The Coppet castle museum
The Coppet castle museum is located above the town of Coppet on a rocky promontory within the walls of the castle.
Parking next to the castle, on the other side of the road.
The castle of Coppet was built in the 13th century. It was destroyed in 1536 during the conquest of the Pays de Vaud by the Bernese. During its history, it belonged to various lords and in particular to Michel de Gruyère who acquired the castle in 1550 shortly before going bankrupt. The castle was rebuilt in the 17th century but there is practically nothing left of the primitive fortified castle except for the base of the old keep. For this reason, this castle is not part of the Torpille castles listing.
The Necker family
The castle was bought by Jacques Necker, the rich finance minister of King Louis XVI of France, in 1784. His daughter Germaine, philosopher and writer, known as “Madame de Staël” (1766-1817) is the outstanding figure of the castle and one of the most famous and listened women of her time. Among the rich adventures of his life, we can mention the prohibition that Napoleon made to her to enter Paris in 1803 because of her writings. In 1812, in Coppet, then part of the Léman department of the Helvetic Republic under Napoleon’s control, she decided to go into exile in England before returning to France after Napoleon’s fall in 1814.
Madame de Staël has given its name to two colleges in particular. The Collège and School of General Culture Madame de Staël in the canton of Geneva and the Collège Madame de Staël in Paris.
The visit of the Coppet castle museum
Owned by his descendants, the castle is managed by a foundation, the Othenin D’Haussonville Foundation, which has transformed part of it into a museum. The museum offers a visit to about ten rooms on the ground and first floor. Each of these rooms has kept its furniture and paintings as they were in the 18th and 19th centuries, which is particularly rare in French-speaking Switzerland for a monument open to visitors.
The rooms presented during the visit are as follows:
- The vestibule
- The library
- The rooms of Madame de Staël and Madame de Récanier
- The boudoir of Madame de Récanier.
- The kitchen
- The bathroom.
- The dining room.
- The wash-hand basin.
- The landing.
- The portrait lounge.
- The large lounge.
- The chapel.
The entrance fees to the Coppet castle museum are as follows:
- Adult: 10 francs
- Students/AHVs/Unemployed: 7 francs
- 7 to 16 years old: 5 francs
Guided tours are organized on reservation.
A video on the Coppet Castle.