Pully – Roman villa
Only a small section of the sumptuous villa built by a wealthy Roman in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. remains visible to the public eye because, as was often the case, our ancestors made plentiful use of any residual materials to construct their own homes a few centuries later.
We know that this Pully residence was constructed in terraces and the excavated foundations – recalled by coloured paving stones in the Place du Prieuré – suggest that it must have comprised at least ten indoor rooms, thermal baths and a large garden. The expansion of the village and the construction of Saint-Germain Church buried a good number of its traces.
Ten years of excavations
It was in 1971, when the commune of Pully was preparing to construct an underground facility for its fire service on the site, that the vestiges of buildings appeared.
Ten years of excavations subsidised by the State of Vaud and the Confederation will culminate in the construction of the current museum, whose main features are a vast semi-circular room, an impressive mural painted in situ that decorates the lower section of a trompe-l’œil fresco where four pillars of faux marble define panels depicting a chariot race in an amphitheatre, and many relics.
A video presentation (in three languages) is an eloquent accompaniment to a visit. It allows the luxurious villa in Pully to be placed in its contemporary context during the time of ancient Lousonna, strategically located for the Alpine passes and the Aventicum (Avenches) route.