The castle of Nyon, a magnificent historical fortress, is located in the old town of Nyon with a beautiful view of Lake Geneva and the Alps. The castle, an important historical site, contains a famous exhibition of porcelain produced in Nyon, which presents 3000 years of history of the region.
The Castle of Nyon, a Romanesque fortress built in the 12th century and transformed in the 16th century, is superbly situated on a promontory overlooking Lake Geneva. For a long time the political and administrative heart of the city, it has also housed a museum since 1888. The entire building is now open to the public.
Through its collections, it preserves and retraces the two-thousand-year history of the city. It presents the fine porcelain produced in the famous Nyon factory in the 18th century, the striking atmosphere of the prisons closed in 1979 and a heterogeneous collection of objects scattered throughout its attic. Its temporary exhibitions are devoted to historical themes or contemporary art.
The Nyon Porcelain Manufactory was one of the two manufactories that existed in Switzerland at the time. It produced neoclassical pieces intended mainly for local customers of patricians and other notables. Kaolin, the raw material used for porcelain production, came from Saint-Yrieix near Limoges. The whiteness of Nyon porcelain was comparable to that of top-quality French products.
The Nyon Porcelain Manufactory was supported not by a regent, but by wealthy citizens. The riots of the revolution and the Napoleonic wars were a serious blow to this costly industry: porcelain production declined from 1805 onwards and was completely discontinued in 1813. However, faience was produced in the manufactory until 1979.