Château de Prangins

Prangins is a perfect example of resilience in the face of destruction, that most human of qualities which counteracts the also very human sense of destruction. The structure one sees today is from a new owner’s endeavours after 1723 yet medieval settlement of this site dates at least to the 1090’s — medieval for this was a site of relevance already for those fabled conquerors from the south, the Romans, who have left a very visible mark on nearby Nyon.

Prangins is mostly unexceptional though perhaps that is what is so striking about it — the picture below illustrates, perhaps, what I mean. I really enjoyed walking about the grounds and circumventing the structure, and yet no single part of it stands out. It, however, fits into the landscape — I do wonder what the previous versions, such as the one destroyed in 1293, looked like and whether they had achieved the very same balance that was managed in the 18th century.

A wintery garden…

The garden in the foreground reminded me of the many country houses I have visited in England — a very reserved look to it though if the flowers were in bloom it could look very different; perhaps different enough to warrant a visit here in the sublime Vaudois spring.

As another element of bringing nature closer to the occupants, the terraces to the back of the edifice used to be rose gardens leading down to Lake Geneva. And, I can imagine the Parisian financiers of the 18th century who owned this place taking great pride in their work in their afternoon strolls from the château down to the lake, ever surrounded by the indomitable Alps just across Lac Leman.

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