Lausanne-Vidy – Roman Museum
Before being perched on the hillside in the protective shadow of its Romanesque-Gothic cathedral, Lausanne was called Lousonna and sat right up against the water. This is explained at the Lausanne-Vidy Roman Museum, which estimates that the Gallo-Roman site was home to 1500 to 2000 residents, fishermen, craftsmen and merchants in the 1st century BC.
The current museum opened in 1993, encompassing the remains of a wealthy residence, with an atrium, painted rooms and rooms with heated floors.
Ancient history is not old news
Through its many exhibits, a permanent display at the museum describes daily life along the shores of Lake Geneva twenty centuries ago. A time of change during which habitants had to adjust to a new language (Latin), writing, new technology (masonry, tiles, pane glass, blown glass), new foods (olive oil, sea fish, dates), all in the common market of the Roman Empire, with its single currency and its efficient transport network.
The museum also includes an archaeological stroll among the remains of the forum.
Laurent Flutsch, the museum director, adds a sense of humour to the serious museum. Although he and his team put together offbeat temporary exhibitions, with ironic titles and a look at where the past meets the present, he has certainly achieved his educational goal.
Under the aegis of the curator Sophie Michaud, the Museum organizes workshops to educate children about the old days all throughout the year. They can learn to read, write and cook like the Romans, bake bread as it was done in Gallo-Roman times and even get to know which gods to avoid or honour.
Musée romain de Lausanne-Vidy
Chemin du Bois-de-Vaux
Phone +41 21 315 41 85
Fax +41 21 315 41 86
Fermé le lundi, sauf juillet-août et lundis fériés
Fermé les 24, 25, 31 décembre et le 1er janvier
tl 1, 2, 6: Maladière; tl 25: Bois-de-Vaux