“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cologny in Geneva, Switzerland — The Swiss Plateau (Lake Geneva)

Byron’s Meadow

Byron’s Meadow Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Roger W. Sinnott, August 16, 2010
1. Byron’s Meadow Marker
Le Pré Byron
English text:
Dear Visitors from all over the world, and Residents of Cologny, we are happy to welcome you to this very beautiful site from which both the city of Geneva and the international organizations can be admired.

On this very spot the story of “Frankenstein” was born. During the summer of 1816, the weather was atrocious, cold and rainy spells alternating with violent thunder storms. At that time Byron, a 28 year old poet, was renting the villa Diodati situated to the left of this meadow. From the terrace of the house, overlooking the lake, he was inspired to write: “There was a time when I enjoyed listening to the roaring Ocean, but your gentle babbling moves me like a sister’s voice blaming me for having sought evil dissipation.”

Mary Shelley was also spending the summer in Cologny, at Jacob Chappuis’ home situated at the lower end of Montalègre, below where you are now standing. One evening at the villa Diodati, Byron and Mary Shelley made a bet as to who would be the first to write a horror novel. Mary became excited at this idea, completed the story
Wider View image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Roger W. Sinnott, August 16, 2010
2. Wider View
The meadow looks out over Lake Geneva in Switzerland, with the city of Geneva to the left.
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of “Frankenstein” a year later in England, and won the bet.

This meadow reminiscent of the famous “Grütli” is the scene of the Swiss National Day Celebrations on August 1st.

Dear visitors: to protect this beautiful site you are kindly requested to respect its:
 • Peacefulness : by switching off engines and radios.
 • Tidiness : by using the rubbish bins.
 • Friendliness : by keeping in harmony with this environment.
 • Security : by complying with the traffic regulations.

The council authorities, the Geneva police and a private security agency are responsible for supervising the site.

The Council Authorities of Cologny
November 2002

French text:
Chers Visiteurs, Citoyens du Monde et de Cologny, nous sommes heureux de vous accueillir sur ce magnifique site du bout du lac d’où vous pouvez admirer Genève ainsi que les organisations internationales.

C’est à cet endroit même qu’est née l’histoire de “Frankenstein.” Durant l’été 1816, le temps est détestable : pluies froides, chaleurs et orages violents. A cette époque, Byron, jeune poète de 28 ans, loue la villa Diodati, située à gauche de ce pré. L’inspiration qu’il puise auprès de ce lac qu’il observe depuis la terrasse de la propriété le pousse à écrire: “Il fut
Villa Diodati image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Roger W. Sinnott, August 16, 2010
3. Villa Diodati
From the public meadow, visitors have a fine view of the privately owned villa Diodati, where 18-year-old Mary Shelley got the idea for and began to write Frankenstein. The marker is outside this view to the left, at the top of the hill.
un temps où j’aimais les mugissements de l’Océan furieux, mais ton doux murmure m’attendrit comme la voix d’une soeur qui me reprocherait d’avoir trop recherché de sombres plaisirs.”

Mary Shelley passe également l’été à Cologny dans la maison de Jacob Chappuis, située au bas de Montalègre, au-dessous du lieu où vous vous trouvez. Au cours d’une soirée à la villa Diodati, Byron et Mary Shelley font un pari: “Qui écrira le plus rapidement un roman d’horreur?” Mary se pique au jeu et achèvera l’histoire de “Frankenstein” l’année suivante en Angleterre. C’est elle qui gagnera le pari.

Le 1er août de chaque année, sur la prairie que s’étend à vos pieds, avec son petit air de “Grütli”, a lieu la célébration de la Fête Nationale Suisse.

Pour conserver à ce site toute sa valeur et sa beauté, nou vous prions, chers visiteurs, de respecter:
 • La tranquillité : éteignez vos moteurs et vos radios.
 • La propreté : utilisez les poubelles à disposition.
 • La convivialité : restez en harmonie avec cet environnement.
 • La sécurité : observez les règles de circulation.

Une société de sécurité, en collaboration avex les instances communales et la police genevoise sont chargées de surveiller ce site.

Les Autorités communales de Cologny
Novembre 2002

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Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Arts, Letters, Music. A significant historical month for this entry is November 2002.
Location. 46° 13.258′ N, 6° 11.055′ E. Marker is in Cologny, Genève (Geneva). Marker is on Chemin de Ruth, on the left when traveling north. Marker is at the southeast corner of the meadow. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cologny GE 1223, Switzerland. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 5 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Swiss Family de Candolle (approx. 3.5 kilometers away); Isaac Mercier (approx. 3.8 kilometers away in Romandy).
Regarding Byron’s Meadow. At the magnificent villa next to this meadow, Mary Shelley began to write her horror classic Frankenstein. She was spending the summer of 1816 in Switzerland with two other rising stars of English literature, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron, and several other friends. During a prolonged spell of dreary and stormy weather, while apparently bored, they challenged each other to write ghost stories. Hers was the only one to achieve worldwide and lasting acclaim.
Also see . . .  Wikipedia entry about Mary Shelley and Frankenstein. (Submitted on August 31, 2010, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 2, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 31, 2010, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. This page has been viewed 1,445 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 31, 2010, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 27, 2022