Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sierre - Switzerland

Sierre is the capital of the district of Sierre in the canton of Valais in Switzerland, just a few kms from where Óscar and his family lives. 
He sent me this card showing the Château de Villa, nowadays a restaurant, wine bar, wine museum, and “ Sensorama” with wine-tasting programs.

© Photoglob Zürich/Vevey
The first stone of this beautiful architectural ensemble was lain in the 16th century by a patrician family of the country. The octagonal tower of the building and the east wing are the oldest parts of the castle. The western part of the building and its magnificent entrance gate were built during the 17th century, when the manor became the main residence of the owners. They embellished over generations the interior of the château, which became, in the middle of the 20th century, part of the collective heritage of the city. In the front yard of the castle, you will find a bronze statue by sculptor Jacques Bartender, entitled "The horse and the Showgirl", made in 1984.
Originally occupied by the family Platea since the 15th century, the Château was sold to the family Preux in 1497. The death of Mrs. Catherine Meyer, the last descendant of the branch Preux, in 1923, marks the beginning of a difficult period for the château. The house was bought in 1939 by Ms. De Panchaud Bottens, eager to create a museum of Swiss costumes. Unfortunately she was  victim of a fraud and she found herself deprived of his fortune and was declared bankrupt in 1943. After the 1946's earthquake, the remains were mortgaged. Thanks to several articles published in a local newspaper, the Château was saved by Sierra's citizens.
In 1951 was created a foundation to ensure the conservation of the Chateau.

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