Local History

Morat Museum. Photo: TES.

Morat, the Duke and the Eidgenossen

Morat (Murten in German) is one of the cities, which by the fate of history is part of the canton of Fribourg (Freiburg). The sixteenth century and the incorporation by the Mediationsakte (1803) against the will of the population were decisive. Morat is a bilingual city. The German-speaking majority is around 83%. The city was founded by the Dukes of Zähringen in the second half of the twelfth century, almost at the same time as Bern and Fribourg. Then followed the rule of Savoy until 1475. The Burgundian wars of 1476 were of crucial. The city chose Bern and Freiburg against Burgundy and its ally Savoy in 1475. After the defeat of Burgundy at the gates of the city in 1476, the city was ruled alternately by Bern and Freiburg from 1484 to 1798.

The Duke of Burgundy besieged Morat after the defeat in March 1476 at Grandson,  Burgundy suffered another crushing defeat in June. The Duchy lost for the third time in 1477 (Nancy), and also lost its Duke Charles the Bold (1433-1477). The Kingdom of Burgundy never materialized. The Duke founded his claims of the kingdom on historical grounds. Two predecessors (the Burgundian kingdoms of 443-534 and 888-1032), his French royal blood, the extensive territory (from the Low Countries to the South of France) and because of the the unparalleled cultural accomplishments. The museum in Morat, one of the oldest in the canton and housed in the old mill, provides a clear and well-documented overview of the battle of Morat and even a Panorama.