Lousonna was a Gallo-Roman port during Roman times. The port town was important for commerce with links on Lake Geneva to Roman towns such as the present-day Geneva, Nyon, and Villeneuve.
However, during Roman times, Lausanne was never of political or military importance. Although borders shifted, Lausanne was mostly a backwater at the southern most parts of Germania, ruled from Mainz. Political and military power in the region was concentrated in Avenches and Yverdon-les-Bains.
From the fourth century onwards, Lausanne gradually moved uphill to higher grounds with the Roman port town eventually abandoned. Today, the Roman ruins are some way from the lakeshore, as the level of Lake Geneva was permanently lowered during the nineteenth century. The immediate area is used for various sport facilities and a great area for outdoor activities and strolls along the shores of the lake.
The Musée Romain in Lausanne-Vidy is a fairly small museum on Roman history. The ground floor of the museum, which is built over the foundations of a Roman villa, is used for temporary exhibitions. These exhibitions can cover much more than just the Roman era. As this area is half the museum, the theme and quality of the display very much influence whether the museum is worth visiting at all. Fortunately, the displays are generally excellent and manage to link historic themes well with the present day.
A short walk from the Roman Museum – pass underneath the highway towards the lake – is the Lausanne Roman Archaeological Park. Here many Roman foundations have been uncovered. Visitors can freely explore the archaeological park. Information tables explain the Roman town layout and buildings. The temple was a good 71 m long but the antique port wall is probably the more impressive.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.