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A site of regional and national pride, this formidable defensive fortification sits along the picturesque Lake Geneva. Built in the year 1286 on the orders of Baron Louis I of Vaud, this castle was constructed as a traditional Savoyard Carré, essentially a thick fortress with four conical towers enveloping a plaza. Through the years, several of the castle's features were altered, especially during the Bernese conquest of Vaud, when the castle's gates were destroyed. After years of instability, the castle was converted into a site housing four regional museums, the most prominent of which is the Vaud Military Museum.
A trip to the city is incomplete without a visit to the famous Zoo de Servion. Covering a massive 55,000 square meters (592,015 square feet) of lush forest and landscaped area, this is one of the biggest zoos and wildlife parks in the city. Home to over 60 different species of exotic birds and animals, including wolves, lions, leopards and bears, here one can catch a glimpse of some of the most intriguing animals, without setting foot out of the country. One can also learn a thing or two about the nature and life of the animals, from the well-informed zookeepers and guides.
Château de Glérolles currently stands as a wine-growing estate on the shores of lake Geneva and within the estate stands the 11th-century Glerolles Castle. The estate covers an area of 5 hectares (12.3 acres) and produces a variety of wines including Pinot Noir, Humagne red, Chasselas and many others. The estate is also available for rent for events and special functions and because of its beautiful location overlooking the lake with the mountains in the distance, this winery is a truly beautiful place to be.
One of the most prized natural spots of France, the Delta de la Dranse National Reserve belongs to the delta of the Dranse river. Characterized by beaches and marshy swamps, the reserve offers a brimming place of life. Replete with plethora of flora and fauna varieties, the national park is home to some rare reptiles and amphibian species. One can also see many local and migratory birds visiting the nature reserve.
Built by Pierre de Savoie in the 13th century, Château de la Tour-de-Peilz was once a strategic stronghold and observation post, by the Geneva lake. This former fortress, was tasked to defend the region from invaders using the lake route, and to monitor traffic of vessels sailing via the lake. A key figure during the Burgundy wars, the castle was heavily damaged and decommissioned. Subsequently converted into a residence building, the castle changed hands several times, before being purchased by the state. It now houses the Swiss Museum of Games on the first and second floors.
Facing the clear blue waters of the picturesque Lake Geneva, Allaman Castle is a historic and prestigious part of the village of Allaman. Considered to be one of the largest properties of Switzerland in private hands, the Castle was built in the 13th Century by the Count of Vaud. Today the castle has been completely restored by the current owner and now features a host of modern amenities and technology. It boasts a spa & wellness center, along with a swimming area and wine-cellars. The castle is surrounded by private forests, parks, gardens and Grand Cru vine yards.