From Avenches, now a medieval village but once one of the ancient world’s cities, and on to Romainmôtier
From the top of its hill Avenches, formerly Aventicum capital of Roman Helvetia, watches over the remains of its glorious past, three quarters of which still has to be excavated. Even this is one of Switzerland’s most important archaeological sites, today’s village it not without its charm with its arcaded central square, its irregular stepped lanes, its 13th century castle, medieval monuments and historic buildings.
The size of amphitheatre at the edge of the village never fails to impress and remains the best preserved of its kind in the country. The renowned ancient arenas act as background for many famous international festivals (for example Rock Oz’Arènes, Avenches Opéra and Avenches Tattoo) and are overlooked by a square which houses the cultural treasures of the Roman Museum.
Avenches is also home to the acclaimed Swiss National Stud Farm and is just a stone’s throw from the country’s longest sandy beach. With so many advantages, it is hardly surprising that people from all eras of history have wanted to live here.
If Aventicum is now fallen silent, Avenches remains very much alive and is a wonderfully preserved architectural jewel.
The tour though the most beautiful villages of the Jura and Three-Lakes region draws to an end as we follow the southern shore of Lake Neuchâtel as far as Romainmôtier.
As you follow your route do not miss Vallon Roman Museum and Payerne abbey church.
- City start