I have been going to a special spot in Switzerland for a few years now. I’ve told all my friends about it. But, even though I’m a writer, I’ve kept it a secret from the general public, lest too many readers discover the beauty of this private place and eventually crowd me out. Alas, I am in a quandary. This wonderful Swiss town is the home of the Swiss Museum of Games (Musée Suisse du Jeu), an international museum devoted entirely to games. And, as an American games “expert” (or so they say), I find myself the curator of a special exhibition of games at this museum. Naturally, I would love for people to see the exhibit, so I’m forced to share my secret.
View of the Lake
The town is La Tour-de-Peilz, complete with hyphens and a French pronunciation that chops off the final “lz” and leaves you with “pay”. The small town is on Lake Geneva – the opposite side of the lake from the city of Geneva – and is nestled between its more famous neighbors, the beautiful lakeside town of Vevey, home of Nestlé, and the luxurious “Swiss Riviera” town of Montreux. Vevey has been famous since Henri Nestlé moved there in the 1840s and built his fame on a milk-and-cereal concoction baby food; after he sold it, the company then went on to, thank goodness, chocolate (look for the brand “Cailler”), then coffee (Nescafé). Montreux is the place where they have the famous jazz festival, film festival, arts festival, comedy festival, and other events, and is the home of the Château de Chillon, an incredible stone fort sitting right on the water.
The three towns are backed by mountains and a gondola takes you to the top. Bed & breakfasts and a few inns dot the hillsides. The views onto Lake Geneva and the mountains across it are spectacular from any altitude.
The Swiss Museum of Games is in a castle located on the shores of the lake. The museum offers special programs and exhibits throughout the year, in addition to the excellent permanent collection of games from different countries.
Lake with the Trees
The museum will feature an exhibition of American games September 2004 through February 2005. The exhibit, “Americanopoly – A View of America through its Games,” will focus on games that reflect a part of American culture – the people and events unique to the country’s development – and will feature a myriad of American game manufacturers and the classic games that they have produced. Highlighted will be games of themes particular to the United States, such as American sports, film, television, and politics, to name a few of the thirteen categories presented. Alongside the games whose titles might be familiar to many will be obscure and rare games of historic or social significance, from the 1840s to the present.
Swiss Museum of Games
Au Château – CH-1814 La Tour-de-Peilz
Tel. + 41 21 944 40 50 – Fax + 41 21 944 40 79
If you want more information about this area you can email the author or check out our Europe Insiders page.