I’ve decided to dedicate this year to meaningful travel. Combining both luxury with history and getting back to the roots so to speak. Hence you can imagine how excited I was to find out about the so called Swiss Wakker prize.
As an introduction, the Wakker prize is awarded annually by the Swiss Heritage Society to a Municipality of Switzerland for the development and preservation of its architectural heritage. The prize also honours municipalities that develop their townscapes on a specific leading point. The Prangins chateau and surrounding village including new kindergarten complex are certainly well deserving of the 2021 Wakker prize.
Todays article is about a day spent exploring Prangins (Wakker prize winner 2021), having a spot of wine tasting and enjoying a special Wakker menu whilst staying overnight in Nyon.
Prangins is a pretty little village situated along the lake of Geneva between Nyon and Morges. By train or car from Zurich the trip will usually take around 2.5 – 3 hours (depending on traffic). The destination makes for a perfect weekend away with so much to discover.
Keep on reading for a pictorial view and more about “A secret Swiss Treasure – Prangins, Wakker Prize Winner 2021 & Nyon Region”
A secret Swiss Treasure – Prangins, Wakker Prize Winner 2021 & Nyon Region
The Prangins chateau is the largest 18th Century chateau open to the public in Switzerland.
The chateau site was actually inhabited long before the 18th century but burned down during the Bern army invasion in 1536. Later in the 1730’s the chateau was built into its present form by Paris based banker Louis Guiger, originally from St Gallen. Louis Guiger bought the property with the purpose of getting the title of Baron, subsequently becoming the Baron de Prangins.
The vegetable garden (which I had great fun in), is the largest historic kitchen garden in Switzerland. Purposefully created by the Baron to feed the workers building the chateau and entirely dedicated to local vegetable varieties from the 18th century.
Today it’s free to visit and sometimes you’ll find a table set up with vegetables which anyone may take.
In addition the Baron built a whole farming village around the castle.
Note the church – originally there was a private entrance at the side for the Baron and other people of importance. They sat in the front smelling strongly of perfume as one didn’t wash in those days. Poorer people sat in the back smelling differently… Something tells me I’m not missing anything not having experienced this live – smile!
Over time there have been many owners of the chateau – including Joseph-Napoleon Bonaparte, the older brother of Napoleon Bonaparte. Still today there is a chateau nearby belonging to the Napoleon family.
Today the Prangins chateau hosts the largest Swiss National Museum in the French speaking part of Switzerland.
A touch of modern architecture with Ecole des Morettes
It is not just Prangins history which led to it achieving the 2021 Wakker prize. The ability of the village to develop their townscapes on a specific leading point also play a part. The school building “Ecole des Morettes” built in 2015 hosts 6 kindergartens inside.
Such a fabulously progressive way of looking after Prangins’ future.
I recommend booking one of the village tours to find out more and stopping off at the chateau cafe for one of their delicious bagels.
Off for a spot of wine tasting
The La Côte vineyards lie between Morges and Nyon with breathtaking views of Lake Geneva and even Mont Blanc in the distance. They are famous for producing a large proportion of the Canton of Vaud’s white wines, Chasselas in particular. You will also find Chardonnay, Pinot gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Doral.
Half of the red wines of the Vaud region, such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, Gamay, Gamaret and Garanoir are also produced here.
There are many vineyards to visit for wine tasting.
We visited Cave des Ruaz in Vinzel. In the heart of La Côte in the Vaud region, Château de Vinzel is a charming castle surrounded by an 8.5-hectare gently sloping vineyard.
I was in absolute awe as I saw the size of the white wine barrels. Each one containing between 9’000 and 9’400 litres of wine.
Now for the wine tasting. We were fortunate to meet Fabien who carefully manages the vines of this prestigious wine estate.
Needless to say we couldn’t resist buying a couple of bottles of delicious Chasselas to take home with us. As an added note we felt the price performance ratio of the wines was really superb.
You can book great packages including wine tasting and a hotel for the weekend.
Overnight in Nyon and tasting the Wakker menu
We spent the night in a most charming boutique hotel in the centre of Nyon – Hotel Ambassador.
We loved the modern decor of the room but it was the fabulous view of Nyon castle that really made us feel as though we were in the middle of a Fairytale.
After a quick refresh it was time to go downstairs for dinner and have the delicious Wakker menu. A menu made up entirely of ingredients from the region. Simply delicious…
As an add on – the staff at the hotel were super friendly and price performance ratio of this newly renovated boutique hotel is absolutely top!
Rue St-Jean 26
Tel. +41 22 994 48 48
For more information of the area and to book special package deals have a look at:
Stay tuned for 10 Top things to see and do in Morges coming soon.
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