Rivaz VD

Rivaz is a municipality in the district of Lavaux -Oron in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland.


Rivaz is at 445 m above sea level. M., 12 km east-southeast of the canton capital Lausanne ( straight line ). The wine village extends on a small headland amidst the vineyards on steep slopes of the Lavaux, below Chexbres, a scenic location about 70 m above the lake level of Lake Geneva.

With only 0.32 km ² in area Rivaz is the smallest municipality in the canton of Vaud. Together with the community Emperor chair ( also 0.32 km ² = 32 ha), it is the smallest municipality in Switzerland. The area includes a section of Lavaux on the northeastern shore of Lake Geneva ( 700 m lake shore line). The communal land extends from the lake north the steep Rebhang up to below the settlement area of Chexbres where 542 m above sea level. M. the highest point of Rivaz is achieved. The western boundary is formed by the creek forestay. From the municipality surface 1997 25 % came from settlements, 0 % forest and shrubs, 69% to agriculture and a little less than 6 % was unproductive land.

To Rivaz the hamlet Sallaz part (410 m above sea level. M. ) at the edge of a small Verebnungsfläche. Neighboring communities of Rivaz are Puidoux Chexbres and Saint- Saphorin ( Lavaux).


With 342 inhabitants ( 31 December 2012) Rivaz one of the smallest municipalities in the canton of Vaud. Of the 83.6 % inhabitants are French-speaking, German-speaking 5.7 % and 4.1 % portugiesischsprachig (as of 2000). The population of Rivaz amounted in 1900 to 328 inhabitants. It remained fairly stable during the entire 20th century.


Rivaz was until the second half of the 20th century, mainly coined by farming village. Even today, the wine has the best sun-drenched slopes of the Lavaux ( about 20 ha) an important place in the economic structure of the population. In Rivaz quality wines from the appellations Epesses, Dézaley, Saint- Saphorin and calamine are generated. More jobs are in small local manufacturing and services available ( wine cellar and actions ). In recent decades, the village has developed into a residential community. Many workers are commuters who work mainly in Lausanne and in the Vevey-Montreux region.


Although the community is located off the main roads, but traffic is still technically well developed. By Riex a connection leads from the main road 9 lakeside up to Chexbres. The nearest motorway junction on the A9 opened in 1974 (Lausanne -Sion ) is located at Chexbres, around 1.5 km from the village. On April 2, 1861, the Lausanne -Villeneuve section of the railway line from Lausanne was taken to the Valais with a railway station in Rivaz in operation.


The first written mention of the village was carried out in 1141 under the name Ripa; 1324 appeared the name Rippa. The place name derives from the Latin word ripa ( bank). The earlier settlement was probably on the shores of Lake Geneva, but was in the year 563 due to a tsunami, which was triggered by a landslide in Martigny, completely destroyed. Rivaz was then constructed at a safe altitude on the slopes again.

Since the 13th century Rivaz belonged to the bishops of Lausanne. With the conquest of Vaud by Bern in 1536, the village came under the administration of the Bailiwick of Lausanne. After the collapse of the ancien régime Rivaz belonged from 1798 to 1803 during the Helvetic Republic to the canton of Geneva, who came up then with the enactment of the Act of Mediation in the canton of Vaud. 1798 was assigned to the district of Lavaux. Until 1810 Rivaz was part of the parish of Saint- Saphorin and was only after a politically independent community.


Thanks to the Law on the Protection of the Lavaux Rivaz has retained its original shape as a compact wine village with buildings from the 17th to the 19th century.