1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Morat

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MORAT (Ger. Murten), a small town on the east shore of the Lake of Morat, in the Swiss canton of Fribourg, and by rail 14 m. N. of Fribourg or 181/4 m. W. of Bern. In 1900 its population was 2263, of whom 1840 were German-speaking and 1969 were Protestants. It is a most picturesque little town, overlooked by the 13th-century castle and the quaint tower of the Rathhaus, while it is still surrounded by its 15th century walls that are studded at intervals with watch towers. In 1264 it exchanged its position as a free imperial city (enjoyed since 1218) for the rule of the count of Savoy. In 1475 it was taken by the Swiss at the commencement of their war with Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, whose ally was the duchess of Savoy. But in 1476 it was besieged by Charles, though it held out till the Swiss army arrived in haste and utterly defeated (22nd June) the Burgundians. An obelisk a little way south-west of the town stands on the site of the bone-house (destroyed by the French in 1798, wherein the remains of many victims had been collected. Morat was ruled in common from 1475 to 1798 by Bern and Fribourg, being finally annexed to Fribourg in 1814. The Lake of Morat has an area of 101/2 sq. m., and is connected with that of Neuchâtel by way of the Broye canal. On its shores many lake dwellings have been found.

See F. L. Engelhard, Der Stadt Murten Chronik (Bern, 1828); G. F. Ochsenbein, Die Urkunden der Belagerung u. Schlacht von Murten (Freiburg, 1876); H. Wattelet, Die Schlacht bei Murten (Fribourg, 1894).  (W. A. B. C.)