Via Francigena

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The European Association of the Via Francigena ways meets in Vevey for its General Assembly
The beautiful Swiss city of Vevey, in the canton of Vaud, is hosting the next EAVF General Assembly on Friday 26 April and a series of cultural initiatives.

Vevey is the arrival point of one of the most fascinating stages of the Via Francigena. The one that starts in Lausanne and runs partly along the beautiful lakeside promenade of Lake Geneva and partly through the terraced vineyards of ‘Lavaux’, a UNESCO World Heritage region for the production of quality wines, as well a “cultural landascape”.

The network of the European Association of the Via Francigena Ways, which today counts 241 members and 92 friendly associations, is meeting in this prestigious location to also celebrate a special event, namely the 30th anniversary of the certification of the itinerary by the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe is the first organisation for cooperation between European states created after the end of the Second World War. It was founded in London in 1949 and today unites 46 member states, including Switzerland.

On the agenda of the assembly will be the accession of new members (among which the city of Vevey stands out), an update on the progress of the UNESCO dossier and the promotion projects planned for the year, and the approval of the final and forecast budget. The Assembly will also approve the official declaration of the Via Francigena, Council of Europe Cultural Route 1994-2024.

Planned initiatives

Before the work begins, again to commemorate and celebrate the anniversary of the Via Francigena, an exhibition on the Via Francigena will be inaugurated in the Market Square of Vevey.

In addition to the assembly, a series of animation and discussion initiatives are planned for 24-25-26 April. It starts on Thursday 25 at 6 p.m. with a theatrical performance of the “Legend of Sigeric” staged by AIDAS of Versailles. Followed by a convivial fondue dinner.

On Friday 26th, in addition to the opening of the exhibition and the General Assembly, a guided tour of the city is scheduled for the international guests in the morning at 10.00 a.m., and at the same time a conference on the cultural routes through Switzerland at the City Hall.

Finally, on Saturday 27 April, there is a beautiful 9 km walk along the Via Francigena starting from Vevey station at 9:00 am. It ends with an aperitif among the Vevey vineyards.

All EAVF delegates will have free access to the following museums in the city:

  • Musée suisse de l’appareil photographique (link)
  • Musée historique de Vevey (link)
  • Musée Jenisch (link)
To take part in these free events, you must register by clicking here!

For those who would like to stay a few days in the area to discover the beauty of the region, some places not to be missed are:

  • The Chaplin’s World museum, devoted entirely to the life and work of Charlie Chaplin.
  • The Villa Le Lac, designed by the modernist architect Le Corbusier.;
  • The Gothic-style Saint-Martin temple in Vevey, listed as a cultural asset of national importance;
  • Les Pléiades mountain resort, with its panoramic views and fields of daffodils, accessible by the star train from Vevey;
  • Le château de Chillon.

The EAVF three-day event in Vevey is supported by the City of Vevey and the Association Suisse Via Francigena.

The EAVF General Assembly in Vevey represents an important milestone in the promotion of the Via Francigena, a cultural route uniting four nations. The event offers a unique opportunity to celebrate the past, discuss the present and plan the future of this extraordinary European pilgrimage route.

For the programme:

Thursday 25 April 2024

  • 6 p.m. Performance of “La Légende de Sigéric” in the open-air theatre in the Jardin du Rivage (in case of bad weather, at the Eglise Sainte-Claire, rue Sainte-Claire 1)
  • 8 p.m. Fondue evening* at the Cave de l’Hôpital, rue du Musée 3

Friday 26 April 2024

  • 9.30 Inauguration of the 30th anniversary exhibition of the Via Francigena – Market Square
  • 10 a.m. Conference “How to promote cultural routes in Switzerland Council Chamber (rue du Conseil 8), or guided tour of the town of Vevey (meeting at La Grenette – Grande-Place 29)
  • 12:30 Aperitif dinner at the Salle del Castillo (Grande-Place 1)
  • 14:00 Welcome and registration of participants at the General Assembly in the Salle del Castillo
  • 14:30 General Assembly
  • 20:00 Dinner at Restaurant le Kju, Quai Perdonnet 22b

Saturday, 27 April 2024

9:00 Meeting point at Vevey train station

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