Avenches ancient, medieval and artistic

In almost all materials for bloggers (and that I’ve read a lot of them lately) you’ can learn that your blog posts should be either educative or entertaining. I usually try to do that, but on the other hand, I think I can afford the luxury once in a while, that my post is none of these. * Just to be a nice reminder of the day I spent with my children and my parents, my brother and his girlfriend when they came to see us in Switzerland. The days of their visit are the days when I feel terribly exhausted every night, because one has to work in many different roles within a week (travel agent, meteorologist, buyer, cook, driver, daughter, wife, mother …) but on the other side is terribly happy that we can enjoy these moments together.

I was so glad that my parents liked the idea that I would take them to Avenches. I love places associated with ancient history. In addition, in Avenches there meet two – I would almost say contradictory – time periods: ancient Rome and the Middle Ages. And, of course, today too.

(* I hope you know that I will not spare you some educative information in my today’s post :))

Avenches medieval

In the center of this little town, which has a population of just over four thousand, you can admire Gothic and Renaissance facades.

Church of St. Mary Magdalene

In the center of the town, you will find a reformed church from the 11th century.

Benneville Tower

In the side street of the Rue de Alpes you will find a defensive tower from the 13th century.

Château d´Avenches.

Renaissance castle, built at the end of the 13th century, is classified as a cultural monument of national significance.

Avenches ancient

If you asked me in which period I would like to live, I would probably say without hesitation that in ancient Rome (of course in a patrician family :)). I have already mentioned on the blog several times that I have a weakness for the books of Lindsay Davis taking place during the reign of Emperor Vespasian, and at that time the Roman colony Aventicum was built (on the site of the capitalHelvetii Helveti tribe).


Previously, animal or gladiator games were held here; now there are other performances being held here, for example, within the famous opera festival.

In the building at the end of the amphitheater, you will find the Roman Museum. The entrance is free, just don´t forget to check the opening hours outside the high season (so we didn´t see the gold bust of Emperor Mark Aurelius discovered in one of the sewers of the huge “Cigognier” Sanctuary in 1939).

Cigognier Sanctuary

About 2 minutes by car from the city center you will find excavations of the sanctuary dedicated to Emperor Mark Aurelius. The sanctuary was named “Cigognier” because of the nest of storks (cigogne → stork in French), which was here until 1978 when it was removed during the restoration.

As the sanctuary looked at the time of its greatest glory, you can see it when you look through the special glasses.

Roman Theater

A few dozen meters from the sanctuary you will find excavations of the Roman Theater. I love places that excite im the gination. What was it like sitting among the nine thousand other spectators and watching the show of some tragedy or comedy?

Aerial view of the place

Avenches artistic

We visited the town during the Biennale of Textile Art. We could, in addition to historical monuments, also admire the knit creations on the columns along the road or the picture of the castle made of 5x5cm knitted squares.

Practical information

  • Avenches is located in Canton Vaud, about 30 minutes by car from Bern.
  • Free parking is possible in front of the Mylavy Shopping Center, from here it is about 10 minutes’ walk to the city center.
  • The tourist office is located right in the center at Place de l’Eglise 3. I recommend picking a map where you see all the important places here.
  • Close to the castle, there is a nice children´s playground.




Categories: Cities, Switzerland
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Hana Hurábová

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