Lausanne-Vidy Roman Ruins

Lausanne, Switzerland

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.



Your name


Founded: 15 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Switzerland


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Katrina Shillam (9 months ago)
Great little museum to complement the nearby Roman ruins and mosaic sites. Some very nice aurei.
Petra Drašković (9 months ago)
So lovely to know Roman history of Lausanne. The museum has a beautiful exposition and artefacts are nicely preserved and have a great storyline and a lovely future museum.
Paula Ferreira (11 months ago)
Paid to see the museum and ONLY Saw a temporary exposition. Could at least inform before buying.
Jada Morad جادا مراد (2 years ago)
?️The experience of visiting the Roman museum of Lausanne in Vidy was very interesting because it was built inside a Roman domus. In fact, you can see fragments of the Domus ?️, with small "affresco" where the colors have been maintained over time. ?Upstairs there is the gallery with all the finds of daily life found and exhibited. ??️ There are posters affixed to the walls that tell the story of the time. ?The cost of the ticket has a low average price and there are discounts for students $. ? It is also possible once a month to visit the museum for free. ??‍♀️The museum offers a guide upon request. ?I recommend it to anyone here who is passionate about Roman history.
Tanya Ragu (2 years ago)
nicely curated exhibition, we were given an English translation of all the descriptions to help us follow!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Trencín Castle

Trenčín Castle is relatively large renovated castle, towering on a steep limestone cliff directly above the city of Trenčín. It is a dominant feature not only of Trenčín, but also of the entire Považie region. The castle is a national monument.

History of the castle cliff dates back to the Roman Empire, what is proved by the inscription on the castle cliff proclaiming the victory of Roman legion against Germans in the year 179.

Today’s castle was probably built on the hill-fort. The first proven building on the hill was the Great Moravian rotunda from the 9th century and later there was a stone residential tower, which served to protect the Kingdom of Hungary and the western border. In the late 13th century the castle became a property of Palatine Matúš Csák, who became Mr. of Váh and Tatras.

Matúš Csák of Trenčín built a tower, still known as Matthew’s, which is a dominant determinant of the whole building.