Town Center, Lausanne

Town HallTown Hall Steve Collis
Sights 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.

Bel-Air Métropole

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).

St-Laurent Church

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.

Archaeological Museum

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

Round Tower

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.

Town Hall

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).

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