey, Switzerland. Montreux of course is in the center of all of this beautiful architecture. I believe it's also known as the Grand or Swiss Riviera with magnificient hotels, town houses and villas layered beautifully among neighbouring resorts which align the waterfront of Montreux and Vevey.
The period of time when this 'Belle Époque' boom occurred was from the late 19th century and lasted until World War I. The Belle Époque was considered a golden time of beauty, innovation, and peace between France and its European neighbors.
New inventions made life easier at all social levels, the cultural scene thrived, cabaret, cancan, and the cinema were born, and art took new forms with Impressionism and Art Nouveau. Art and architecture in the style of this era in other nations is also sometimes called "Belle Époque" style. All of this beauty can easily be found within these cities.
Today Montreux is much like it was during the Belle Epoque. Montreux is a city for children and families, wanderers and dreamers. It's a city to relax in with a great book and to enjoy million dollar views. In comparison to my home now in Canada, only West Vancouver can be compared. However, Montreux still has the small city feel with all shops within walking distance of your house. Something a bit too distant in the West Vancouver community. To me, it's the perfect place to retire and enjoy the sunsets and thunderstorms which create the Swiss Riviera.
Please have a look at this building, the most grand hotel existing in Montreux, the Montreux Palace. It's not the same as in the above photo yet the architecture is the same. The architecture I was told comes from a British influence from the 1200's. It's beauty is still found throughout these lovely cities.
If you ever consider traveling to Montreux, don't just visit the city center itself. Take the train to Montreux and visit Glion, the local train and the vineyards above Montreux. There is so much to see from above where the beauty becomes a fairy tale and the beauty never ends.
Switzerland by Rail is the best way to get around the area as you are also able to use the GoldenPass Services such as the chocolate train to Gruyere which includes going up to Les Avants and through the Roches de Naye.