Charlie Chaplin in Vevey, Switzerland

Did you know that Charlie Chaplin lived in Switzerland until his death. On December 25, 1977, he died at home in his house in Corsier-sur-Vevey at the age of 88. Charlie Chaplin was a victim of the McCarthy era. Under the leadership of Senator McCarthy, the “House Committee on Un-American Activities” accused this great actor, screenwriter, director, producer, composer and pioneer of today’s film industry to be a „Communist”! These accusations reached him whilst on a trip abroad in Geneva. He was warned, that should he return to the United States of America he would risk internment and imprisonment. Hence, Charlie Chaplin decided to settle with his family in the Manoir de Ban, a neoclassical manor house with a huge park in Corsier-sur-Vevey overlooking Lake Geneva. A statue on the lakeside promenade in Vevey commemorates the 25 years that Chaplin lived at the Swiss Riviera.

His property in Corsier-sur-Vevey has been opened to the public three years ago. On 16 April 2016, after several years of construction, one of Switzerland’s most beautiful museums, “Chaplin’s World” officially opened its doors.

My visit began in the Manoir where Charlie Chaplin (a lifelike wax figure) awaits the visitors at the entrance of his house inviting them to take a tour through his private rooms. 

After a walk through the park you will reach the real highlight of Chaplin’s World, the actual museum, in my opinion, a museum of superlatives! The tour starts in the museum’s cinema with a short film about Chaplin’s life. Then, the canvas rises and the visitors walk into a circus tent, where Chaplin admirers, amongst others, Federico Fellini and Roberto Benigni, romp about as lifelike wax figures in the circus ring. After that, a long staircase takes you down to a Hollywood studio of the 1920s. The visitors walk through the film sets of Chaplin’s greatest movies like “Modern Times” and “The Kid”. Visitors stroll past buildings and scenery, some of them may look familiar, they encounter actors (wax figures) and reconstructed film scenes of the good old silent movie era. 

Today Charlie Chaplin rests next to his wife in the cemetery of Corsier-sur-Vevey.

Charlie Chaplin in Vevey Switzerland

Charlie Chaplin in Vevey Switzerland

Haben sie gewusst, dass Charlie Chaplin bis zu seinem Tod in der Schweiz lebte. Am 25. Dezember 1977 verstarb er mit 88 Jahren zu Hause in Corsier-sur-Vevey. Charlie Chaplin wurde Opfer der McCarthy Ära. Der „ Ausschuss für unamerikanische Umtriebe“ unter der Leitung von Senator McCarthy unterstellte diesem grossartigen Schauspieler, Drehbuchautor, Regisseur, Produzent, Komponist und Pionier der heutigen Filmindustrie „Kommunist“ zu sein! Diese Anschuldigungen erreichten ihn während einer Auslandsreise in Genf. Er wurde gewarnt, dass er, sollte er in die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika zurückkehren, eine Internierung und Inhaftierung riskieren würde. Als Folge liess sich Charlie Chaplin mit seiner Familie im Manoir de Ban, einem Herrschaftshaus im neoklassizistischem Stil mit einer riesigen Parkanlage, in Corsier-sur-Vevey oberhalb des Genfersee nieder. Eine Statue an der Seepromenade in Vevey erinnert an die 25 Jahre, die Chaplin an der Schweizer Riviera verbrachte.

Seit drei Jahren ist Charlie Chaplin‘s Anwesen in Corsier für die Öffentlichkeit zugänglich. Am 16. April 2016, nach einer mehrjährigen Bauzeit, öffnete eines der schönsten Museum der Schweiz, das „Chaplin’s World“ offiziell seine Türen.

Mein Besuch begann im Manoir wo man bereits am Eingang von Charlie Chaplin (einer lebensechten Wachsfigur) freundlich zu einem Rundgang durch seine Privaträume eingeladen wird. Nach einem Spaziergang durch den Park gelangt man zum eigentlichen Höhepunkt dieser Entdeckungsreise durch Chaplin’s World, dem eigentlichen Museum, einem Museum der Superlative! Im Kinosaal des Museum’s gehts los mit einem kurzen Film über Chaplin‘s Leben. Dann hebt sich die Leinwand und die Besucher gelangen in ein Zirkuszelt, wo sich Chaplin-Bewunderer unter anderen Federico Fellini und Roberto Benigni als lebensechte Wachsfiguren in der Manege tummeln. Danach geht es über eine lange Treppe hinunter in ein Hollywood-Studio der 1920er Jahre. Man wandelt durch die Filmsets seiner grössten Filme wie „Modern Times“ und „The Kid“. Die Besucher schlendern vorbei an Gebäuden und Kulissen, an Filmfiguren und nachgebauten Szenen und man erinnert sich dabei an den einen oder anderen Film der guten alten Stummfilmzeit.

Heute ruht Charlie Chaplin neben seiner Frau auf dem Friedhof von Corsier-sur-Vevey.

Categories: Blogroll, History, Kunst, Movies, Museum, Switzerland | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Charlie Chaplin in Vevey, Switzerland

  1. We are living under the rule of a Fascists! I am reading Madeleine Albright’s book and Trump displays many of these characteristics. McCarthy was dangerous and so is Trump. We had better all be vigilant.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic post. Serendipitous too… I was just listening to a Chaplin interview because I wanted to use it for a video I was making. To be honest, his words and passion were so rich that I was humbled enough not to use it and just listened instead. From being a child I always had a fascination with him. He was a Genius born who made the very best of his time but was before it. I wonder what he would think of movies today… Thanks for posting great blog.

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  3. Very interesting post. I used to love that old Hollywood stuff and would very much like to see Switzerland one day. I may however skip the wax figures 🙂 They creep me out!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Roland, love all your posts! but please remember: past tense with “… years ago”, so here: the museum was opened 3 years ago. your fan!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Re-posted on twitter @trefology

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Weiss-Nix

    I`ve visited this museum last July. The concept – that provides the visitor with the impression / feeling being a part of the re-enacted famous movie Scenes – is brilliant…

    But frankly speaking, I became not only thoughtful but also a bit sad…because I noticed instantly that all the addressed social & political Topics are still more than up-to-date.

    It was almost a bit weird to watch the movie Scene in an endless loop, which extended real-scenery of street, you can walk through…and created an Illusion of a Long road.
    The old movie scenario showed Charlie Chaplin in his role as a homeless, poor tramp walking down a road with a child at his hand. The museum visitor sees the backside of Chaplin & the child while they are passing a sign post.

    My colleagues didn`t notice the direction on the sign post….but I did. Left-hand side: Mexico and Right-Hand sign: USA.

    Liked by 1 person

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