In addition to all of the natural beauty of the Alps, the Jura Mountains, the many lakes and picturesque villages, Switzerland also boasts a rich history beginning at the very dawn of time, through the Neolithic Period, the Bronze Age and Medieval times when parts of Switzerland were included in the Roman Empire. Across the country, there exists not only evidence of cultures past, but layer upon layer of this archeological evidence in the same location! One such place is Lake Neuchâtel, an easy hour drive from home. When the Swiss began systematically regulating the water level of their lakes, they uncovered a treasure trove of artifacts in the dry lake beds representing several different historical episodes of lakeside civilizations. These artifacts are curated in the amazing museum Latenium, which traces the history of the lake people from their earliest incarnation through Roman times through art, artifacts, models, and audio/visual displays – both within the building and outside next to the lake. My son and I made the trip on a recent afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed this affordable, historical experience. Having recently studied prehistory in school, he was very happy to share what he knew with me as well as learn new things through the displays and the wonderful audio guide.
I love documenting these outings and adventures as they serve as a representation of what was happening for my family at this time, but they also help us remember special outings and jump start conversations and story telling. I will truly never forget this special afternoon with my son and, as always, I look forward to learning more about the history of my adopted home.
The view of the lake and the outside exhibits are cleverly integrated into the audio guide.The flat-bottom barge on the bottom right was one of many that carried stone blocks across the lake to Aventicum, another incredible site filled with Roman ruins that we have visited. In fact, the day that we were there, we saw a camel walking into a church! I was there too.We learned that many of the sites have been identified by aerial photography, since grass and crops grow differently on top of buried stone walls and other fortifications.The evolution of humans in one display. Fascinating!Just climbing on a (recreated) burial mound. No biggie.Are you planning a family adventure and would like to have it documented? Contact me to schedule your adventure today!
Kate Cuénoud is a family adventure and travel photographer and photo editor based in the Lake Geneva / Lac Leman region of Switzerland.