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The Canton de Vaud Sundial Trail

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"Les Cadrans Solaires Vaudois" (C Gallez and M Bishoff, Puyot Lausanne 1987, ISBN 2-601-03035-6) illustrates some 80 sundials in the canton de Vaud, which stretches along the border with France to the north of Geneva., and includes much of the Swiss part of the Jura mountains.

This small selection of dials form a day trip from either Geneva or Lausanne by car. It can also be done by bicycle for the energetic!

Many thanks to Ian Anderson who took all the pictures again after my camera "lost" them, and to Patricia who gave us hospitality for a very pleasant week in the Swiss Jura.

The trail starts at Le Sentier, a watchmaking town at the south-western end of the beautiful Lac de Joux. Near the junction of the Grand Rue and the Rue de la Gare is a very simple and elegant sundial on the wall of a large house split into flats. The dial was designed by an employee of the firm of Jaeger-le-Coultre and was responsible for regulation of all of the watches made by the firm before they were offered for sale.
 

From here, you can travel on either side of the lake to Le Pont at its north-eastern end. The south side has more views of the lake, and (for cyclists) is flatter. Le Pont is a circle of houses at the head of the lake. There are some semi-circular viewing places built out into the lake, and opposite one of them is this dial made in mosaic, and dating from 1962. It does not appear to be correctly delineated, though the design is interesting and unusual.



From Le Pont, take the road east for Mollendruz and Mont-la-Ville and after 2 km. turn left down the valley through Vaulion to Romainmotier and its splendidly restored Abbey.

On the left hand side of the Tour St. Georges is a sundial, in a positition where it is not possible to read the time, and anyway it is in poor condition with a bent gnomon. But the abbey itself is well worth a visit.



From here, take the road down through Croy and Bofflens to Orbe. Just off the main square in the Grande Rue is a pharmacy in an old building colled Le Prieuré. The dial has been restored to its former glory in the years since the book was published.

Some 4 km. due South is Arnex-sur-Orbe, a village with extensive vineyards going down to the Orbe just to the west. From the centre of the village, turn left down a metalled road past the church on your left (and a similar tower with a clock on your right) When the road turns left, keep straight on down a concrete road through the vines until you reach on your left a fountain surrounded by a sundial and a bench. This dial was made in 1986 by Henri Daenzer and Albert Brannant. It is now rather overshadowed by the bushes which have grown up round it in the 20 years since then.

From Arnex, continue south to join the main road just before Pompaples and continue south through la Sarraz to Cossonay. This village has a sundial dated 1654 on the Maison du Banneret facing the church in the place du Temple.

From Cossonay, take the road for Lausanne, and after the railway station in the valley bottom, fork right for Penthaz gong up the hill

The village of Penthaz has a sundial dated 1666 on the tower of the Eglise St. Maurice


To reach St. Prex, go back up the hill to Cossonay, and take the left turn for Morges. From Morges, take the route du Lac towards Geneva, and fork left at St. Prex to get to the lakeside. Rue Forel runs from the lakeside towards the centre of the old part of town.

The sundial is on a house in the rue Forel. A youth is at the top left, and an old crone at top right. There are two mottoes "Horas claras tantum deligno" and "Je montre surtout les heures claires"
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