Local History

Collégiale Romont. Photo: TES.

The City of Romont

When in 1239 Pierre II of Savoy (1203-1268) conquered the region of what is now Romont, the place consisted of a few small houses and a fortified building of the Lords of Billens, vassals, who ruled on behalf of the bishop of Lausanne. The rotundus mons gave Romont its name. Pierre immediately started with the construction of a castle as a support for the further conquest of Vaud. The castle, completed around 1240, can still be admired, with an extension in the late Gothic style (sixteenth century). The reign of Savoy did Romont good economically at first, and the town got not only market rights but also a parish church. The city grew to 1 500 inhabitants until a disastrous fire in 1434 and especially the Burgundian wars in 1476 devastated the city. Savoy and Romont were allies of the Burgundian Duke, and Romont underwent the wrath of Freiburg and Bern in 1476, who eventually conquered Vaud in 1536. Because of the religion (Freiburg was Catholic, Bern Protestant), Romont accepted Freiburg and is still part of this canton. Catholicism has always been prominently present ever since. Other cities, such as Moudon, are protestant, because it is the belief of Bern. The patchwork of religions and cantons of Bern, Vaud, and Freiburg is due to the developements in the sixteenth century.