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Out & About in Switzerland: Striking a chord in Grandson

The performances are given in the grand Knight's Hall.

(Grandson Concerts Association)

The Grandson castle on the shores of Lake Neuchatel is to be the setting for a classical concert on November 5 devoted to the works of the 19th-century piano virtuoso and composer, Franz Liszt.

Liszt is best known for a series of symphonic poems, two completed piano concerti, as well as several choral works and solo piano pieces.

The piano recital by Sylvaine Deferne is one of many special concerts held from October to April each year in the Knight's Hall at the 11th-century castle. The "Grandson Concerts" are designed to showcase a wide variety of musical styles from different eras.

Following each performance, guests and musicians are invited for a drink in front of the fireplace in the Banquet Hall.

The fortress also houses one of the best castle museums in Switzerland. It contains a torture chamber and an extensive collection of medieval armour and weaponry, much of it dating from 1476 when the Swiss defeated the army of Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, at Grandson - one of the most celebrated battles in Swiss history.

A slide show (available in English) retraces the history of the castle and the Burgundian wars. There's also a marked walk leading through the castle towers and around the grounds.

Bizarrely, the castle is also home to a vintage car display including Greta Garbo's white Rolls Royce and a Corbusier-designed car owned by Maurice Chevalier.

A well-preserved 11th-century Romanesque church is a short walk from the castle.


Out & About in Switzerland is updated regularly to keep you informed of upcoming events, which may provide a different insight into the country and its people.

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