Legend has it that the Confederates prayed here before launching their attack on Charles le Téméraire and beating him in 1476.
A major episode in the Burgundian Wars, the battle of Morat pitched the Confederates and their allies against Charles le Téméraire, Duke of Burgundy. Le Téméraire had lost the battle of Grandson and wanted his revenge. He decided to besiege Morat, and the confederate troops were called in as reinforcements. The Swiss infantry quickly threw the ducal army off balance. This episode strengthened the Confederation's status as an independent state.
The frontispiece of the chapel bears an inscription in old German: "In this place the Confederates gathered and, after praying together, fought and defeated the Duke of Burgundy in front of Morat; the old St-Urbain chapel was therefore rebuilt in 1697. May God give eternal life to those who perished in the battle of 22 June 1476. Renovated in 1776." Another place to visit near Morat is the Bois Domingue, where Charles le Téméraire built his general headquarters to await the Swiss.
The first mention of this elegant chapel dates from 1464, when the Council of Fribourg made an order to "cover the chapel of Cressier". Repaired, set ablaze, rebuilt, renovated; the oratory has undergone many transformations. The works of 1844 changed its silhouette. A small bell tower, without a bell, was added in 1923. The interior is understated: an altar, a painting on canvas, and a wooden statue of the Madonna and Child.
The stained glass windows add a lively, contemporary touch to the building, which was built on an old crossroads. Jean-Pierre Demierre illustrated the meeting of the path of God with the path of men. The shades of white incorporate the countryside into the decoration.
The chapel is dedicated to Saint Urbain, the pope and patron saint of wine, winegrowers and coopers. The vineyards once cultivated here explain perhaps this choice.