Montreux

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Montreux is a municipality in the district of Riviera-Pays-d'Enhaut in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland.

It is located on Lake Geneva at the foot of the Alps and has (as of December 2007) a population of 23,800[2] and nearly 90,000 in the agglomeration.[3]

Contents

History and geography

Montreux lies on the north east shore of Lake Geneva at the fork in the Roman road from Italy over the Simplon Pass, where the roads to the Roman capital of Aventicum and the road into Gaul through Besançon separated. This made it an important settlement already in Roman times.

In the 12th century, viticulture was introduced to the region, and the sunny slopes of the lake from Lavaux to Montreux became an important wine-growing region.

The region was subject to various princes, most notably the princes of Savoy from the south side of the lake. They unified the territory which comprises the present canton of Vaud and were generally popular sovereigns.

After the Burgundian Wars in the 15th century, the Swiss in Bern occupied the region without resistance, an indication of the weakness of the princes of Savoy. The Reformation made the region around Montreux and Vevey an attractive haven for Huguenots from Italy, who brought their artisanal skills and set up workshops and businesses.

In 1798, Napoleon liberated the region from the Bernese. In the 19th century, the tourist industry became a major commercial outlet, with the grand hotels of Montreux attracting the rich and cultured from Europe and America.

Culture

  • It was a haven for Catherine Barkley and Lt. Frederic Henry in Ernest Hemingway's classic, A Farewell to Arms.

Montreux hosts several noteworthy festivals:

  • The Septembre musical de Montreux, founded in 1946 and held every year since then.
  • Freddie Mercury's Montreux Memorial Day, annually first week-end of September since 2003.[4]
  • The Montreux Jazz Festival, annually in July since 1967. It is held at the Montreux Music & Convention Centre, built in 1973 and has become a global phenomenon.
  • The Golden Rose Festival, annually in spring (1961–2003), which awarded the Golden Rose of Montreux, an international award for television.
  • The Golden Award of Montreux, annually in April, is traditionally, since 1989, the first international advertising and multimedia Competition in Europe - starting the global season for awarding creative excellence.

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