Town Center, Lausanne
Town Hall Steve CollisSights in the center of Lausanne include St-François church, Bel-Air Métropole, Palais de Rumine and the Museums of Art and Natural History.
St François Church
The hub of Lausanne's traffic is the Place St-François, surrounded by large office blocks and the Head Post Office. In the middle of the square stands the former Franciscan church of St-François (13th-14th C.; beautiful stained glass of 1907 in choir), with a tower of 1523.A little way east is the Derrière Bourg park (fine views). From Place St-François take Rue de Bourg (pedestrians only) and Rue Caroline and then turn left over the Pont Bessières (1910) to reach the cathedral.
The Grand-Pont (1839-44), an arched viaduct 180 m/591ft long from which there is an attractive view of the old town and the cathedral, runs northwest from Place St-François into the busy imposing Bel-Air Métropole office block (1932; restaurant and cafe), crowned by a tower block 67 m/220ft high (20 stories).
From Place Bel-Air, Rue Haldimand runs northeast, passing on the right the Protestant church of St-Laurent (1719; Baroque facade).
Palais de Rumine
To the northeast of Lausanne's St-Laurent church is the spacious Place de la Riponne. On its east side stands the Palais de Rumine (1898-1906), which houses the University, originally founded as Academy in 1537. (A new university complex is under construction at Dorigny, 5km/3mi west of the town.)
Cantonal and University Library
Lausanne's Cantonal and University Library (700,000 volumes, valuable manuscripts) is housed in the Palais de Rumine.
Lausanne's Archaeological Museum contains a bust of Marcus Aurelius. The museum is housed in the Palais de Rumine.
Address: Palais de Rumine, Place de la Rippone 6, CH-1005 Lausanne, Switzerland
Cantonal Museum of Art
A gallery with paintings, drawings, sculptures and small collection of prints by Swiss artists featuring: Charles Gleyre; Giovanni Giacometti; Theophilus-Alexandre Steinlen; Rodolphe-Theophilus Bosshard and a small collection of French art including Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Auguste Renoir, Pierre Bonnard, Albert Marquet, Henri Matisse and Maurice Utrillo.
Address: Palais de Rumine, Place de la Riponne 6, CH-1005 Lausanne, Switzerland
Cantonal Natural History and Zoological Museum
A collection of preserved animals from throughout the world is displayed including birds, insects, and extinct species.
Address: Palais de Rumine, Place de la Riponne 6, CH-1014 Lausanne, Switzerland
From the church of St-Laurent, Rue de l'Ale in Lausanne runs northwest to the Tour De l'Ale, a round tower 21 m/69ft high which is the only remnant of the town's 14th C. fortifications.
A little way south of Place de la Riponne (pedestrian precinct) is Place de la Palud, in which is situated the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall, 15th and 17th C.; 16th C. stained glass). From here the Escaliers du MarchG, a covered flight of steps, lead up to the cathedral, in the Cité (which can also be reached from Place de la Riponne by a flight of steps to the right of the University and Rue Pierre-Viret).