Famous residents of Montreux

Montreux is a resort town located along the shore of Lake Geneva. It is surrounded by vineyards and is known for the Jazz Festival held annually in July.

This small and cozy town, with its mild climate and captivating landscapes, has always attracted artists, men of letters, and travelers in search of natural beauty, peace, and inspiration. Internationally known individuals, who have lived and continue to live here, are constantly in love with Montreux.

Here, nobody bothers them. Discover three celebrity expats that made Montreux their home.

Igor Stravinksy

The great Russian composer, conductor, and musician Igor Stravinsky lived in Clarens near Montreux from 1910 to 1915. One reason he came to this town was to help improve his wife’s health, who found Montreux’s microclimate favorable. After staying at the Pension des Tilleuls, the Hôtel du Châtelard, and the Hôtel des Crêtes, the Stravinsky family settled down at the Villa Pervenche. This is where Igor wrote his world-renowned ballets – The Rite of Spring and Pulcinella.

In memory of this city’s illustrious inhabitant, the Congress Center Auditorium was christened the Stravinski Auditorium. There was also a street in Clarens named in honor of this talented individual – Rue du Sacre du Printemps, or Rite of Spring Street.

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Vladimir Nabokov

The famous Russian-American novelist, Vladimir Nabokov, lived seventeen consecutive years in Montreux until the end of his life. The works of this author (Lolita and Pale Fire) forced him to flee to Montreux in 1964 because of persecution by the authorities. Nabokov and his family dwelled in a series of connected rooms at the Montreux Palace Hotel.

While staying at the Palace Hotel, Nabokov’s days were spent writing and going for long walks in the mountains above Montreux to enjoy his passion – catching butterflies. Following his death, Nabokov’s wife donated his unique butterfly collection to the University of Lausanne. Today, there is a bronze monument of Nabokov next to the Montreux Palace Hotel.

Freddie Mercury

As lead singer of the legendary British rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury settled down in Montreux after coming to the town for a festival and fell in love with its serene beauty. Freddie found a haven here. During his stays, he bought the Mountain Studios where Queen recorded a total of seven albums, including the last album – Made in Heaven.

To commemorate the fifth anniversary of Freddie’s death, a statue was installed in Montreux along the shore of Lake Geneva. As for Mountain Studios, which is located inside the Montreux Casino (Casino Barrière de Montreux), band member Brian May opened Queen: The Studio Experience. This has become a unique attraction dedicated to the greatness of Queen and Freddie Mercury.

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