Moudon. Foto/Photo: TES

The fortunes of Romont and Moudon

The old town centre of Romont (canton of Fribourg) with its town walls, towers, castle and church (Collégiale) Notre-Dame de l’Assomption (13th century) is situated on the famous round mountain Mont Rond (rotundus mons).


Collégiale Notre-Dame de l’Assomption after its (Gothic) renovation in the 15th century.

At the foot of the mountain is the Cistercian monastery de la Fille-Dieu (founded in 1268), as the name suggests, a convent for women (still in existence today).

Monastery de la Fille-Dieu

The town lies on the trade routes to Lausanne and Vevey (canton of Vaud) and Bulle and Fribourg (canton of Fribourg). The fact that Romont is located in the canton of Fribourg and not in the canton of Vaud is the fate of history in 1536.

From the old centre of this town along the Glâne River, there are views over the valley (Valloné) of the Pays de Glâne, the (Pre) Alps, including the Moléson and the Jura.

That year, Bern conquered Vaud (Pays du Vaud) from Savoy. At that time, Romont had already belonged to Savoy for centuries, and the Counts of Savoy called themselves ‘Lords of Moudon and Romont’ (Seigneurs de Moudon et Romont).

The castle (Grand Donjon), 1240, and renovations afterwards

The town wall, which is 1.5 kilometres long and has several towers, is still largely intact

The Counts of Savoy, from 1416 the Dukes of Savoy, were allies of the Dukes of Burgundy.

This alliance did not end well in 1476. Savoy and Romont sided with Duke Charles the Bold (1433-1477) in his war against the Confederation. After his defeats at Grandson and Morat (1476), the Confederates conquered and plundered Romont.

However, Savoy regained control of Romont in the Peace of Fribourg (1476). Other towns (Orbe, Grandson, Morat and Echallens) in Vaud were jointly administered by Fribourg (a member of the Confederation since 1481) and Bern and were lost to Savoy.

However, the joy over Savoy was (relatively) short-lived. In 1536, Protestant Bern conquered the whole of Vaud from Savoy. However, Romont sought the protection of Catholic Fribourg and belonged from then on to the canton of Fribourg.


Moudon (in Roman times, the small vicus Minnodunum or Minnidunum) lies between the rivers de La Broye and La Mérine. Savoy acquired the town and its castle in 1219, before which it had been ruled by Celtic (Helvetic) tribes, Romans, Franks, two Burgundian kingdoms, the Counts of Geneva and the Dukes of Zähringen.

La Broye

Like Romont, the town was centrally located on the trade and transport routes. It flourished under the rule of Savoy and even became its administrative centre in Vaud in the 14th century.

The defeat of the Duke of Burgundy in 1476 and the Confederates’ capture of Moudon did not end Savoy’s rule. The Peace of Fribourg also restored Savoy’s rule in Moudon.

Maison des États de Vaud (14th centrury)

However, Bern’s conquest in 1536 signalled the final end of Savoy’s presence and the introduction of the Reformation. Bern exercised power until 1798 when Moudon became part of the canton of Vaud.


From 1536, the Dukes of Savoy no longer called themselves ‘Lords of Moudon and Romont’; Romont remained Catholic in the canton of Fribourg, and Moudon became Protestant and, from 1798, a town in the canton of Vaud.

(Source and further information: F. Walter, Histoire de Fribourg, Une ville-État pour l’éternité (XVIe-XVIIIe siècle) Tome 2, Neuchâtel, 2002; Ville de Romont; Commune de Moudon; L. Hubler, Histoire du Pays de Vaud, Lausanne 1991).

Impressions of Romont

Maison St.-Charles

The Grand Donjon and the Vitromusée Romont (Musée suisse du vitrail et des arts du verre, Glass Museum)

Impressions of Moudon

Maison neuve du Pont (1688)


Hôtel de Ville

Saint-Étienne de Moudon (13th-16th century)

Fontaine de la justice

La Grenette (Grain Market)

Maison de Cerjat puis Tacheron or Maison bernoise (14th century)

Château de Rochefort (Musée du Vieux-Moudon) and Maison de Denezy

Château de Carouge