Old Town, Lausanne Cité
Cathedral of Notre-Dame
Lausanne's Cathedral of Notre-Dame (Protestant), consecrated by Pope Gregory X in the presence of King Rudolf of Habsburg in 1275, is an Early Gothic building with five towers (central tower, 75 m/246ft high, 1876; a watchman calls out the hours from the bell-cage during the night). The main doorway (16th C.) and the "Apostles' doorway" (13th C.) have very fine sculptured decoration (copies: originals under the rose-window). The restoration work, which has been taking place for years, should be completed by the end of the century.
The interior of Lausanne's Cathedral is notable for its noble proportions. In the south transept is a large rose-window with beautiful 13th C. stained glass (the Universe); the south aisle has carved choir stalls of 1509; in the choir are remains of early Gothic stalls and (on left) the tomb of the Minnesinger Otto of Grandson (d. 1328); in the crypt are to be found remains of an eighth C. basilica, with old tombs.
Historic (Cathedral Museum)
Lausanne's cathedral houses a collection of Lausanne paintings, drawings, engravings and photographs. Furniture, silver, toys, costumes and weapons are offered plus a gallery of musical instruments is on site.
North of Lausanne's cathedral is the former Academy (1587), the forerunner of the University, where famous professors such as Sainte-Beuve and Adam Mickiewicz gave their lectures.
North of Lausanne's Pipe Museum is the Château St-Maire (1397-1431), originally the bishop's palace, residence of the Bernese government from 1536 to 1798, and now occupied by the cantonal government. This cubic building of sandstone and brick has 15th and 16th C. allegorical frescoes.
To the left of Lausanne's Château St-Maire, on the west terrace, is the Grand Conseil (the cantonal parliament; 1803-1806 by A. Perregaux), with its Classical facade.
Cantonal Geological Museum
Thousands of paleontological finds, fossils and minerals, both Swiss and foreign are on display.
Address: Palais de Rumine, Place de la Riponne 6, CH-1005 Lausanne, Switzerland
Opening hours: 11am-6pm; Sun: 11am-5pm; Fri: 11am-5pm; Sat: 11am-5pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Easter - Christian
Entrance fee in CHF: Adult CHF4.00, Students CHF2.00, Child 16 & under FREE
East of the Old Town
Sights in the area east of Lausanne's Old Town include the park of Mon Repos and the Federal Court building.
Mon Repos Palace
On the east side of Lausanne is the beautiful old park of Mon Repos with an 18th C. palace of the same name rebuilt in the 19th C. by L. Damesme. Nowadays, the building where Voltaire staged his play "Zaïre", is used for official visits.
North of the Old Town
Sights in the area north of Lausanne's Old Town include: Signal de Sauvabelin, Bois de Sauvabelin and the Palais de Beaulieu.
Signal de Sauvabelin (view)
Above Lausanne to the north (20-minute walk) is the Signal de Sauvabelin (647 m/2,123ft; restaurant), with a famous view of Lausanne.On the Route de Signal (No. 2) the impressive Fondation de l'Hermitage, situated in beautiful parkland, has art exhibitions.
Woods & Deer Park
Vivarium & Zoo
To the north of Lausanne's Bois de Sauvabelin, on the far side of the highway along the banks of the Flon, is the Vivarium, with reptiles, insects, birds of prey and small animals (combined admission ticket which covers also the Zoo at Servion, 15km/ 9mi northwest).
Palais de Beaulieu
On the northwest side of Lausanne (1km/0.6mi) from Place de la Riponne stands the Palais de Beaulieu (1920; convention facility, restaurant, theater), with the show and exhibition halls of the Comptoir Suisse (national fair held annually in September), a sports complex and since 1987 the theater of the "Béjart Ballett Lausanne".
Marginal Art Collection
The Hermitage Foundation is housed in a 19th-century residence and is devoted to holding temporary fine arts exhibitions. The Foundation owns a collection of paintings, sculptures, drawings and engravings by Swiss and foreign artists such as Magritte and Sisley.
Address: Route du Signal 2, CP 38, CH-1018 Lausanne, Switzerland
Opening hours: 10am-6pm; Thu: 10am-9pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in CHF: Adult CHF15.00, Senior CHF12.00, Students CHF7.00
Facilities: Gift shop, Restaurant or food service
Map of Lausanne Attractions