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Back in February our women’s club Photography Group visited Nyon where one of our members living there had prepared a tour that included the architectural highlights as well as some history of this Medieval town. These are her notes:

Our tour starting at the town library, a Bernese style building, built in the 17th century, originally owned  by a family of tanners with the surname Richards.

Nyon library

Then along by the chateau, which was built on the ruins of an eleventh century fortress and modified many times over the centuries, depending on who was in power. Situated next to the chateau is the building I am most intrigued with in Nyon; the Manor. I don’t think it has ever been owned by the city. It is currently lived in by the owner and an adopted daughter.


After leaving the chateau, we went through the area below which lie the ruins of a Roman basilica, discovered in 1974.  These are the steps are heading back up towards the chateau from Rue de Rive.


The walls of the Roman museum, underground, are the actual walls of the basilica!  This basilica was built between 50 and 80 AD.  We can see stones on the small streets marking where different parts of the basilica were.  We walked through the ancient market place, where markets have been held for the last 2000 years.  In this market square we saw the arcades (14th century), where one of the pillars has a foundation stone from Roman times depicting a steer’s head and neck decorated with a garland of flowers.

In medieval times there was a wall around the central old town with five entrances in total. Today Porte-Ste-Marie is the only remaining evidence of these gates.


As we walked toward the gate we pass by the beautiful, ancient church of Notre-Dame, built in the 12th century, itself on the foundations of a roman building.  There are two stones near the gate from Roman times.

Still high above the lake we paused in the Esplanade des Marronniers, laid out around 1815, to admire the Roman Columns excavated near by and installed here in 1958.  Finally, we walked down where along the lake stands the oldest building in Nyon, the Caesar Tower, constructed during the 12th century.  Facing the lake, high up, is a statue of the Greek god Attis, from Roman times.

Our photography group has posted other excursions, if you are interested:

We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland.  If you would like to join the AIWC, please visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/