Local History

Auvernier. Photo/bild TES.


The first historical mention under the name Averniacum dates back to 1011, in a document confirming the donation of Rudolph III (970-1032), the last king of the Kingdom of Burgundy. Auvernier lies on the edge of Lake Neuchâtel and has been inhabited since Neolithic and Gallo-Roman times.

The lake-dwelling houses or stilt houses are one of the best-known prehistoric places in Switzerland (and a UNESCO world heritage site). Over a length of 1.5 km, there are at least ten places that were already inhabited between the fourth and first millennium B.C. (see also the museum Laténium in Hauterive).

The village developed around fishing (still to be seen on the village coat of arms) and viticulture. The town is also known for the castle of Auvernier from 1559 and other buildings, squares and medieval streets.

In the Middle Ages, Auvernier has always been disputed by the Count of Neuchâtel and the lord of neighbouring Colombier. With the extinction of the family, the county of Neuchâtel was successively ruled by the German dynasty of Baden (1458-1504), the French dynasty of Orléans-Longueville (1504-1707) and the King of Prussia.

The king formally possessed the principality until 1848/1856, despite the accession of the canton of Neuchâtel, including Auvernier, to the Swiss Confederation in 1814. Today the village (municipality of Milvignes since 2013) is also a tourist destination with its marina and beach (Source: www.hls-dhs-dss.ch, Auvernier, Michel Egloff and Germain Hausmann, 2019; further information: www.milvignes.ch).