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The Romainmôtier Foundation, since 1968 at the service of heritage and hospitality!

In May 1968, the cobblestones of Paris were torn off! In Romainmôtier, Katharina von Arx was delighted: the Romainmôtier Foundation was created and held its first meetings.

Thanks to the support of its founders: Bobst SA, BCV, Câbleries et Tréfileries de Cossonay and Centre Patronal, it was endowed with a capital of CHF 160’000.

Its statutes are simple and demanding:

« The aim of the Foundation is to maintain a tasteful setting around the church of Romainmôtier:

  • by safeguarding and restoring buildings of historical character;
  • encouraging all initiatives aimed at creating a center of civic, social and artistic life in the restored buildings;
  • by excluding constructions whose character or purpose would make the place look ugly;
  • safeguarding the integrity of the landscape around the city. »

The built, owned or managed historical heritage is located in the south-western enclosure of the Abbey. It supports many activities related to hospitality and culture, in particular by offering spaces at very advantageous conditions.

Olivier Grandjean


The buildings


Acquisition by the Foundation in 1971 of the former bakery; successive renovations for the reception of Romainmôtier’s guests by the Association de la Porterie and the Tourist Office, three lodgings.


Acquired in 1979. The Tithe Barn was built in 1707 to store the tithe, or tenth part of the grain harvest, a tax introduced by the Bernese, and salt. It later underwent transformations to become a barn and rural, then a cabinet-making workshop. Today the house is entirely dedicated to farming.

Basement: workshop, ground floor: art gallery, 1st floor: space for the presentation of the film Romainmôtier Rétrospectives and historical presentation, 2nd floor: Pierre Aubert and Julian Willis space – hangings, 3rd floor, attic: Jehan Alain organ, presentation of the organ, the life of the Alain family and space for concerts.


Acquired in 1979, 13th or 14th century construction, remnant of the defence system of the Priory and the Abbey, ground floor: vault, upper floors: former apartment and attic used as a prison. Pebble graffiti, remains of a sundial on the south façade.


Acquisition in 1979, renovation in 1985 of this former rural house and creation in the basement of a gas boiler room for several sites in the Cour du Cloître, an office and two dwellings.

COURT GALLERY (Formerly Elebor Centre)

Property of the State of Vaud which acquired this former rural house and stables in 1977 and lent it to the Foundation for 50 years.
Kitchen, living quarters and vast creative and exhibition spaces on three levels


Acquisition in 2018 from Frédérique Drilhon, daughter of Katharina von Arx and Freddy Drilhon who acquired this house in 1960 from the Commune of Juriens which has retained the water source of the Château. Last residence in Europe of a Cluniac Prior who stayed at Romainmôtier between 1245 and 1536, then residence of the Bernese Bailiff and various owners between 1798 and 1960.

From 1922, the Château housed three dwellings and the Museum of Old Romainmôtier which, in three rooms, exhibited objects from the regional heritage and an exhibition of paintings on loan from the Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts and the Confederation. Ernest Bieler and François Bocion’s works were exhibited in one of the rooms. For almost 50 years, Katharina von Arx contributed to the restoration and rehabilitation of this house with the support of many donors and the Romainmôtier Foundation.

Today the Prior’s House is a space dedicated to reception, receptions and banquets, civil weddings, catering with a café-restaurant and vast rooms and library. Visits of this enigmatic house are organized to discover the successive transformations, remnants of history, frescoes and murals and the presence of the inhabitants for nearly 800 years.

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"On ne fait pas revivre le passé. On peut en revanche vivre dans un endroit où le passé est constamment présent."
M. Junod, rapport d'activité 1983-84 Fondation de Romainmôtier

Venez découvrir ou redécouvrir Romainmôtier, il se passe toujours quelque chose sur l'échelle des siècles !