This was a fairly large Church that I came across in the old historic town. It had a clock tower, and outside the entrance, there were old Mural's. This Gothic Church was built on the site of an older Temple between 1379-1525 I didn't have a chance to go inside, door shut!. Hopefully, you will be able to as I have read the interior is very nice.
The Town Wall surrounding the medieval part of Estavayer-le-lac, dates back to the 13th century.
There are four gates that lead into the historic town. We went in through the Porte du chateau Chenaux Camus. On looking up as we were driving through, it looked like the Coat of Arms was painted above, so the Car was stopped, and I took a photo!
Our exit was through another nice old gate, Porte de la Rochette. I also walked and saw another one, the Porte in the Dominican monastery. The one I missed was the Porte de la Thiolleyres.
How to enter........
I entered by walking down the road Du Jonjon which comes off the Route de Grandcour, just before entering the walled city. This way, I could see some garden on the left, and walk through the impressive gate Tower into the Inner Courtyard.
I thought I would have to walk the same way out, but no, there was an old covered bridge that took me directly into the medieval Town. From the bridge, the views of the garden and pond were great. I did see somebody in the garden, but am not sure how he arrived there!
Also, when walking around, make sure you look up, down and around, there are some interesting doors and bits and pieces.
Castle Chenaux is commonly known as Castle Estavayer-Le-Lac.
FREE TO ENTER THE COMPOUND, the Chateau itself, is being used by a department.
For more info on the Castle and nice aerial photo's, check out the website.
Seeing there is a Chateau here, you have probably guessed already, that the old part of Estavayer-le-Lac village, is high on top of a Hill, overlooking the beautiful Lac-de-Neuchatel.
The Tourist information centre has a detailed walking brochure which covers the sights.
0ne of my favorite spot's, was the view point at Place St. Claude. There were plenty of seats to rest my weary legs and to take in the views of the Chateau, the newer Town below the old, of Lake Neuchtal and across to the other side of the Lake and the township of La Rochelle, plus the Jura Mountain Range.
Arriving in Estavayer-Le-Lac, this Castle caught my attention first!
Quite old, being built in 1392 by Knight Pierre and his brother Guillaume, this is another castle that has seen the ravages of fire.
Now, the Castle has been partially rebuilt and restored. There are quite a few Turret's, but only one of the original towers remains, the current pigeonnier.
It is allowed to wander the grounds for FREE, this I did, and I can recommend that you do it too! It is a lovely medieval Castle.
During our travels to Switzerland we visited several castles. The famous Château de Chillon is popular among the English-speaking visitors due to the Lord Byron’s poem “The prisoner of Chillon”. The Château Gruyeres, located on the top of the hill, really elevates your fillings. Mighty Château Yverdon, which houses good historic collection from the Gallo-Roman times to the 20th century, gives you excellent historic perspective. But the Château de Chenaux (the Castle of Channels) in Estavayer-Le-Lac is different – it gives you freedom and time to admire. There is no museum here, not even temporary exhibitions (you will find it in the local museum).
In 1290, Pierre d’Estavayer started the construction of the castle – simple 4-towers project. It took more then 3 centuries to complete it. It looks like the enjoyed building the castle - more towers (and gates) were added during 1433-1436 and 1454 - 1475. Today you can wonder freely around and through its courtyards but remember that the castle is the seat of Préfecture Gendarmerie (local police) – behave yourself.
Famous Château de Chenaux is open to public, access is free. When you finished wondering around the castle’s courtyards, turn right at Ch. du Donjon. In a few minutes you arrive at mighty medieval gates Port de Camus.
You can turn right here onto Rue du Camus or continue to walk and turn right at Ch. Des Ecureuils. First way gives you a chance to see some lovely houses on the Rue du Camus but second offers better view over the medieval ramparts. Eventually, you arrive at Rue du Four, where you find a fountain and a public WC (free).
Continue your walk along Rue du Musée and you will see the local museum on your right. After museum, cross the Grand Rue and turn into Rue de Forel where you can see several beautiful historic houses. The street brings you back to Rue de la Gare – the beginning of our historic walk.
The Institute of Sacré-Couer and Stavia on the Place de la Gare is the first historic building which the visitors see when they arrive to Estavayer-Le-Lac. The institute which houses in the old interesting building, offers great opportunities for education for young people in general studies and languages.
Passing along the institute, turn left and follow down Ave de la Gare. Fifty meters down the road you have to make a decision – turn right on Rte de la Gare or continue to walk along Ave de la Gare and turn right at Rte d’Yverdon. We decided to take second choice because it gives a chance to visit local Coop supermarket (on your left at Ave de la Gare, everything you need for a picnic) and Rte d’Yverdon offers excellent views over the Lake Neuchâtel. Both ways meet at Place du Midi where visitors find local Tourist Office.
Friendly and efficient staff offers good advice and plenty of materials. Follow Rue de la Gare and turn left at Imp. Du Temple. In a minute you reach small Protestant Church; the terrace behind the temple offers fantastic views over the lake and the Jura Mountains. Retreat your steps and continue to walk northwards. On your left you see historic building of Hotel de Ville. At Grande Rue turn left. Two minutes later you arrive to the small square called Place de l’Eglise – that’s where magnificent Collégiale St. Laurent Church stands. First temple was built on this place in 1156. Construction of this beautiful Gothic church started in the second half of the 14th century. The vast interior, mostly from 1379 – 1391, is very impressive.
After visiting the church, walk up along Rue St. Laurent, which brings you shortly to the Rue du Chateau. Place St. Claude offers another fantastic view. A few minutes later you arrive at the chateau gates.
This is a tip not what to do,this is a tip what not to do,don't get lost on Switzerlands Highway like I did and then found myself in this street.Watch the sings on the Highway!!!!!