Charlie Chaplin’s Swiss Abode Now a Museum


On the north shore of Lake Geneva, Vevey is arguably one of Switzerland’s most charming towns. With its broad waterside promenade backdropped by the Alps, it’s easy to see why Charlie Chaplin fell in love with the area and decided to call it home when he was banned from the United States in 1952; he spent the last 25 years of his life here. Surrounded by centuries-old trees and expansive parkland, the manor house he and his family (Chaplin had eight children) lived in, high on a hill overlooking the lake, has been transformed into Chaplin’s World by Grevin, an insightful shrine to the actor and political activist. In addition to the grand house, the project—some 16 years in the planning—includes a purpose-built gallery showcasing more than 15,000 photos and 35 cinematic productions tracing Chaplin’s humble beginnings in London and his meteoric rise to become one of the biggest names in the film industry at only 26 years old. The interactive space also features 30 wax figures of Chaplin, his wife Oona, and artists moved by his work, including Michael Jackson (it’s said that Chaplin inspired the moonwalk), Woody Allen, and Federico Fellini.

This article originally appeared in the August/September print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Modern Times”).

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