The castle was built in the French style of the 1730s around a large courtyard, and has a rich and varied history.
In the century of enlightenment barons lived here. For a while, it was home to Voltaire and Joseph Bonaparte. Later, this seat of baronial power became a place of education and learning: it was turned into a boarding school.
In 1975 the cantons of Vaud and Geneva donated Castle of Prangins to the Confederation, thereby realizing a long-held dream of establishing a location for the Swiss National Museum in western Switzerland. The restoration of the complex was a great success. The castle – a living reminder of centuries past – became a museum in magnificent surroundings.
Since 1998, Castle of Prangins has been the home of the Swiss National Museum in western Switzerland, hosting exhibitions and events devoted to the nation's recent history.