16: Romont to Moudon

From the canton of Fribourg to the canton of Vaud

 

DIDIER HEUMANN, ANDREAS PAPASAVVAS

 

We divided the course into several sections to make it easier to see. For each section, the maps show the course, the slopes found on the course, and the state of the roads. The courses were drawn on the “Wikilocs” platform. Today, it is no longer necessary to walk around with detailed maps in your pocket or bag. If you have a mobile phone or tablet, you can easily follow routes live.

For this stage, here is the link:

https://fr.wikiloc.com/itineraires-randonnee/de-romont-a-moudon-pat-la-via-jacobi-4-67452703

It is obviously not the case for all pilgrims to be comfortable with reading GPS and routes on a laptop, and there are still many places in France without an Internet connection. Therefore, you can find a book on Amazon that deals with this course.

If you only want to consult lodging of the stage, go directly to the bottom of the page.

Today you leave the canton of Fribourg for the canton of Vaud. This is the first time that you’ll come into contact with the Swiss plateau, which is discreet compared to the country. It covers only 30% of the surface of the country, including all the space between the Jura and the Alps. But, it is only very partially formed of real plains, being most often made of hills, varying between 400 and 600 m in altitude. It is by far the most densely populated region in Switzerland, especially in German-speaking Switzerland. The cities of the French-speaking Switzerland plateau are small cities. Here, you walk in a real plateau, the plateau where the Broye River flows, and where field crops and market gardening abound. More than 85% of the tobacco produced in Switzerland comes from this region, even if the crops are in decline.

Difficulty of the course: Slope variations are gentle today (+117 meters/-347 meters). The only marked differences in altitude are downhill towards Curtilles. The rest of the program is walking on a very short stage.

Today, paved routes and pathways are equivalent:

  • Paved roads: 7.4 km
  • Dirt roads: 7.8 km

Sometimes, for reasons of logistics or housing possibilities, these stages mix routes operated on different days, having passed several times on Via Podiensis. From then on, the skies, the rain, or the seasons can vary. But, generally this is not the case, and in fact this does not change the description of the course.

It is very difficult to specify with certainty the incline of the slopes, whatever the system you use.

For “real slopes”, reread the mileage manual on the home page.

 

We have divided the route into several sections, to facilitate visibility. For each section, the maps give the route, the slopes found on the route and the state of Via Jacobi.

Section 1: Above Romont.

 

General overview of the difficulties of the route: course without any difficulty.

 

To leave Romont, you can slope down the Grand Rue, continue on the Route de la Belle Croix. You can also take Via Jacobi 4, which slopes down Rue du Château, then Chemin de la Côte, and arrives at the same crossroads, at the bottom of Rue de la Belle Croix, at the bottom of the citadel.
The street is quite steep on both axes.
Near the crossroads, you are under the Tour à Boyer. This tower, built in the XIIIth century, is equipped with a defensive system, which makes it like a small castle. In the XIXth century, it was acquired at auction by a certain Mr. Boyer who wanted to use the stones for other constructions. The city then bought the building before the latter could carry out this project, but the Tower kept its name. The esplanade is a very nice playground for children.
At the crossroads, Via Jacobi follows on the sidewalk the Rue d’Arrufens, the artery that leaves the city in the plain.
It is already the suburbs and the tall buildings. That day, there were national flags on the balconies. It was the soccer world cup.
A strip of tar as a sidewalk is drawn along the road, which passes in front of Bicubic, a cultural and sports center.
Via Jacobi then arrives at a large crossroads at the exit of the city.
Here is the railway in front of the large TetraPak factory, a factory of Swedish origin but which has its headquarters in Switzerland, a packaging specialist.

Further ahead, the route then takes the direction of the Oratory of Notre Dame des Pauvres (Our Lady of the Poor) between the factory and the railway line.

A pathway intersects the factory, crosses the factory tracks and approaches a small wood.
In the small wood flows the Glaney brook, almost dry, at the foot of the small oratory, extremely kitsch.
A wide pathway, the Chemin de la Maillarde, a little stony, then climbs quite steeply in the meadows on the hill. There are many oak trees here.
Higher up, the pathway runs through deciduous undergrowth.
Still a little up, the pathway reaches the first houses of Billens.

By turning around, you can enjoy an overall view of Romont and its hill.

Via Jacobi then joins the road to Billens.
Here, it is the open countryside, meadows and cows.
Further afield, the road passes through a more residential area along the hedges to arrive at a crossroads at the entrance to the village, which forms a commune with Hennens, the neighboring village. But Via Jacobi does not go to Billens, where there is a large regional hospital.
From Billens to Hennens, the road crosses an essentially agricultural country and large farms in the meadows. There are, so to speak, no crops, but a few fruit trees here and there.
Further on, the road arrives at the entrance to Hennens.

Section 2: From the canton of Fribourg to the canton of Vaud.

 

General overview of the difficulties of the route: some slopes but nothing very difficult.

 

The road crosses a small mainly agricultural village, with scattered farms.
It begins to climb a little at the exit of the village. The canton of Fribourg also sometimes has magnificent wooden farmhouses, dating back several centuries, often tastefully restored.
The road slopes up to the chapel of Saint-Bernard de Montjoux, built at the end of the XVIIth century and restored in the XIXth century, listed as cultural property of regional importance. You are still in Catholic country ; a few hundred meters further, you will arrive in the canton of Vaud, in Protestant country. You didn’t walk up very much. You are almost at the same height as the heights of the citadel of Romont, on the horizon.
The road still climbs, with a very slight slope in the meadows, with a little corn too. Here, there is no longer any habitation, only virgin nature.

Behind you, Romont disappears definitively in the distance.

A little up, Via Jacobi takes a smaller road that turns before running in the meadows.

Further, a pathway flattens in the grass to a television antenna.

Here you are at the highest point of the stage. You only climbed 100 meters from the foot of Romont. Now you have left the canton of Friborg for the canton of Vaud. This granite marker planted in the field, which must hinder the tractor, is probably the old border.
Beyond the antenna, the road begins a descent which will last until reaching the Broye valley below. Most of the time, the slope is very steep, sometimes even close to 15%. On the horizon stand out the Fribourg Alps.
The road descends and reaches the first houses of Lovatens, at the top of the village.
Then it zigzags through the middle of the village farms. Throughout this region, the farms no longer have the incredible charm of the farms of German-speaking Switzerland. But from here you will see less and less farms until Geneva.
Beyond a big bend, Via Jacobi reaches the center of the village.

We remain questioning about the origin and the role of this menhir.

Lovatens is a quiet village. Here, a bar also serves as a library. It is a village focused on agriculture, livestock and fruit trees, but you also see more and more people living here and working in neighboring towns.

A steep road descends beyond the village towards the cemetery. In the background, you can see the borough of Lucens. In Switzerland, it is easy to know if you are crossing a Catholic country or a Protestant country. Most often, among Protestants, the cemetery is far from the temple. When the religions are mixed, people usually manage to make only one cemetery. In Lovatens, the temple is in the village, the cemetery lost in nature, at the end of the village. You are therefore in a Protestant country.
Beyond the cemetery, a small road descends towards the undergrowth, then cuts at a right angle.
Lower down it runs along the forest very rich in spruces, with rarer hardwoods.
Below, in the plain, Lucens and its castle grow visibly.
Further ahead, the road enters the woods.

Section 3: Along the Broye River.

 

General overview of the difficulties of the route: course without any difficulty.

 

The road then enters the undergrowth, and the slope becomes increasingly steep, with an inclination of nearly 20%. Moreover, concrete soon replaces tar. In the dale rumbles the Vaux stream.
Further down, the concrete pathway joins the road that goes from Romont to Moudon.
Further afield, Via Jacobi descends on the road and crosses the Vaux stream lost in the brushwood.
You’ll arrive at Curtilles.
Here, you can find something to eat. You can reach Lucens 15 minutes away, but Via Jacobi does not go there. However, it is here that the variant from Basel to the Jura which runs through Payerne joins Via Jacobi 4. In the canton of Vaud, the pinnacles are not for churches, but for administrative buildings or schools. You are in Protestant country.
A road then runs into the countryside, between meadows, tobacco, corn and cereals.
On the other side of the valley stands the castle of Lucens.
Further on, the road smoothens along the isolated houses and farms of the hamlet of Prévondens. This region of La Broye is one of the great cultivation regions of Switzerland. It changes a little from the great pastures of German Switzerland that you crossed.

The road transits a long time in the housing estates aligned with the cultures.
In this region, it is not always big farms but often houses that have a little bourgeois air. They are rare at the edge of the road, but numerous, above the road, a little on the heights.
Further afield, the road approaches an undergrowth where a small stream flows and crosses the crops of the plain heading towards the Broye River.
Via Jacobi then turns left and enters a wide dirt road along the river. Here,you are 45 minutes to Moudon.
The pathway will flatten up the Broye River for kilometres, under birches, ashes, oaks and poplars. Right next to it pass the Lausanne-Bern road and the railway line.

Section 4: Again and again along the Broye River.

 

General overview of the difficulties of the route: course without any difficulty.

 

A little further on, a bridge allows you to cross the river to another hiking track, but Via Jacobi remains on the same side of the river.
On the way you will undoubtedly come across many cyclists. There’s a reason for that, it’s flat.
Further ahead, the pathway approaches the industrial zone of Moudon and leads to a picnic area, in Le Plan, on the edge of a small pond.
You get even closer to Moudon, and the grass replaces the dirt, under the poplars. On the other side of the Broye River extends the industrial zone.
At the entrance to Moudon, Via Jacobi crosses the river, near a cheese dairy partly cut into the rock.
There, the road heads to the station.
Moudon, of Celtic origin, also experienced a flourishing Roman period. Today, the town has 6,000 inhabitants. Via Jacobi heads towards the city center along the river. On the right stands the church of St Etienne, the “cathedral of Broye”, an old Catholic church destroyed by the Protestants and restored over the centuries. It has the oldest playable organ in the Canton of Vaud.
Beyond the city center without much architectural interest, Via Jacobi takes the steep street that climbs towards the castle.
The top of the hill was once an important fortress which was demolished over the ages. Not much remains intact, except for the majestic tower and some ramparts. The two “false castles” have been remodeled over the centuries from the original stronghold. At the top of the hill stand the Château de Carrouge and the Château de Rochefort, which houses a regional fine arts museum. .

Lodging on Via Jacobi

 
Billens
Accueil jacquaire Jean-Pierre Demierre, Au Bugnon

 

026 652 20 84
Guestroom, dinner, breakfast Marie-Thérèse Sugnaux, Route d’Hennens 25 026 652 28 74079 577 13 89
Lovatens
Guestroom, breakfast Corthésy, Route de la Minerve 7 079 759 19 44
Curtilles
Camping, straw, cuisine Manège Les Poneys de la Broye, Rte de Prévondens 14 079 219 33 46
Guestroom, breakfast Marianne Luder, Prévondens 29 021 906 87 74/077 402 01 56
Moudon
Caserne, dormitory Moudon 079 175 97 38
Camping, dinner, breakfast Piscine du Grand Pré 021 905 23 11
Guestroom, dinner, breakfast Anne et Michel Thorens, Les Combremonts 24 021 905 54 20/078 886 83 07
Guestroom, dinner, breakfast Anne et André Mayor, Le Plan 2 021 905 24 06/078 832 30 59
Guestroom, breakfast Michèle Cheseaux, Ch. de Valcrêt 5 079 418 86 47
Hotel*, dinner, breakfast Hotel de la Gare 021 905 45 88
Hotel*, dinner, breakfast Hotel du Chemin de fer 021 905 70 91
Hotel**, dinner, breakfast French 75, Route du Relais 5 021 905 13 13
There is no difficulty of finding accommodation on this stage. Book anyway for security.
Feel free to add comments. This is often how you move up the Google hierarchy, and how more pilgrims will have access to the site.

 

Next stage: Stage 17: From Moudon to Lausanne

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