Avenches Tourisme
Place de l'Eglise 3
CH-1580 Avenches
Tel. +41 26 676 99 22
Fax +41 26 675 33 93

The former Roman capital of Helvetia

The roots of Avenches go back to the Celts, when a tribe of Helvetians built a settlement on the hills, south of the later Roman settlement.

The establishment of the Roman settlement of Aventicum, which became the capital of the province, took place around 15-13 B.C. The name comes from the Helvetian spring goddess Aventia.

Aventicum soon developed into a blooming commercial center with 20,000 inhabitants. The area was plundered by the Alamanni tribe after the fall of Rome in the 3rd century and a new walled settlement was built in the 5th century.

Throughout this period, the town had a bishop and at least two churches, Saint-Martin and Saint-Symphorian. When the bishop moved his seat to Lausanne in the 6th century, the decline of the city began.

In 1074, the Bishop of Lausanne founded a new city on the site and named it Adventica, which became Avenche in 1518. In the 11th century, it was surrounded by a wall, and it received city rights in 1259.

In 1910, an airfield was built on the flat land north where Ernest Failloubaz did the first flight in Switzerland of an aircraft built by a Swiss citizen. During World War I, it served as a military airfield but, when the military airport in Payerne was built in 1921, it was closed.

Avenches is located on a hill, isolated in the Broye valley, 7 miles north-west of Fribourg. It has a population of a little more than 3000 inhabitants.

(adapted from Wikipedia)