The little town of Avenches is set on the wide Broye Plain in the canton of Vaud, near its border with Fribourg. The gentle rolling hills between the Lakes of Murten and Neuchâtel, the vineyards and the nature reserves are ideal for walking and cycling. Avenches, formerly Aventicum, the capital of Roman Helvetia, boasts a unique heritage from Roman times.
Avenches exudes unmistakeable Swiss-French charm. In the centre of the little town, with its arcades and many striking facades in Gothic and Renaissance style invite you to pause for a while.
2000 years ago, Aventicum was the capital of Roman Helvetia. The Emperor Augustus founded the Roman city of Aventicum on the site of the Helvetian capital and it was to be in its heyday in the 2nd century when it had over 20,000 inhabitants.
There is a tour starting from the amphitheatre and including the main Roman sites and excavations. The Roman museum houses a precious Gallo-Roman collection, including a valuable copy of the famous gold bust of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
Every year, the Amphitheater of Avenches is the setting for an Opera Festival and an Openair-Rock Festival as well as the Avenches Tattoo, the only military Tattoo in Western Switzerland. Nearby, a museum can be visited in one of the most beautiful Renaissance palaces in Vaud, built by the Bishop of Lausanne in the 13th century.
The region by the little River Broye, with its many nature reserves and terraced vineyards, offers many opportunities for walking, cycling and water sports. On the way, it is worth sampling some wine from one of the region's growers of the sparkling white wine from Mont Vully.
Opened in 2000, Musée romain de Vallon was built on an expansive Gallo-Roman estate and boasts two extraordinarily well-preserved mosaics. The museum is not far from Avenches and a must for history buffs.
To the museum
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AVENCHES OPERA 28.06-07.07.218 - Opéra en Fête / www.avenchesopera.ch ROCK OZ'ARENES 15-19.08.2018 / www.rockozarenes.ch AVENCHES TATTOO 06-08.09.2018 - Military Tattoo in the unique setting of Avenches’ Roman Arena! Tickets available since the 1st December 2017 / www.avenchestattoo.ch