Morges, Canton of Vaud, Switzerland

Morges is a Swiss municipality in the canton of Vaud, located on the shores of Lake Geneva. A small town in Switzerland of around 16,000 inhabitants in the canton of Vaud. It is located on the shores of Lake Geneva and offers an exceptional view of the Haute-Savoie Alps and more particularly of Mont Blanc.

Morges is a small French-speaking town, founded by Louis de Savoie in 1286 who built the castle there. An old shopping town, partially pedestrianized, attracts many passing tourists for its market (Wednesday and Saturday mornings), or between the castle and the lake the magnificent Independence Park with its Tulip Festival from April to mid-May, or with various cultural events such as the Morges-sous-Rire Festival and still the possibility of visiting some cultural museums.

Morges is located on the Vaudois plateau, a dozen kilometers west of Lausanne, the capital of the canton. The town is part of the wine region of La Côte, which stretches from the district of Nyon (on the border between Vaud and Geneva) to the district of Morges. The vines, located in particular on the heights of the Marcelin estate, overlook the town.

The territory of the municipality extends to the north, through the flat riparian neighborhoods, and to the slopes of the neighboring wine-growing hills. The center of the agglomeration is located to the east of the Morges delta. The eastern border of the municipality is at the mouth of the Bief stream. The A1 motorway cuts the city in two, with the old town and commercial districts to the south and most of the residential areas to the north. The municipality of Morges covers 3.85 km. Its highest point rises to 468 meters. Its area includes 72% of infrastructure and habitats, 23% of agricultural areas, 4% of forest and 1% of unproductive area. The city faces the Savoy Alps, and in particular Mont Blanc, which can be seen from the port of Morges.


In 4000 BC. AD, the water level of Lake Geneva suddenly drops, allowing new lands to emerge at the water’s edge where a lakeside society practicing agriculture, fishing and breeding settled in villages on stilts Of wood. Traces of civilizations dating from the Bronze Age (around 3000 BC) have been found in Morges. Four villages have followed one another in time at this place. First of all the Stations of Morges, that is to say the Poudrière and the Church, these two sites dating from the age of polished stone. Next come the sites of Les Roseaux, andthe Great City, during the Bronze Age. In 1854, the first underwater archaeological explorationin history took place, with the aim of studying the protohistoric settlementof the region.

It is estimated that the Great City had as many as 2,000 inhabitants at the time of its heyday. Most of the wooden pillars that supported the dwellings have been preserved. During the Bronze Age, lake transport and trade intensified. In 1877, the oldest boat in the lake was found on the site of Les Roseaux: a monoxyl canoe in oak, dated 1106 BC. J.-C. The other major changes in this period relates to funeral rites, in fact, from the II millennium BC. AD, cremations become common inEurope, which explains the presence of a Neolithic cemetery, by the lake, downstream from Boiron. Thanks to dendrochronological dating, we know that the Great City was built around 1030 BC. The site would have been of such importance, for the time, that the French historian Gabriel de Mortillet decided to call the last period of the Final Bronze Age “Morgian Age”. These vestiges archaeological are protected and registered in the World Heritage of UNESCO. The city was probably abandoned by its inhabitants when the lake level rose, around 850 BC. J.-C.

Medieval period
The foundation of Morges is part of the rivalry between the two brothers Amédée and Louis de Savoie, who both covet the succession of their uncle, the old Count Philippe of Savoy. If the count’s crown fell in 1285 to the eldest, who took the name of Amédée V, the younger, Louis, took the title of Lord of Vaud, reigning over an important seigneury between the rivers of Aubonne and of the Veveyse, which modern historians have called the barony of Vaud. Louis de Savoie founded the castle and town of Morges around 1286 on a site where a gallows had previously stood. The city grows at the expense of the seigneury of Vufflens, the bishop of Lausanne and the priory of Romainmôtier, all three of which lost their rights over the territory where the nascent city stood.

It developed rapidly and became an administrative and commercial center as well as an important transit point for land transport, but also lake transport, due to its central position and its protected port. Louis of Savoy had built a fortified castle to protect the city, which he had also surrounded by a wall several meters high. Remains of this wall can still be observed today in the oldest houses in the city, such as the Maison Blanchenay.

During the Middle Ages, Morges became a seasonal residence of the court of Savoy and the seat of a chatellenie. The city was a unique stronghold and its inhabitants were taxed “à la toise” (frontage), according to the length of their street frontage. Like the great models that are the cities of Bern, Friborg or Murten, the urban plan is inspired by the “southern Zaehringian” type, with its two long parallel streets, the main one of which is very wide (13–18 m), can house large fairs, its crossroads, where the market place is located, its “bug” alleys used as sewers, and its transverse communications. A third parallel street, called Couvaloup, which covers the northern half of the city only, shows a phase of early expansion (from the end of XIII century), expansion necessitated by the successful colonization.

Due to the urban layout and the frontage tax, the majority of the plots were long and very narrow. Most of the houses had an interior courtyard, for light and good ventilation.places. The latter were often lined with spiral staircases or wooden galleries. Religious and educational institutions, as well as the hospital, were located in the northern part of the city, near the church. To the south, near the port and the market, commercial activities developed, with a covered market, a granary, butcher’s shop and several public establishments. The most important of these was the Auberge de la Croix Blanche (Grand-Rue 70-72), which was adorned with a Gothic facade, around 1550.

Until the XIX century, the city will have only three main streets: the Grand Rue, the rue Louis-de-Savoie (formerly called rue du Lac) and Couvaloup street that continues today by the street Ditches. The suburbs of the rue de Lausanne and Dufour instead will have developed at the XIX century and docks 1890. This configuration is notably visible on the old Dufour cards. The Castle of Morges, located south of the city, was built on a square plan, with four round towers at the corners. In many ways, it is close to that of Yverdon, which could have served as a model. The north tower is the most important. It is taller than the other three and, since 1845, has had a clock.

While the town hall was built around 1515, the first trustees of Morges appeared around 1375. The town hall is the oldest municipal administrative building of the canton of Vaud. The main tower and the entrance portico were built in 1682. Before its construction, the authorities met in the old Notre-Dame church, attested in 1306 and demolished in 1770, at the same time as the north door, to make way at the present temple. In 1537, with the Reformation, the parish of Morges and Tolochenaz became reformed, and one transformed the church, until then catholic. It was in 1769 that the decision was taken to destroy the Gothic church, very dilapidated, to build the current baroque temple.

Until the XVI century, the town was ruled by two assemblies: the Small Council, composed of six or seven men, and the General Council. In 1514, two chambers were established, a council of twelve members and another of twenty-four, both of which remained until the fall of the Old Regime and the advent of the Helvetic Republic in 1798.

The town had its own infrastructure. A medieval hospice is attested from 1328, but its location is unknown; it was moved in 1643 near the church. Outside the city, a hospital “Sur la Chaux”, dedicated to Saint Roch and attested in 1518, is intended for plague victims. The pillory was in the market place, the prison, in the castle, while the gallows stood in Tolochenaz. Outside the city walls, to the south of the city, stood the Franciscan monastery of the Friars Minor of the Observance, built in 1500 and directed by Annable of Antioch, first superior of this new convent. It was devastated in 1530 by the troopsBernese, then again in 1536, before being demolished in the 1540s and replaced by a cemetery.

Modern era
The city and its castle were pillaged twice, in 1475 and 1530. After the conquest of the country of Vaud by Bern in 1536, Morges became the seat of a bailiwick. The castle was then in deplorable conditions and the Bernese authorities, new owners, proceeded to very important works. In 1536, as punishment for his reluctance to go along with the Bern because the city is obliged to demolish two gates cities, but soon rebuilt.

During modern times, Morges was very prosperous. A large number of private and civilian buildings were constructed. Including Bernese attic, in 1692. The town has a Latin school in the second half of the XV century. In 1574, the college Couvaloup, inspired academies of Geneva, Lausanne and Bern, is established according to the plans of a Geneva architect. The new temple, which was built between 1769 and 1776, on the Baroque model, is still today one of the centerpieces of Protestant architecture in Switzerland. From the end of the 18th century, a number of country houses began to be built outside the city walls, and new neighborhoods sprang up, mainly along the roads leading to Geneva and Lausanne.

As early as 1536, we mention the presence of a port in Morges, which maintained regular links with the city of Geneva. However, this one remaining too small to ensure the protection of its galleys, Bern decided to build a military and commercial port of scale, which would shelter its fleet of war. The construction of the latter, and of the two large stone dikes that protected it, ended in 1696, after five years of work. The two gatehouses were added in 1702.

With its port, Morges was to be the end point of the Entreroches Canal. Even if the latter was not completed, the Lake Geneva city became the transit point for large quantities of goods, such as wood, stone, salt, wine, cheese and cereals, which reoriented the local economy. The guild of shoemakers was very important during the XVI and XVII century. They were then replaced by tanners, from the XVIII century. In 1798, with the fall of the Old Regime, the main Morgian social class was that of the rentiers, followed by merchants, winegrowers, farmers, shoemakers, tailors and carpenters.

Under the Ancien Régime, the city authorities and the main officials were chosen by a lottery called ballotte, using small white or black, silver or gold balls, which voters placed in an urn specially built for this purpose.. Rare witnesses of this use have been preserved in some municipal archives, including Morges (boules) and Vevey (distributor of balottes); Yverdon possesses one of the most remarkable examples of the.

Contemporary period
It’s the middle of the XIX century Morges really began to expand, particularly with the construction of the station resulting from commissioning in 1855, the first railway line linking the canton Morges to Yverdon, and three years late with the inauguration of the Lausanne – Geneva section. From then on, the city developed first to the south, then to the north of the station, taking the place of the vines which previously occupied the area. In 1895, the Beer – Apples line-Morges was finished. Of modest size, it allowed the Morges area of influence to spread northward.

Morges then became an economic, political and cultural center. During the Vaudois revolution, it took on particular importance through its patriots or “Fathers of the Fatherland”, Jean-Jacques Cart, Henri Monod and Jules Muret. The city is also honored to have housed several prominent personalities, such as Doctor Alexandre Yersin (1863-1943), who discovered the plague bacillus and developed the vaccine against this disease, the family Forel (scientists and artists), or the pianist and Polish political refugee Ignacy Paderewski.

During the second half of the XIX century, the city has experienced significant economic and population growth, thanks to the port completed a shipbuilding workshop for steamboats. The castle became cantonal arsenal in 1803 and was enlarged in 1836. Damaged in an explosion in 1871, it was rebuilt and has housed the Vaudois Military Museum since 1925. A Catholic church was built in 1844. In 1922 the school of agriculture and viticulture was founded on the site of Marcelin.

At the end of the XIX century, the city needs a revamp. The municipal authorities, supported by the rich Morgian bourgeoisie in search of entertainment, decided to build a casino, inaugurated with great pomp on February 23, 1900. Taken by a new craze, some already called the city Morges-les-Bains, or Morges-Casino. This pleasure establishment was the first major infrastructure to be oriented towards the lake. A large number of artists performed in the theater hall of the building in which wrestlers, singers and actors were linked. In the middle of the XX century, the whole passes into private hands. Gradually, the casino and its theater are losing their luster, in particular because of the construction of the Beausobre complex, and its theater. Problems are emerging and the casino is closed in the early 1990s. After several years of degradation, the building is completely renovated and reopened in 2000. It was not until 2010 that the scene also came alive with new faces.

The construction in 1964 of the A1 motorway, the first highway in Switzerland, was an important step in the development of Morges. This highway, intended to facilitate access to the 1964 national exhibition, was built in such a way that it now cuts the city in two.

A large number of actors succeeded in the Morgian economy: a gas factory (between 1867 and 1932), the transport company Friderici AG, the biscuit factory Oulevay (1899-1992), the Industrial Company of Morges – Establishments SIM (1907-1979), specialist in metal constructions, the Neeser AG foundry and the Gala pasta factory. Between 1900 and 1940, the city extended further and new riverside neighborhoods appeared, especially above the station. The first development plan, in 1934, was followed by two others, in 1957 and 1970 respectively. Since 2007, theThe municipality has joined the Lausanne-Morges agglomeration project, which plans, among other things, to create 30,000 jobs in the Lausanne agglomeration by 2020.

Business and trade
The city housed the headquarters of the multinational Logitech, until June 13, 2013. Relocated to the EPFL campus, the IT company gave way to the agricultural biotechnology company Monsanto. The Pasta Gala factories of giant Coop, which produced Napoli and Gala pasta, for their part closed in 2014. The pharmaceutical company Incyte announced in February 2018 that it will take over the plot to build its European headquarters, with 150 jobs at. The economic fabric of the city remains dense with, among other things, a large number of commercial areas in the city center. In 2008, out of the 6,864 active workers in the municipality, 23% worked in the retail trade, 19% in health, 8% in education, 7% in hotels or restaurants and 7% in scientific research. Then follow, in order, the manufacturing industry, banks and insurance, information, construction and import-export.

Culture and heritage
The Morges culture is very developed, because the city is the center of an important economic-cultural region which includes all the district of Morges and the surrounding villages. The floral decoration of the city, especially during the tulip festival, but also during the rest of the year, when the Town Hall is seen displaying sprays of flowers in the colors of the city, has earned it the nickname “Morges la Coquette”. In addition, the medieval past of the municipality of Morges explains that there are various old buildings, especially in the city center.

It is home to the Les Roseaux and Stations de Morges prehistoric pile-dwelling (or stilt house) settlements that are part of the Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps UNESCO World Heritage Site.The De La Croix Blanche Inn, the buildings at Grand-Rue 54 and Grand-Rue 94, Morges Castle along with the Military Museum of Vaud, the City Hall, the Bronze Age shore front settlement Les Roseaux/La Grande Cité and the Temple are listed as Swiss heritage site of national significance. The entire old city of Morges is part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites.

Built heritage
Morges has many cultural assets, including the former Auberge de la Croix Blanche (Grand-Rue 70-72), the Maison Blanchenay (currently Musée Forel) (Grand-Rue 54) and the former Maison Linder (Grand-Rue 94). Worth mentioning also the Town Hall, in reddish sandstone local, dating from the XVI century, the former grenette casino and the Protestant church at the north end of the High Street. The Castle of Morges, built to defend the city, is located near the protected port giving access to Lake Geneva. It currently houses the Vaudois Military Museum.

In Morges Region you will discover a range of magnificent castles which look like paintings and invite you to cross the frontier of a wonderful journey back to the ancient times. Somes castles can be visited while others are still occupied by their tenants. Other castles can only be admired from far away. All together they provide an interesting perspective of the cultural, artistic and architectural heritage of the region. Just to mention a few, the castle in l’Isle, dating back of the 17th century, is also named “Le petit Versailles vaudois”; the Morges castle is the eldest building in the city with a magnificent architecture.

Museums in Morges Castle
Built to protect the town in the Middle Ages, Morges Castle is now an important cultural and recreational attraction with four museums under its roof: the military museum, figurine museum, artillery museum and police museum. Built in the 13th century by Louis of Savoy on the shore of Lake Geneva, Morges Castle now accommodates four museums. The museum brings memories of this musician and politician alive with the help of archived documents, a huge library, recordings and some of Paderewski’s belongings. Discover his story, and learn how this pianist became a true hero of the Polish cause during his country’s most difficult years. Situated in the old Bernois granary from 1991 to 2016, the Paderewski Museum is now established in the Morges Castle and displays a new design which is both modern and interactive.

The Military Museum presents 350 years of history. It focuses on locals from the Lake Geneva Region who went into Foreign Service, particularly Napoleon’s army, and also on military writers. The Swiss Historic Figurine Museum shows historic reconstitutions of battlefields depicting military figurines dressed in warrior uniforms. The collection was put together by Raoul Gérard. The Artillery Museum gives an overview of the history of cannons from the Burgundy wars to our time. 40 artillery devices and their projectiles illustrate this evolution. The Police Museum, which was opened in 2006, tells the story of the Lake Geneva police corps founded in 1803. The police comprised 100 foot policemen, mainly locals who had fought in Napoleon’s army. The renowned Polish pianist, composer and statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski lived in Morges from 1897 until 1940, the year before his death.

Isle Castle
Also known as the “Petit Versaille de l’Isle”, this magnificent château was built in 1696 by Charles de Chandieu, a Lieutenant General in the Swiss Guard. It was the first regional monument of classical architecture. Built in 1696 by Charles de Chandieu, the Château de l’Isle is a monument steeped in history. Originating from around 1700 during the classical era in France, this building greatly resembles that of the architectural movement of the time, where the Château de Versailles was built. The, “La Vénoge” river has enabled the Château to benefit from a beautiful French garden, as well as a river basin bordered by two tree-lined paths. At first the Chandieu family lived in the old residence until the end of the 18th century. François Louis Roulet of Neuchâtel was the first to live there in the 19th century, and then it was handed down through marriage to the Cornaz Family of Montet Cudrefin. In 1876, the commune of l’Isle bought and restored the château. Today it houses the municipal department of housing and classrooms. Since 1941, the château has been a listed building.

Castle of Vufflens
Vufflens Castle is the most celebrated in the region of Morges. A thirty- minute walk in the vineyards offers a stunning view of the castle. Dating from the 15th century, Vufflens Castle is the most significant example of a small group of fortified Romandy castles from the middle ages, characterised above all by its brick construction. This impressive edifice with its donjon towering 60m, is privately owned and unfortunately is not open for public viewing. A pleasant 30 minute-walk through the vineyards between Vufflens-le-Château and Denens, offers a stunning view of this magnificent castle, the lake and the Mont-Blanc. There is also a possibility to combine walking and the train, with the MBC train, linking Bière, Apples and Morges.

Château d’eclépens
Come and taste some wine from the large choice of wines in a chateau full of history. It offers somewhat original settings for your events. “Le Château d’Eclépens” is a historical residence. It backs onto a hill “La Colline du Mormont” and its vineyard benefits from a mild and exceptionally protected microclimate. The castle produces one of the oldest wines in Vaud. More recent varieties like Gamaret, Garanoir and Cabernet are also produced along with white wines like Chasselas, Doral and Pinot Gris. The castle opens its gardens and rooms for events, including wedding receptions.

La Sarraz Castle
Built in 1049 on a rocky spur between Morges and Yverdon-les-Bains, La Sarraz Castle dominates the Vaudois countryside. Now a museum, it includes a collection of valuable objects acquired over the centuries by the generations of La Sarraz barons. From its construction until it was turned into a museum, La Sarraz Castle has always belonged to the barons of La Sarraz, unlike the majority of castles that pass from hand to hand. The fact that it still looks like a family home, decorated with furniture and works of art acquired over centuries, makes it a fascinating place to visit. The interior expresses the ambiance and taste of generations of a patrician family. Precious furniture, silverware and rare china testify to a sophisticated dining style. These historic rooms can be rented for receptions, celebrations, balls and weddings. In 1982, equestrian enthusiasts opened the Musée du Cheval in this historic setting. The collection includes Napoleon 1st’s saddles, the Grimsel mail coach and sculptures of horses, along with a presentation of the work of the farrier or veterinarian.

Aubonne Castle
Aubonne Castle a Swiss heritage site of national significance. The castle of Aubonne was built before 1197. It develops into a citadel, then into a fortified castle. The fortress stands on a hill overlooking the town and the Aubonne ravine. The castle was acquired in 1670 by Jean-Baptiste Tavernier. He kept his property for nearly thirty years, and finally sell it to Henri Duquesne. The last renovation of the castle, owned by the municipality, lasted eight years and ended in 1988. It is currently listed as a Swiss cultural property of national importance and today it is a secondary school with several public rooms.

Château Rochefort
The village of Allaman enjoys an exceptional setting that is enhanced by ancient buildings. The owners of Château Rochefort fulfil a triple mission: give travellers a warm welcome, invite them to discover the beauty of the surrounding vineyards and enhance every event or seminar they attend. The spray of the lake waters and the verdant vitality of the vines invigorate walkers who, on their way to Santiago de Compostela, take a break at Allaman.

This charming La Côte Village idealizes the culture of wine. Owned by the city of Lausanne, the Rochefort estate mainly produces red wines. Pinot Gris and an effervescent assemblage are the castle’s other “specialties”. The biodynamic treatment of the vine (care by plant extracts, respect of lunar rhythms) yields a production that is in perfect harmony with nature. The production site holds the Vaud Œnotourisme certification. The cellar can be visited with or without booking a table, and the “discovery” offers in the wine bar are simply a must. In summer, the terrace welcomes spontaneous visitors from Wednesday to Saturday to enjoy one of the 27 specialities of the city of Lausanne, accompanied by typically Vaudois finger food. The four-star rooms are charmingly modern. Their comfort and equipment vary, depending on the selected category. Throughout the year, activities liven up the estate. Seminars, business evenings or family events turn into a top-class gustatory, cognitive and human experience.

Religious heritage

Catholic Church St-François de Sales
The neo-gothic edifice was built in 1842 and designed by the architect Henri Perregaux, which you can admire in its original architecture in the old town of Morges. Located on the corner of the streets “Rue Louis-de-Savoie” and “Rue du Rond-Point”, St.François de Sales Catholic church is well established, which is a rarity in Morges, especially its neo-gothic decor. The building is one of the oldest of its type in the canton of Vaud and even in Switzerland. Its interior resembles that of the Cathedral of Lausanne, where as its façade resembles that of Lyon in France.

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Prieuré Saint-Jacques
At the foot of the Jura, the commune of Mollens houses historical monuments such as the church, an old Cluniac site. This small town of 280 inhabitants was attached to the priory of Romainmôtier until 1167. From then, it was affiliated to Cluny and so became a monastic centre. In April of 1798, a fire destroyed 48 houses, the church, as well as all the village archives that it guarded. Mollens has kept its authentic appearance throughout the centuries. One can still see whilst walking around, its distinguishing fabric featuring a fish bone, its rebuilt church or the trail of an ancient Roman road. Mollens is a small monastic centre whose activity is to reap from its real estate.

Cossonay Temple
Dedicated to Peter and Paul, “Le Temple de Cossanay” features very diverse influences through several centuries of construction. The church was built between the 11th and 12th century in honour of Peter and Paul. It was converted into a church following the Bernese conquest and the imposition of the protestant reformation in the canton. Built step-by-step: The nave dates from the end of the 11th century, the alter dates from the 13th century, the bell tower dates from the 15th century, whereas the porch only dates from the 20th century. Visible from afar, the bell tower resembles those that are typical in Vaud and inspired by the Cathedral of Lausanne. The 8 stained glass windows were the work of Louis Rivier in 1920s. Financed by a foundation, the church’s organ dates from 2010 and based on an instrument dating back to the 16th century. As of 1900, the church was registered as being of Swiss cultural and national importance.

Protestant Church
The church was first built in the 14th century. After numerous restorations, it now takes pride of place in the town square. Present since 1306, the Protestant church of Morges was rebuilt in accordance with Erasme Ritter’s plans, between 1769 and 1771. After an accidental subsidence of the façade, Léonard Roux from Lyon, was put in charge with new plans. This key monument in Morges is today classified as being of national cultural importance. The church organises classical and organ music concerts throughout the year.

Chapelle Saint-Antoine
The chapel, also known as “du Jacquemart”, was built in 1362, outside the walls of the city and the walls of the castle. The chapel, dedicated to Saint Antoine, founded by Francis I of La Sarraz, was built by his son Aymon III between 1360 and 1372 as the first urban chapel. It is classified as a historical monument. It is a Protestant temple located on the territory of the Vaud municipality of La Sarraz.

Cultural space

The region draws its inspiration from its heritage, its soul from its traditions and its dynamism from a multicultural environment. The Morges region offers you a wide range of museums that will show you the customs and way of life of the Romans, the fauna and flora of the largest lake in Western Europe, the way of life in Switzerland in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a vegetable garden, agricultural machinery, models of artillery, collections of glasses, figurines, porcelains, silverware and also dolls and toys of the past. You can also follow the footsteps of the famous guests of our beautiful region. Whether they have only stayed for a few months or have lived there for several years, all have left a little of their history behind.

The castle of Morges brings together several museums within its walls: the Vaudois Military Museum, the Artillery Museum, the Swiss Museum of Historical Figurines and the Vaudoise Gendarmerie Museum. On the Grand-Rue, we find the Alexis Forel Museum, which presents works and prints made by Alexis Forel in the Blanchenay house, as well as information relating to the history of Morges. The Paderewski Museum located in the old Bernese granary presents objects, archives and works related to the life of Ignacy Paderewski, Polish pianist and politician. The Bolle Foundation presents works by artist Alfred Bolle, a Morgian iconographic exhibition and temporary photographic exhibitions.

Paderewski Museum
The renowned Polish pianist, composer and statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski lived in Morges from 1897 until 1940, the year before his death. The museum brings memories of this musician and politician alive with the help of archived documents, a huge library, recordings and some of Paderewski’s belongings. Discover his story, and learn how this pianist became a true hero of the Polish cause during his country’s most difficult years. Situated in the old Bernois granary from 1991 to 2016, the Paderewski Museum is now established in the Morges Castle and displays a new design which is both modern and interactive.

Arboretum Wood Museum
On the hills of La Côte, in the Vallon de l’Aubonne, the Wood Museum is in the heart of the National Arboretum, a lush green park with about a thousand species of trees from Switzerland and other countries. Visitors have to the park and the museum all year round. The Wood Museum located on the first floor of the Le Plan farm, in the Vallon de l’Aubonne Arboretum, has a rich collection of woodworking tools. The 6,000 exhibits include 1,500 tools of the trade used by carpenters, winnowers, shingle makers, stringed instrument makers and clog-makers. The Arboretum includes 4,000 species of trees and shrubs from temperate regions and, in particular, many varieties of apple trees which have ceased to be cultivated. Opened in 1968, this 200 ha arboretum is set in beautiful countryside above Lake Geneva.

Musée Alexis Forel
The Musée Alexis Forel is located in a magnificent 16th century mansion in Morges’s attractive pedestrian Grand-Rue. This multi-disciplinary museum includes a collection of original and eloquent works of art as well as temporary exhibitions mainly featuring illustrious Morge residents. The Alexis Forel Museum presents a varied new programme of temporary exhibitions and activities in 2020. Through this annual programme, visitors may discover contemporary art by Swiss artists, as well as the showcase for the collections and the patrimony of Morges, in the magnificent historical 16th century house where the museum collections are displayed. Concerts, lectures and theatrical performances are also on offer. The “Boîtes à rêves” and Russian icon spaces are always open to visitors.

Horse Museum
Between Morges and Yverdon-les-Bains, the village of La Sarraz is dominated by an imposing castle. Here, in the castle’s barn, the Musee du Cheval horse museum tells the story of man’s greatest conquest. A fascinating place to visit for both children and parents. The Musée du Cheval was opened in the imposing original 18th century barn at La Sarraz Castle in 1982. The museum is divided into several themes including coaches, work horses, army horses, urban horses, toy horses and horses in art. This rich collection includes some unusual historical pieces including the Grimsel mail coach which was built in 1895 and ran from Meiringen to Gletsch until 1922. Jean-Abram Noverraz, Napoleon Bonaparte’s Vaudois servant, left the gifts he received from the emperor who was subsequently exiled to Saint Helena on Vaudois soil. These included three French style saddles, three bridles decorated with silver and four hunting rifles which were for Napoleon’s personal use. An 11th century fortress, La Sarraz Castle was home to the nobles of La Sarraz until 1948.

Expo Fondation Bolle
Discover inspirational exhibitions on Morges and its region in a magnificent 18th century house, in the heart of the old town of Morges. The museum presents and promotes the cultural heritage of Morges through many temporary exhibitions. On the ground floor, the shop offer visitors Expo Fondation Bolle’s own publications, including a selection of reproductions of fine engravings as well as post cards. The three temporary exhibition galleries on the first floor present subjects linked to the heritage of Morges and its region. Every year, the three galleries are transformed to host a thematic termporary exhibition relating to Audrey Hepburn, the British actress (date can vary from year to year). Expo Fondation Bolle is one of the only museums in Europe to offer its visitors a recurring exhibition on her life. Expo Fondation Bolle’s archives are housed in the attic (visit by appointment). They include original posters and large photographs of Audrey Hepburn, as well as an extraordinary collection of engravings, postcards and photographs of Morges and its region.

House of Press Caricatures
“La Maison du dessin de Presse” which opened in 2009, is the place for exhibitions, press cartoon consulting and development in Romandy. Inaugurated in 2009 this place aims to defend and values press cartoons. Located in the ancient grain cellar of the city, three to four exhibitions a year are organized as well as some events with cartoonists. This is the occasion to revisit news with humor and to defend freedom of speech. The place is now also a library with many books about press cartooning that visitors can feel free to consult and read.

Maison De La Rivière
Situated in Tolochenaz, near Morges and Lake Geneva, the Maison de la Rivière is a modern, educational centre dedicated to nature. Perfectly integrated into the Boiron, this unique place offers interactive exhibits inside and entertaining educational activities outside. Dedicated to this common but little known ecosystem, the Maison de la Rivière offers a variety of unique facilities: outside activities, lake aquarium, giant tactile wall, educational pond, birdhouses, etc., all perfectly integrated into the countryside. Situated on the Trout Trail, the Maison de la Rivière combines fun, tourist and educational activities. The permanent exhibition of the Maison de la Rivière tells visitors all about the local natural and cultural heritage, highlighted by two key attractions: Jacques Piccard’s submarine, F.A.-Forel,, which plumbed the depths of Lake Geneva for 20 years and the observation channel, unique in Switzerland, where visitors can watch the fish that swim in our rivers.

Sévery Oil Mill
Situated above Morges and at the foot of the Vaudois Jura, the Sévery Oil Mill is like an institution for foodies and fans of local products. A compulsory stop on gastronomic holidays, visitors to the mill can discover its famous walnut oil and many other locally made artisan products. The Sévery Oil Mill perpetuates traditional techniques for making walnut, hazelnut, pistachio and grapeseed oils along with 14 other types of oils produced using old pressing methods. Walnut oil accounts for over 60% of the oil produced by the oil mill, built in 1845, which also makes flavoured mustards and sweet and sour sauces – a premium condiment. The Bovey family who have been running the Sévery Oil Mill for six generations organise the Walnut Festival every year in September.

Montricher’s Cheese Factory
Located in Montricher half-way between the medieval town of Morges and the Jura mountains, this cheese factory was opened in January 2015 and has delighted cheese fans ever since. The cheese factory is in the heart of a region that is proud of its production, especially PDO Gruyère. It offers terroir products and a showcase cheese-making facility where you can watch through a glass wall how cheese is made and matured. Guided tours for groups and families are organized on advance booking. Also available are workshops and personalised birthday parties that immerse your children into the world of Swiss terroir products. So many activities whet your appetite…

Claude Merkli
Located in the heart of Echandens, near Morges, Claude Merkli’s glass blowing workshop was set up in 1988. With lots of passion and creativity, many works of glass art have been created for people worldwide. Glass blowing work is on permanent display in an exhibition hall. Whilst visiting, the public can admire glass blowing using a blowpipe. These works are all handcrafted using a mouth blowing technique. The material used to create these unique works of art, is borosilicate glass, also known as Pyrex, which resists high temperatures. A wide range of glass blowing items is made in the workshop, like: bottles with different interior motifs, candlesticks, animals, vases, oil lamps, Christmas and Easter decorations, tableware, hourglasses, etc. Commissioned work based on ideas or drawings: Sports cups, advertising gifts, wedding decorations and many others.

Theater and cinema
There are three theaters in town: the old Casino, the Beausobre theater, with 850 seats, and the Trois P’tits Tours theater, near Independence Park. There is also a cinema, the Odeon.

The city is home to the Conservatoire de l’Ouest Vaudois, on the Beausobre site. In addition, there are also several independent bodies in the field of music, including three mixed choirs: Alphega, La Récréation and Les Mouettes, a strictly classical choir (Pro Classica), and the choir of the Gymnase de Morges. Let us also note the Morges Chamber Orchestra.

Artists from Morges Region will enchant you with their inconditional talent. Whether you are an amateur of sculpture, paintings, or literature, you will find many exhibitions in galleries, which continuously invite new artists, to your greatest pleasure. Between literary exhibitions, galleries, and a symposium of sculptures, the region proposes a diversity of artistic events. Permanent and temporary exhibitions are being shown in Museums and in numerous art galleries. Whatever artistic movement you are are interested in, be tribal art or modern art, abstract or figurative work, you surely will find something that suit your taste.

Mise En Scène Gallery
MISE EN SCÈNE, the landscaping firm known for its gardens, and the photographic artists Céline Jentzsch and Samuel Bitton, wanted to join forces to create an artistic space around man in the face of nature. MISE EN SCÈNE, draws paths and spaces where men, flowers, water spurts or vegetal forms sculpted by a living painting, a reflection of the open nature, invite themselves. Céline Jentzsch and Samuel Bitton travel the world in search of the beauty of the moment, creating flamboyant, touching works, always filled with emotions. Other invited artists, sometimes photographers, painters or sculptors, exhibit their interrogative works or very affirmed, but always impressed by beauty, in the image of the space that welcomes them, voluntarily very close to nature. Photographers, sculptors, painters or landscape architects, their expressions are inspired by man and his deep needs, nature and the pleasure of living there. Their work and their questions often converge, come together, to the point of finally hearing beat the heart of the World…

Ateliers de la Côte
With its 77 workshops, 2 theatres, art gallery, bar and cafeteria-terrace, the LAC concept is unique in Switzerland. A real living art gallery on more than 4000 m2. Thanks to its large free parking and the proximity of the station (3 min. on foot), the LAC is easily accessible and enjoys a good visibility from the A1. This place invites everyone to immerse themselves in culture, art, movement and music, either by working in the cafeteria (free wifi) or by accessing one or another artistic activity offered by the centre’s workshops. A wide variety of artists and craftspeople come together every day. Painters, sculptors, stylists, dressmakers, jewellers, illustrators, musicians, music, dance and yoga schools, decorators, upholsterers, calligraphers, handymen, etc. The performance halls are at the disposal of companies who can organise their team buildings there by calling on the artists of the centre, specialised in this type of event. The state-of-the-art infrastructure of the performance halls allows for all kinds of events.

Artiswiss Gallery
Artiswiss is an art gallery specialized in the Lake Geneva region, from Geneva to Lavaux, and also in other neighboring regions (Valais, Graubünden). Artiswiss is an art gallery specialized in the Lake Geneva region, from Geneva to Lavaux, and also in other neighboring regions (Valais, Graubünden). The local artist, Rita Mancesti will welcome you and be happy to show you and explain her work, in French, English, German or Italian. Each work is a unique painting painted in oil. The artist establishes a certificate of authenticity for each of his paintings.

M’inuit Gallery
The Inuits and Polar peoples are the feature of this art gallery. The diverse exhibitions will enable you to get more familiar with their world. In a spacious environment, in this gallery you will find art made up of diverse materials. The subjects vary from one exhibition to another, and the artists are of all genres, at times popular or reputed in their domain or even those who are less known and more discreet.


Fondation Jan Michalski
The Jan Michalski Foundation in Montricher is a place entirely dedicated to literature, and where a writers’ residency, library, an auditorium and exhibition hall coexist under a superb canopy in perfect harmony with Mother Nature. It is located in magnificent countryside, at the foot of the Jura, facing Lake Geneva and the Alps. The library is a workspace open to anyone, it brings together more than 80,000 multicultural masterpieces in languages from around the world on five floors. Its rich collection, creative domain and literary know-how, are available in hard copy or digital form. The foundation’s cultural space is dedicated to temporary exhibitions. It is a place for artists and writers to meet and share amongst themselves, bringing a new look at great artists’ work of art or present private collections.

Cultural events
The town of Morges is comparatively very lively compared to other towns of this size. Thanks to the privileged relations it has developed with its twin cities: Rochefort, Vertou and in a certain sense Tournon-sur-Rhône, there are twin festivals between these cities.

Every year, from April to mid-May, the city celebrates the Tulip Festival, during which more than 200,000 tulips and hundreds of varieties are presented, mainly at the Independence Park. The arrangements thus formed form complex figures with various colors. This event attracts more than 100,000 visitors each year, making it the largest flower show in Switzerland. The flower shows The dahlia docks, which take place every year from July to August, are closely linked to the latter.

In early May, Morges receives design chips, fair design that brings together a hundred domestic and international exhibitors selling furniture XX, fashion accessories and vintage in Hall SBB.

Every two years, in June, Morges is the seat of the International Sculpture Symposium which sees sculptors from all walks of life exhibit, on the Place d’Armes of the Château de Morges. It is also the starting point for the Swiss Classic British Car Meeting, a meeting of collectors of old English cars, the 2011 edition of which welcomed around 20,000 spectators.

Paired with its French counterpart in Tournon-sur-Rhône, the Morges-sous-Rire humorous festival takes place every year in June, mainly on the Beausobre site. Many Swiss and French comedians perform there. It is also during this period that the Paillote Festival is located. This free music festival takes place in mid-September in Independence Park and welcomes regional groups as well as internationally renowned ensembles.

The book on the quays, created in 2010, welcomed more than 40,000 visitors during its 2012 edition. This book fair, which is held at the beginning of September and brings together several hundred authors, debates, conferences, has established itself as one of the major literary manifestations of Switzerland. Anne Cuneo, Marc Levy and Jean d’Ormesson took part, among others.

Located in the heart of the wine region of the Côte, Morges also hosts major events related to oenology, and in particular Divinum “, wine fair of the region, and the Night of the scarecrows, traditional festival which takes place in September, before the harvest period. Tradition has it that on this occasion, the inhabitants burn the king of the scarecrows, to celebrate the start of the harvest. Legend says that one autumn night in 1387, the winegrowers, who had failed to offer his share of the harvest to the Count of Savoy, had seen their fields invaded by an army of scarecrows. Agénor, a courageous winegrower in the region, would then have gone to beg the count to protect them from the plague. On the latter’s advice, the winegrowers would have come down to Morges from the heights of Denens and, on the church square, would have burned the king of the scarecrows.

At the end of the year, in December, Christmas market in the gardens of the castle, where merchants settle selling objects, cribs and delicacies from all over the world.

Natural heritage
The French naturalist Justin Macquart quoted in 1851, among the trees which impressed him the most in Europe, two remarkable elms in Switzerland:

“It is particularly in the surroundings of Geneva that I observed the most remarkable trees. While walking along the northern shore of the lake to Villeneuve, I saw in a smiling meadow near the pretty little town of Morges two Elm trees of colossal dimensions. Each of them had at the exit of the ground seventeen meters in circumference, and its crown was of a very great extent. From the year 1541, these Elms were of remarkable size. One of them was overthrown in 1824. ”

The smaller of the two rivers in the town, the Bief, is currently the subject of a renaturation project which should be completed by 2018. This approach should make it possible to facilitate the migration of birds which cross the region in the spring, from Africa. The remodeling of the estuary should in particular make it possible to provide ecological niches suitable for stopping places for many species.

By the Water
Morges region benefits from a great lake shore, beautiful sceneries and amazing number of riers, to be discovered on your hikes. Come and rest on the numerous Lake Geneva beaches all along La Côte. If you are looking for quietness, go for the “Préverenges” beach.

Throughout the year, Morges Region offers true emotional moments, with panoramic views. Come and visit the magnificent collection of iris, lilies and roses every summer at the Château de Vuillierens. Morges welcomes the return of the spring season every year, with more than 100’000 tulips in the Parc de l’Indépendance. In the Aubonne valley you can admire 3000 different types of trees from various continents.

The tulips from April to mid-May, the Iris gardens of Vullierens Castle from mid-May to mid-June, the dahlias from July to October, Morges and its region are a tribute to flowers. We will be happy to help you discover these marvels of nature. Come and pick the “Fleur du Léman”. Every year, Morges welcomes the return of spring with more than one hundred thousand tulips decorating the massifs of the Parc de l’Indépendance. During the following months, the gardens of Vullierens Castle display a fabulous collection of irises and lilies, and the Quais de Morges a unique exhibition-sale of dahlias. You can also discover the floral mosaic in Nyon, composed of more than 16,000 plants. Let yourself be amazed by a visit to the Arboretum of the Vallon de l’Aubonne, a botanical garden on nearly 200 hectares of forests and meadows. Many collections, often spectacular in bloom, such as magnolias, dogwoods, hydrangeas or autumn colours in maples, will not leave you indifferent.

Bis Tulip Festival
Created to mark the 50th anniversary of the Vaud Horticultural Society in 1971, the Tulip Festival continues to delight the 100,000 annual visitors from Switzerland and abroad. The tulip festival takes place from late March to mid-May in the Parc de l’Indépendance, located on the shores of Lake Geneva, between the Château de Morges and the river La Morges. The Parc de l’Indépendance offers, in all seasons, a magnificent green setting and presents 50 varieties of trees such as impressive chestnut trees dating from 1750 or giant sequoias. It is only a few metres from the historic city centre, the landing stage, restaurants and shops.

Tags: Switzerland