The History of the Château
After the exciting discoveries made on the Vidy site during the excavation work for the new IOC multi-functional centre, the archaeologists on site have taken away their treasures and work has started up again. But, after having been a pier and a port building in Roman times, and then a church with a cemetery in the Middle Ages, how did the site become a château?
The Reformation, the Bernese and… Napoléon Bonaparte
At the start of the 16th century, with the arrival of the Reformation and the Bernese, the former Catholic church became a Protestant church and then became disused. In 1548, it was bought by a certain Merlinge, a bourgeois from Lausanne. For two centuries, the property passed from owner to owner and the church became a habitation. Between 1772 and 1774, the then owner undertook major works which gave the building its present façade. The building witnessed a great lifestyle, and it was even thought that Napoléon Bonaparte inspected his troops nearby, before sending them to the Grand-St-Bernard, in May 1800.
The Colonel and the Baron
In 1918, Colonel Treytorrens de Loys, who taught Baron Pierre de Coubertin about Swiss institutions and the military system, sold the property. In 1960, the City bought the château and what remained of its grounds. The Expo 64 management team set up its headquarters there, followed by the European Research Centre.
From Mon-Repos to the Château de Vidy
In 1968, with its 12 employees (!), the International Olympic Committee no longer had enough room at the Villa Mon-Repos. The city council graciously offered the IOC the Château de Vidy. A lease was signed on 1 July 1972 “for one Olympiad”, with tacit renewal. The IOC is still the guest of Vidy. Since then, two annexes have been built, and soon there will be another new building with meeting rooms and a restaurant. With its 163 staff members in Vidy, the IOC deserves it!