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Freddie Mercury and Montreux


Freddie Mercury’s statue in Montreux

In 1996, the English Queen fan club intervened in discussions about the erection of a statue in honour of the late Queen singer, Freddie Mercury. The operation having proved impossible in London, the Queen members with Jim Beach, their manager, opted for the city of Montreux in Switzerland.

Located in an idyllic setting on the shores of Lake Geneva and known worldwide for its Jazz Festival. The city of Montreux has dedicated a spectacular location on the lakeshore to place a majestic statue to perpetuate the memory of the unforgettable and great singer that was Freddie Mercury.

The statue of Freddie Mercury was donated to the city of Montreux by the Queen's musicians as well as the family and friends of the late singer. It was designed by the Czech sculptor Irena Sedlecká. She now lives in London and is a member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors and the Society of Portrait Sculptors.

Inauguration in 1996

The official unveiling of the Freddie Mercury statue took place under the Montreux market square on November 25th 1996 at 3pm in the presence of the singer Montserrat Caballé with whom Freddie had recorded the song "Barcelona" which was released as a single in October 1987, then on the eponymous album the following year.

"If you want peace of mind, come to Montreux," Freddie Mercury told her.

Other special guests at the inauguration included the late singer's two parents, Mrs and Mr Bulsara, as well as his sister Kashmira and her husband Roger Cook.

Peter Freestone, former personal assistant to Freddie Mercury, Claude Nobs (founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival), Brian May and Roger Taylor were also present.

It was on the shores of Lake Geneva, enjoying the same view that Freddie had from his lakeside home, that this bronze statue of the singer was unveiled to the public.

In 2010, the statue of Freddie Mercury underwent a major rejuvenation, the first since the statue took up residence at the foot of the Montreux Market Square in 1996.

That same year, at the instigation of Norbert Muller of Montreux Celebration, a demarcated zone was also set up around the statue out of respect for fans and to prevent merchants from sticking their stalls too close to the monument during Market days. Since its inauguration in 1996, thousands of people have admired and photographed this work of art in all weathers. Rain, snow, clouds or sunsets...

On July 16, 2014, two brass plaques will be replaced on the front of the statue and another one added to the back of the Freddie Mercury statue showing the direction of the Queen Studio Experience.

Thus, in addition to the recording studios, the star's apartment in Territet and the "Duck House", the Freddie Mercury statue has made Montreux a true place of pilgrimage for any follower of the band and its leader.

The contrasts are magnificent and no day is like the previous one. It is not rare to be able to read poems written by fans or small gifts placed on its pedestal or attached to its microphone stick. Not to mention the many flowers, often yellow, his favourite colour, which are placed there daily by fans from all over the world to pay tribute to him.


Updated on:

"Freddie Celebration Days", an annual event in Montreux around September 5th, Freddie Mercury's birthday.


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