The castle of La Sarraz was built in 1049 on a rocky outcrop, from which it has overlooked for the past nine centuries the Mauremont gorge, which was a key route in the Middle Ages between France and Italy. The castle’s current appearance is the result of several transformations and repairs over the centuries.
The castle is inherently linked to the history and theory of modern architecture in Europe. The founding meeting of the International Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM) was held at the castle in 1928. This meeting was the keystone for spreading ideas about modern architecture and town planning. The castle of La Sarraz has gone down in history as a European centre for fruitful discussions among independent avant-garde architects.
The fortress which was built in the Middle Ages to watch over and blockade an important passageway, became a centre for open-mindedness and internationalism at the beginning of the 20th century, thanks to the personal commitment of Mrs. Hélène Mandrot who had a passion for modern art and who was the last person to inherit the castle.
The programme of artistic events that continue to be organised by the castle’s current owner, the Société des Amis du Château de La Sarraz, are a testament to its continuing commitment to art and culture in general.