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Avenches really should be part of Fribourg, but it’s proud to advertise itself as Vaud. This town would make for a good combo day with Murten or Romont (see Romont post). A major Roman city in Switzerland, it was founded at the beginning of the 1st century, and was promoted to the rank of colony of Emperor Vespasian in the year 71. Aventicum experienced a period of great prosperity during the l and II centuries: extended over a very large area, it was surrounded by walls of about 6 km in length; its population reached 20,000 inhabitants. There was also a major medieval period resulting in some excellent, and well-preserved architecture.

The city is small but lovely, similar to Romont but in much better repair. We enjoyed the Roman Walking tour, a 6 km loop around the major sites. It’s reasonably easy, and has great views of the city and Lake Neuchatel.

While in the area, swing by Estavayer-le-Lac to see the “stuffed frog museum” – **Musée d’Estavayer-le-Lac et ses grenouilles. Charming if you like that sort of thing. Very small, entire museum takes about 10-15 minutes. The town is cute and nice to walk around in, rather sleepy.

 Murten

Cute. This is a Rick Steves pick and it fits the bill – extremely charming, easy to navigate, nothing too exciting but tourist friendly. Do the walking tour (get a map at the TI) and have a pleasant lunch. We really enjoyed Freiburger Falle on the main street. Walking the city walls is a must.

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