Dressed in his yellow military jacket and the red-striped white trousers he wore at the legendary Wembley concert in 1986, the statue of Freddie Mercury stands proudly facing Lake Leman with his fist raised in the air. His other hand holds his iconic microphone stand.
Guided tours have been offered since 2020, Freddie Tours take you back to the years when Freddie Mercury stayed in Montreux. You will learn more about the relationship that the Queen singer had with the city of Montreux.
The memorial statue of Freddie Mercury is now part of the living memory of the town and is a major tourist attraction in the region.
Countless fans and admirers of the singer of the band Queen gather from all over the world in Montreux to honour the memory of their idol and to meditate in front of this monument, paying various forms of homage there daily.
Innumerable flowers, often yellow in reference to Freddie's favourite colour, poems, drawings, photos and a multitude of objects lie at the foot of the statue and are frequently placed there.
Freddie Mercury statue latest news
Temporary relocation of the statue in July 2024
For its next edition, scheduled from July 5 to 20, 2024, the "Montreux Jazz Festival" will exceptionally be relocated due to renovation work planned for two years at the "Montreux Music & Convention Centre 2m2c".
The main stage will be set up on the lake at the Market Square in Montreux. This modification will require the temporary relocation of the Freddie Mercury statue during the few weeks of this 58th edition. This unique situation will be an opportunity to admire this emblematic statue from a new perspective. We will keep you informed of its new location as soon as possible.
Messages from fans on the barriers in front of the statue
Since their installation in February 2023, these temporary barriers installed just in front of the statue have been increasingly used by Freddie fans coming to Montreux.
Many people come to write a short message or dedication in tribute to their late singer. So much so that the place is beginning to look like the Queen Tribute Wall at the former Mountain Studios, which is now covered in signatures.
Installation of temporary barriers
Since February 2023, temporary barriers have been installed by the municipality of Montreux following a number of accidents. A new project is currently being studied to make the area safer.
These wooden barriers have rapidly become a new medium for dedications and messages for the many fans and admirers of Freddie Mercury who come to Montreux.
The Queen Tribute Wall, the wall of the Mountain Studio which now houses the permanent exhibition Queen: The Studio Experience inside Montreux Casino, has also been covered in them for many years.
Decoration of the statue for the 30th anniversary of Freddie Mercury's passing.
On this very special day, all the money paid by Freddie Tours participants was used to decorate the statue and pay tribute to Freddie Mercury.
The rest of the money will be donated to the Mercury Phoenix Trust. Founded by the remaining members of Queen after his death, this foundation is dedicated to the fight against AIDS.
So a heartfelt thank you to the 20 people who took part in this Freddie Tour today, 24 November 2021, which marked 30 years since the legendary singer's death.
Thanks also to Peter Freestone, Freddie Mercury's personal assistant for 12 years, who gave us a nice surprise today. A video conference was organised and participants were able to chat with him for a few minutes during this Freddie Tour.
The Freddie Mercury Statue in Montreux has been given a new facelift today. Discover the result which is really wonderful!
One week after a cleaning of the base, the various explanatory plates on the base of the statue were restored and thoroughly cleaned. A beeswax treatment was also applied. A big thank you to the company Clément Borlat & fils, who were commissioned by the Commune of Montreux to carry out this restoration.
Cleaning the base of the Freddie Mercury statue
Today, 23 March 2021, the statue of Freddie Mercury on the shores of Lake Montreux underwent a complete cleaning in the early hours of the morning.
A high pressure spray of chalk powder mixed with water was used to clean the base of the statue and remove dirt and various traces of wear.
Within a few days, the various information plates on the front and back will be polished and a water-repellent product will be applied. Finally a complete cleaning of the bronze of the statue will be carried out.
We will keep you informed of the progress of the work.
A Sahara-coloured sky covers Montreux!
Today a warm wind has carried sand from the desert giving an ochre colour to the atmosphere and offering a spectacular view to the statue of Freddie Mercury.
About 60 to 200 million tonnes of dust have risen several kilometres into the air due to the weather conditions and warm temperatures, before being carried to Switzerland by southerly winds. Known to meteorologists, this relatively rare phenomenon is harmless to humans. It is linked to a strong air flow from the south which brings spring temperatures and a high concentration of Saharan dust suspended in the atmosphere. This sand came mainly from north-west African states: Algeria, Mauritania and Mali.
Freddie Mercury in the Snow!
While waiting to resume the Freddie Tours interrupted momentarily because of COVID-19, here are some winter pictures of Montreux.
A light layer of snow covering the statue of Freddie Mercury fell in Montreux between 25 and 27 January 2021. A true "Winter's Tale" as Freddie referred to it in his famous song taken from the album "Made in Heaven".
The Freddie Mercury statue and COVID-19
Since 16 March 2020 the Swiss authorities have imposed a lockdown on the population and banned all public events and gatherings in order to prevent the spreading of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
A mask with a sign "Stay home" was installed by someone later on the statue as a wink and in support of the medical staff who are working hard during this difficult period.
4 days later, on 20 March 2020, gatherings of more than 5 people were banned throughout Switzerland. These measures had a direct effect on the statue of Freddie Mercury. Indeed, since 8 April, just before the long Easter weekend, the Montreux authorities decided to install barriers, in order to close the access to the pontoon in front of the statue and thus avoid all gatherings.
The statue of Freddie Mercury in Montreux is therefore now confined until further notice.
On 19 may 2020, the fences installed in the early hours of the Coronavirus crisis around the Freddie Mercury statue were removed by the Montreux authorities. Little by little life returns to normal in Montreux and many curious people were around the statue this day to admire it.
Where is Freddie Mercury statue ?
Since its inauguration in 1996, this majestic 3-metre bronze memorial stands on the market square of Montreux, the town where Freddie Mercury chose as his last home.
The location is idyllic, nestled at the foot of the green mountains that mark the entrance to the Swiss Alps, while the peaceful lake stretches out at its foot.
Here is a Google Maps link to find the Freddie Mercury statue in Montreux.
The Sculptor: Irena Sedlecká
The statue of Freddie Mercury was designed by the Czech sculptor Irena Sedlecká, a member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors and the Society of Portrait Sculptors.
She was born in 1928 in Pilsen and is a Czech sculptor who fled communism in 1967. She left Prague with her husband and their three children before beginning a period of wandering and semi-legality throughout Europe, before they could finally settle down in England.
Irina was introduced to Queen's entourage by Dave Clark, a friend of Freddie Mercury's, when she sculpted the bust of Lawrence Olivier, a famous British actor who died in 1983.
In August 1992, Irena Sedlecká's work was presented at the Czechoslovak Embassy in London as part of an exhibition devoted to the work of five prominent Czechoslovak émigré sculptors.
A hard worker, Irena continued to sculpt almost to the last day of her life. She died on 4 August 2020 at the age of 91 in London, where she had lived for several years.
Inauguration of the statue in 1996
The official unveiling of the statue of Freddie Mercury took place on the Montreux market square on 25 November 1996, in the presence of the singer Montserrat Caballé, with whom Freddie had recorded the song "Barcelona". This love song of the city became the anthem of the Catalan Olympic Games. The parents of the late singer, Jer and Bomi Bulsara, were also present as well as his sister Kashmira and her husband Roger Cook. Peter Freestone (Freddie Mercury's former personal assistant), Claude Nobs (founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival), Brian May (Queen's guitarist) and Roger Taylor (Queen's drummer) were also present at the ceremony.
Since its inauguration, thousands of tourists have come to contemplate and take pictures of this imposing work of art every year, whether it is windy or snowing, from sunrise to sunset.
A reproduction of the Montreux statue in London
A spontaneous proposal was made in 2001 to bring the statue in Montreux back to London, the city where the singer had his main residence known as the Garden Lodge. The idea provoked various reactions around the world and it was proposed that a temporary loan from the town of Montreux to place the statue on the 4th pedestal in Place Trafalgar would take place. However, this petition was unsuccessful, and the statue of Freddie Mercury remains in Montreux.
This famous statue of Montreux also served as a model and largely inspired an illuminated reproduction placed on the wall of the Dominion Theatre in London. This replica was installed in 2002 for the premiere of the musical "We Will Rock You". Although the show was not very well received at its launch, it eventually ran for almost twelve years. It is one of the longest-running musicals in the history of the West End which is home to most of London's major theatres. The latest news is that this London reproduction of the Freddie Mercury statue from Montreux has been recovered by Roger Taylor, the Queen's drummer, who has installed it in his garden.