The Vitro Musée of Swiss stained glass and reverse painting on glass is housed in the Chateau de Romont castle in a historic wall-enclosed medieval town in Canton Fribourg.
The Musée Suisse du Vitrail et des Arts du Verre / Schweizerisches Museum für Glasmalerei und Glaskunst, or Swiss Museum of Stained Glass and Glass Art, is the top sight in Romont. Romont is a wall-enclosed historic town in canton Fribourg (Freiburg) close to Lausanne and other towns in the Lake Geneva region. In addition to the important museum of stained glass, visitors to Romont can enjoy the rest of the romantic old town including a historic Gothic church, town walls and bastions, as well as steep staircases and narrow alleys. Romont is a pleasant day-trip destination from Geneva, Lausanne, or Bern.
The Vitro Musée of Stained Glass and Glass Art, Switzerland
The Musée Suisse du Vitrail et des Arts du Verre, usually shortened to simply Vitro Musée Romont, has a unique collection of glass art. The permanent collection has two distinct sections: the stained-glass collection housed inside the main building and a large reverse painting on glass section housed in an annex reached from the main building via a covered walkway.
The Vitro Musée Romont’s stained-glass collection has mostly European works from the early Middle Ages to the present. Around 50 works are on display ranging from religious themes to heraldic emblems and Art Nouveau windows designed for private residences.
The reverse painting on glass collection consists of well over 100 works from all over the world. Different techniques and methods are explained using actual historic works.
Visit the Vitro Musée of Swiss Glass Art in Romont
Free guide pamphlets that described all the works in numerical order make appreciating the various glass art works easier. More detailed information sheets are available in many rooms with explanations of the works as well as techniques used to create the art.
Opening hours of the Vitro Musée Romont are from early April to early November, Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 1 pm and 2 to 6 pm, and from early November to early April, Thursday to Sunday from 10 am to 1 pm and 2 to 5 pm. Admission is CHF10 for adults and free for children under 16. The court yard of the chateau and some rampart walks are freely accessible to non-paying visitors as well. The Swiss Museum Pass is valid.
Almost the entire exhibition is accessible to wheel chair users.
Exploring the Wall-Enclosed Town of Romont, Switzerland
Romont’s old town is best explored on foot. The town is not as pretty as say Gruyères in Fribourg and as a result not as popular with tourists and day-trip bus parties. Cafés and restaurants are not very common but also do not add a tourist surcharge.
It is worth picking up a free map from the tourist office – directly across the square in front of the castle – with suggested walking routes through the old town. Wonderful views of the Alps, including on a clear day Mt Blanc, and the surrounding countryside can be enjoyed from the ramparts (remparts). Several defense towers (tours) survived and some have small exhibitions.
Most of the buildings in Romont are not of particular historical or architectural interest but pretty nonetheless. It is worth exploring some of the narrow alleys and children will enjoy the steep flights of stairs (escaliers) that may be used as short cuts from the upper to the lower sections of the old town.
The Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Collegiate Church is an interesting thirteenth-century Gothic church. Some of the stained-glass windows here are the originals from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
Transportation to Romont in Freiburg (Fribourg)
Getting to Romont is easy by train or car. Romont is on the main railway line connecting Lausanne with Bern and a mere half-hour journey from either city on very frequent trains. The wall-encircled old town with towers can be seen from the train station – it is an around fifteen-minute uphill stroll from the train to the castle. See Swiss Railways for timetables and online tickets.
Romont is also easily reached by car with plentiful free parking in town. From the Autoroute A1 (Geneva via Lauanne to Bern and beyond) use the Payerne exit and from the A12 (Fribourg to Lausanne) use either the Vaulruz or Matran exit near Bulle. It is a pleasant drive from here via country lanes to Romont.
Drivers arriving from the south should consider leaving the Autoroute A9 at the Vennes Moudon exit in Lausanne and continue along Route 1 (not to be confused with Autoroute A1) to Lucens, which is around 10 km to the east of Romont. This route is not only shorter but more beautiful and especially on weekends quieter and potentially faster than using the highways.
Romont is a great day-trip destination from Lausanne, Geneva, or Bern. A visit to Romont combines well with stopping over in Lucens with its medieval castle and small Sherlock Holmes Museum en route to or from the Lake Geneva region.