In 990, Sigerich, Archbishop of Canterbury, returned to England from Rome and documented the stages on his journey, a route known even to the Romans. His itinerary is now considered the oldest description of the ViaFrancigena through Europe. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Frankenstrasse remained one of the major arterial roads, used by traders, soldiers and crowned heads of state. Since 1300, it has been regarded as the most important pilgrims’ path in Europe, crossing Switzerland via the Jura and Alps.
The Swiss stage runs through a variety of landscapes and is without doubt also one of the most spectacular pilgrims’ paths in Europe. The route from Sainte-Croix to Vuiteboeuf leads past unique sections of cart tracks then alongside the quiet Venoge to Lac Léman. Stops at Romainmôtier Abbey and the Roman mosaics in Orbe are highly recommended.
From Lausanne, the ViaFrancigena runs through the vineyards of Lavaux to the bend in the Rhone. From the ancient city of Octodurus, it winds through the narrow pass shaped by the wild waters of the Drance to the northern slopes of the Grossen Sankt Bernhard-Pass. In Val d’Entremont, medieval villages line the route, which peaks in the aptly-named Combe des Morts.
The Château de la Roche is in the heart of the wine-producing village of Ollon, in the Chablais mountains at the foot of the Vaudois Alps.
Château de la Roche - 1867 Ollon
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The Vine and Wine Museum is the reference of the winegrowing culture and is headquartered at Aigle Castle.
Place du Château 1 - 1860 Aigle
+41 (0)24 466 21 30
As if floating on its rocky island, the fortified Chillon Castle is the most visited historical monument in Switzerland.
Château de Chillon
Avenue de Chillon 21 - 1820 Veytaux
+41 (0) 21 966 89 10
The Castle and its History Built in the 13th century, the castle of La Tour-de-Peilz served as an observation post of traffic along lake Geneva.
Rue du Château 11 - 1814 La Tour-de-Peilz
+41 21 977 23 03
The Casino Barrière de Montreux rolls out its red carpet in a historic venue in Montreux.
Rue du Théâtre 9 - 1820 Montreux
+41 (0)21 962 83 83
La Sarraz and its medieval castle, which houses the Horse Museum, dominate wheat and colza fields in a vast plain.
Commune de La Sarraz - 1315 La Sarraz
+41 (0)21 866 64 23
The beautiful 12th century Romanesque church beside the lake at this small village to the west of Lausanne is a moving witness to medieval times.
Sentier de la Roselière - 1025 St-Sulpice
Ouchy represents one of the favourite Sunday strolls for Lausanne citizens and passing visitors.
- 1001 Lausanne
Unique official Museum of the IOC located on the banks of Lake Geneva and dedicated to the spirit of olympism, is the most visited Museum in Lausanne.
Quai d'Ouchy 1 - 1006 Lausanne
+41 (0) 21 621 65 11
Just on the outskirts of Lausanne, the Guillemin deer-park and playground offers a superb view over the lake and the Alps.
- 1009 Pully
With its narrow streets and balconies over Lake Geneva, Epesses is one of the most typical villages in the Lavaux UNESCO region.
- 1098 Epesses
+41 (0)21 962 84 64
Between Lausanne and Montreux, a vast network of pathways wind through the slopes of the UNESCO-listed Lavaux vineyard terraces.
Rue du Théâtre 5
CP 251 - 1820 Montreux
+41 (0) 84 886 84 84
Here, each can truly do their own thing, because it has everything: history with a capital H, sport, boats and picnics, theatre and camping, ...
Route de Vidy - 1006 Lausanne