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Grandson Coat of Arms
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : Canton of VaudCanton of Vaud Vaud (VD)
District : Jura north vaudoisw
BFS no. : 5561i1 f3 f4
Postal code : 1422
Coordinates : 539510  /  184500 coordinates: 46 ° 48 '32 "  N , 6 ° 38' 46"  O ; CH1903:  539510  /  184500
Height : 447  m above sea level M.
Height range : 429-542 m above sea level M.
Area : 7.85  km²
Residents: 3357 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 428 inhabitants per km²
View of Grandson from the castle

View of Grandson from the castle

Location of the municipality
Genfersee Neuenburgersee Lac de Saint-Point Lac de Remoray Lac des Rousses Lac de Joux Lac Brenet Frankreich Kanton Freiburg Kanton Freiburg Kanton Freiburg Kanton Freiburg Kanton Neuenburg Bezirk Broye-Vully Bezirk Broye-Vully Bezirk Gros-de-Vaud Bezirk Lausanne Lavaux-Oron Bezirk Morges Bezirk Nyon Bezirk Ouest lausannois Bezirk Riviera-Pays-d’Enhaut Agiez L’Abbaye L’Abergement VD Arnex-sur-Orbe Ballaigues Baulmes Bavois Belmont-sur-Yverdon Bioley-Magnoux Bofflens Bonvillars Bretonnières Bullet VD Chamblon Champagne VD Champvent Chavannes-le-Chêne Chavornay VD Chêne-Pâquier Le Chenit Cheseaux-Noréaz Les Clées Concise Corcelles-près-Concise Cronay Croy VD Croy VD Cuarny Démoret Donneloye Ependes VD Fiez Fiez Fontaines-sur-Grandson Giez VD Grandevent Grandson Juriens Le Lieu Lignerolle Mathod Mauborget Molondin Montagny-près-Yverdon Montcherand Mutrux Novalles Onnens VD Orbe VD Orges VD Orzens Pomy VD La Praz VD Premier VD Provence VD Rances VD Romainmôtier-Envy Rovray Sainte-Croix VD Sergey Suchy Suscévaz Treycovagnes Ursins Valeyres-sous-Montagny Valeyres-sous-Rances Valeyres-sous-Ursins Vallorbe Vaulion Villars-Epeney Vugelles-La Mothe Vuiteboeuf Yverdon-les-Bains Yvonand TévenonMap of Grandson
About this picture

Grandson ([ gʀɑ̃sɔ̃ ], Franco-Provençal [ grɑ̃sɔ̃ ]) is a municipality in the Jura-Nord vaudois district in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland . The former German name Gransee is no longer used today.


Grandson Castle

Grandson is 447  m above sea level. M. , 3 km north of the district capital Yverdon-les-Bains (beeline). The historic town extends slightly higher on a moraine hill over the west bank of Lake Neuchâtel , near the mouth of the Grandsonnet brook , at the southern foot of the Jura and in the northern part of the Vaud Central Plateau .

The area of ​​the 7.9 km² municipal area includes a section on the west bank of Lake Neuchâtel. At Grandson the slope rises relatively steeply from the lake shore and forms at an altitude of around 500  m above sea level. M. a plateau which is divided into a southern part (Flur Duc de Bourgogne ) and a northern part (Flur Froideville ) by the erosion valley of the Grandsonnet brook . In the north-west the parish extends to the foothills of the height Le Miriau and reaches above the homestead Là Outre at 540  m above sea level. M. the highest point of Grandson.

To the north of this plateau, the area extends into the broad valley of the lower Arnon , which flows parallel to the Jura and which also forms the northern border. A flat section of the shores of Lake Neuchâtel begins northeast of Grandson; up to the mouth of the Arnon there are larger areas covered with reed. In the extreme southwest of the municipality, Grandson has a small portion of the plain near Yverdon and extends to the mouth of the Brine . In 1997, 18% of the municipal area was in settlements, 11% in forests and woodlands, 69% in agriculture and around 2% was unproductive land.

Grandson includes the village of Les Tuileries-de-Grandson ( 436  m above sea level ) on the northern edge of the plain of Yverdon, the hamlet of Corcelettes ( 451  m above sea level ) on a hill between Lake Neuchâtel and the Arno valley as well as a few individual farms. The neighboring municipalities of Grandson are Montagny-près-Yverdon , Valeyres-sous-Montagny , Giez , Fiez , Champagne and Bonvillars .


With 3357 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2018), Grandson is one of the medium-sized municipalities in the canton of Vaud. 89.3% of the residents are French-speaking, 4.0% German-speaking and 1.6% Italian-speaking (as of 2000). The population of Grandson was 1248 in 1850 and 1771 in 1900. In the course of the 20th century the population increased slowly but steadily until 1970 (2135 inhabitants). After a temporary decline during the 1970s as a result of the economic crisis, a significant increase in population has been recorded since 1980 (1938 inhabitants).


For a long time Grandson was an agrarian town that lived mainly from fishing , cattle breeding on the Jura slopes and the processing of agricultural products from the area. Also the viticulture at the optimal Facing due south slopes along the lakeshore of Grandson was an important Einkunft.

In the course of the 19th century, industry also gained a foothold in the town with the establishment of the tobacco factory Henri Vautier Frères et Cie. (since 1832). It was Grandson's main employer until it closed in 1972. The manufacture of watch glasses (Les Mûriers SA) was also important. Les Tuileries-de-Grandson got its name in the 15th century when a brick factory was established there.

Today Grandson offers around 1200 jobs. With 4% of the workforce still employed in the primary sector, agriculture only has a minor role in the employment structure of the population. Around 25% of the workforce is employed in the industrial sector, while the service sector accounts for 71% of the workforce (as of 2001).

Thanks to the fertile soils at the foot of the Jura, agriculture is mainly concentrated on arable farming , but there is also cattle breeding and a few small vineyards. Today's major companies specialize in the construction industry (Herren Frères et Cie., Beati Frères SA), transport and civil engineering (Cand-Landi SA) and building materials (Les Sables et Graviers La Poissine SA). There are also numerous other small and medium-sized companies. In Les Tuileries-de-Grandson, the ACA Atelier d'Etude de constructions automobiles have established themselves , which manufacture car prototypes with an international reputation.

Grandson has also had a vocational training center in the Le Repuis quarter since 1975. In the last few decades the village has also developed into a residential community thanks to its attractive location on the lake. Numerous workers are therefore commuters who work mainly in the city of Yverdon-les-Bains , sometimes also in Lausanne .


Menhir at Grandson

Grandson has been making efforts to boost tourism since the 1970s. Attractions for day tourism are the castle with the automobile museum (oldtimer) and the institute for old weapons, the historic old town, the marina opened in 1971, several campsites along the lake shore and the nature and culture trail established in 2000.


The community is very well developed in terms of transport. It is located on the main road from Neuchâtel to Yverdon-les-Bains . Since 1984, when the Yverdon-Sud - Grandson section of the A5 motorway was inaugurated, the town has been relieved of through traffic. The continuation of the motorway to Neuchâtel was opened in May 2005.

On November 7, 1859, the railway line from Yverdon to Neuchâtel was put into operation with a station in Grandson. Since 1999, the station has only been served by a few trains at peak times. The bus routes from Yverdon to Gorgier , from Yverdon to Novalles and from Yverdon to Mauborget , which each serve several stops in Grandson, ensure the fine distribution of public transport . Furthermore, Grandson is connected to other Seeanstösser communities through passenger shipping on Lake Neuchâtel.



Grandson can look back on a very long history of settlement. The earliest evidence of human presence in the municipality is the menhir , which was used as a place of worship in the Neolithic and was rediscovered in 1895 by a farmer while working in the fields. However, the pile dwellings along the shores of Lake Neuchâtel are far better known . In total, traces of seven bank settlements have been found since the middle of the 19th century, each of which can be dated to the late Neolithic and the Bronze Age . Due to the correction of the waters of the Jura , the areas of the pile dwellings are drained today.

The most important of these settlements was on the lakeshore near the hamlet of Corcelettes. It reached dimensions of around 300 m × 150 m and was protected from the land by a triple fence. The Corcelettes settlement is believed to have been inhabited throughout the Bronze Age. Since 1876 excavations have been carried out under the direction of the Cantonal Archeology and History Museum in Lausanne. Numerous found objects such as ceramics, bronze and copper objects, jewelry, organic materials and remnants of wickerwork came to light, which are mainly dated to the 9th century BC, i.e. the late Bronze Age.

On the other hand, hardly any discoveries were made in the area of ​​Grandson from the subsequent epochs, the Iron Age and the Roman Age .

middle Ages

Grandson Castle
Grandson Castle
Aerial photograph by Walter Mittelholzer (1919)
Grandson, aerial view

The place was first mentioned in a document in 1049 under the name Granzio . Numerous other names have survived from a later period: Grancione (around 1090), Granzon , Grantionem (1126), Grandissonum (1149), Grazon (1177), Grantsum (1191), Grancon (1216), Gransonium , Granciuno (1225) and Gracon (1228). The place name is probably derived from the Gallo-Roman surname Grancius or Granicius .

Presumably there was a settlement on the site of today's Grandson before the year 1000. The history of the city is closely related to that of the Barons of Grandson . They consolidated their position of power at the end of the 10th and during the 11th centuries, when the Kingdom of Burgundy gradually began to decline. They took possession of the entire region along the foot of the Jura between Lake Neuchâtel and Lake Geneva. The castle Grandson was first mentioned in the 1050th Montricher was separated from this rule before 1049, Belmont in 1185. Around 1235, by succession, the Grandson reign was further divided into the new areas of La Sarraz , Champvent and Grandson.

Around the castle, Grandson developed over time. The Lords of Grandson handed the village church over to the Benedictine Abbey of La Chaise-Dieu in France in 1146 , which initiated the establishment of the Saint-Jean priory. Ecclesiastically, however, Grandson was under the neighboring parish of Giez until 1438 ; only then was the priory church raised to a parish church. The Franciscans settled on the west side of the village in 1289 and also built a monastery.

The Benedictines promoted the development of the place, which was surrounded by fortification walls on the land side by 1300 at the latest. In 1328 the town received city ​​rights under Otto I von Grandson . In a fire, probably in 1378, large parts of the castle and the town were destroyed. In 1397 the last Lord of Grandson was suffocated for counterfeiting and the castle was confiscated by the Savoy . The Savoy rule lasted until 1420, after which Grandson came to the House of Chalon-Arlay .

Burgundy Wars and Common Dominion

Coat of arms of the Bailiwick of Grandson of the Old Confederation

On October 25, 1474, the Bernese duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy declared war. To secure the Jura passes from Burgundy, the Bernese conquered large parts of Vaud in 1475 and also occupied Grandson Castle. However, this was recaptured by Charles the Bold when the Burgundian troops invaded Vaud, and the city subsequently served him as a retreat. On March 2, 1476, the decisive battle occurred, which went down in history as the Battle of Grandson . The battle actually took place in a field near Concise . The Swiss triumphed over the armies of Charles the Bold and put the Burgundians to flight. Grandson Castle then passed to the Confederates without a fight.

The rule of Grandson came to the confederates. The area of Montagny-le-Corbe was also incorporated and the Bailiwick of Grandson was established. The bailiwick comprised the area of ​​today's Grandson district with the exception of the communes of Sainte-Croix and Bullet , but including Montagny, Villars-sous-Champvent , Essert-sous-Champvent , Chamblon and the exclave Yvonand on the other side of the lake. It was under the joint rule of the two estates of Bern and Freiburg. Alternately, Bern and Freiburg provided bailiffs for five years; the appointments went to the state that did not provide a bailiff.

When the Reformation finally prevailed in 1554 , the Saint-Jean priory and the Franciscan monastery were secularized and given to secular purposes.

Modern times

After the collapse of the Ancien Régime , Grandson belonged to the canton of Léman from 1798 to 1803 during the Helvetic Republic , which then became part of the canton of Vaud when the mediation constitution came into force . In 1798 the district of Grandson was created and Grandson was determined to be its main town. A border change was made in 1834 when the hamlet of Les Tuileries was ceded by Montagny-près-Yverdon to Grandson.

In the course of the 19th century, the city received a new face with the widening of the through road Yverdon-Neuchâtel, the construction of the railway line and the lowering of the lake level through the correction of the waters of the Jura. The medieval port was then abandoned.


Old town of Grandson

The historic town of Grandson still has a picturesque medieval townscape with winding alleys and town houses and patrician houses from the 17th to 18th centuries. The city plan covers an area of ​​around 250 m × 150 m. Two longitudinal axes run through the old town on the slope above Lake Neuchâtel: Rue Basse (thoroughfare) and Rue Haute.

The most striking building is Grandson Castle , already mentioned in 1050 , which stands on a small ledge above the lake shore. It is one of the most powerful fortifications in Switzerland. The current building was built in the 13th century by converting and expanding the previous building under the direction of Otto I. von Grandson. The castle has an irregular, square floor plan that is reminiscent of a modification of the Carré Savoyard. It is protected on the east side by three round towers and flanked on the west by two semicircular towers. The extensive battlement was created during changes in the 16th century. Inside, Grandson Castle has, among other things, a magnificent knight's hall with choir stalls from 1620, an armory and in the chapel paintings by Jan Metsys from the 16th century. Today the castle houses a local museum, a weapons collection and an automobile museum ( Georges Filipinetti ).

In the western part of the old town is the reformed parish church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste. It used to be the priory church and was built in 1178 on the site of a smaller previous building. The church with a cruciform floor plan is in the Romanesque style of the Auvergne, the origin of the Benedictine monks. The richly carved Romanesque capitals are of particular importance , the Roman column shafts probably come from the ruins of Aventicum . In the 14th century the choir and the church tower were redesigned Gothic ; the main facade was renewed in 1896. In the transept, the church has a richly carved prior throne from 1480 in the late Gothic style as well as important wall paintings from the 15th century.

Rue des Remparts in the old town

Near the church is the former Hôtel de Ville (town hall), which was built in 1765–69 by remodeling part of the buildings of the Saint-Jean priory; the remaining convent buildings no longer exist. The new town hall was built in the lower town in 1891, including the still preserved church tower of the former Franciscan monastery. The Maison du Bailli is a residential building from the 18th century with an outside staircase and a wrought-iron balcony. The streets and squares of Grandson are adorned with several important fountains, including the one behind the church from 1637.

On the road from Grandson to Fiez there is a 3.5 m high menhir weighing around 3 tons. The menhir was discovered in 1895 and erected again.

Sons of the place


  • Daniel de Raemy: Grandson VD, the castle and the chateau. (Swiss Art Guide, No. 415). Ed. Society for Swiss Art History GSK. Bern 1987, ISBN 3-85782-415-8 .

Web links

Commons : Grandson  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Permanent and non-permanent resident population by year, canton, district, municipality, population type and gender (permanent resident population). In: bfs. . Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 31, 2019, accessed on December 22, 2019 .
  2. ^ Nicolas Pépin, Andres Kristol: Grandson VD (Grandson). In: Dictionnaire toponymique des communes suisses - Lexicon of Swiss municipality names - Dizionario toponomastico dei comuni svizzeri (DTS | LSG). Center de dialectologie, Université de Neuchâtel, Verlag Huber, Frauenfeld / Stuttgart / Vienna 2005, ISBN 3-7193-1308-5 and Éditions Payot, Lausanne 2005, ISBN 2-601-03336-3 , p. 404f.
  3. Grandson - Menhir., accessed on May 4, 2016 .