Lausanne Tourist Attractions
Lausanne, the lively capital of the canton of Vaud, is picturesquely situated on the north shore of Lake Geneva, on terraces rising above the lake which are broken by gorges.
It ranks with Geneva as a focus of intellectual life in French-speaking Switzerland (Federal Court, University, College of Technology, Hotel School and many other technical colleges), and is also a popular convention and conference center and the venue of important trade fairs (Comptoir Suisse in Autumn, International Tourism Fair in March). Major elements in the town's economy are the foodstuffs industries and vine-growing.In the attractive townscape of Lausanne the modern office blocks and the high-level bridges spanning the gorges (now built over) of the Rivers Flon and Louve form a striking contrast to the narrow lanes and steep flights of steps which run up to the old town (Cité), dominated by the cathedral (530 m/1,739ft) and the Château, while to the south pleasant residential districts extend down to the port of Ouchy (380 m/1,247ft).There was a Celtic settlement at the mouth of the River Flon which later became the Roman Lousonium or Lousonna. After the destruction of this town by the Alemanni about 379 a fortified settlement was built on the hill now occupied by the Cité, and after that the transfer of the episcopal see from Avanches to Lausanne (ca. 590) this became a town of some size which, like Geneva, belonged successively to the Burgundians, the Franks and the second Burgundian Kingdom before becoming part of the Holy Roman Empire in 1033. In the 15th C. the Vaud region was conquered by the Bernese, who soon introduced the Reformed faith. In 1798, however, Vaud recovered its independence as the République Lémanique, and in 1803 it became the 19th canton to join the Swiss Confederation.
On Lake Geneva (departures from Place de la Navigation, Ouchy) there are motor launches several times daily to lakeside towns in Switzerland and France; round trips and cruises.
On the lakeside 1.5km/1mi south of the Lausanne's central district lies the busy little port of Ouchy (380 m/1,250ft).
Between the old and the new harbors of Lausanne is a 12th C. castle, the Château d'Ouchy, now a hotel and restaurant, in which the peace treaty between Turkey, Greece and the Allies was signed in 1923. There is a statue in the square by Dönninger of General Guisan, the commander of the Swiss army during the Second World War.Near the Hôtel de l'Angleterre a plaque commemorates Lord Byron, who wrote "The prisoner of Chillon" here. Several historical treaties were signed in the famous grand hotels, such as in the Beau-Rivage Palace, where the "Accord de Lausanne" was signed in 1932.
Port d'Ouchy (lakeside walk)
From Lausanne's Port d'Ouchy, the old harbor, a beautiful lakeside promenade affording attractive views runs 1km/ 0.6mi east to the Tour Haldimand and the pretty Parc Denantou.
History of Photography Museum
The Elysée Museum presents the history of photography, from its beginnings to the present day.
Address: 18 avenue de l'Elysée, CH-1014 Lausanne, Switzerland
Opening hours: 11am-6pm; Closed: Mon
Entrance fee in CHF: Adult CHF8.00, Concession or reduced rate CHF6.00
Useful tips: Admission is free the first Saturday of each month.
Guides: Audio-visual presentations available. Guided tour available as optional extra.
Botanic Garden and Museum
A botanical garden featuring alpine and rock gardens plus a pharmaceutical garden and carnivorous plants.
Cantonal Archeological and Historical Museum
Archaeological finds from the area are on display including Neolithic, Bronze and Iron age and Roman artifacts.
Vidy, in Gallo-Roman times, was the port of Losonna. On the shores of the lake are a yacht harbor, a rowing facility, extensive sports grounds and a camping site. A "Promenade Archéologique" is to be found at the beginning of the highway.
Olympic Museum (closed for renovations)
THIS ATTRACTION IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS.The history of the Olympic Movement is illustrated through various documents, and artifacts, including; Olympic torches; autographs; posters and equipments. The life and work of Baron Pierre de Coubertin is described plus Olympic Games of ancient Greece.
Roman bronze objects, currencies, ceramics and murals from excavations at Lausanne. An archaeological tour of the ruins is included.
To the east of Ouchy, the suburb of Pully has modern swimming facilities and the remains of a Roman villa (destroyed in the second century AD). A monastery was later built on its site and excavations have uncovered a 20 sq. m/215 sq. ft wall-painting from the first century AD
Wood Museum, Aubonne
The Aubonne Wood Museum features a collection of over 1,500 tools and objects highlighting the evolution of woodworking. Exhibits explore trades such as the carpenter, sculptor, furniture and basket-maker, wheelwright and cartwright.
The foundations and walls of a Roman Villa plus a 20sq.m fresco and fragments of mosaics.
Address: Avenue du Prieuré, CH-1009 Pully, Switzerland
Opening hours: Apr 16 to Oct 31: 2pm-5pm
Nov 1 to Apr 15: 2pm-5pm
Nov 1 to Apr 15: 2pm-5pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Good Friday - Christian, Easter - Christian, Easter Monday - Christian
Entrance fee: FREE
Guides: Audio-visual presentations available.
Two annual two-day festivals take place in Lausanne between late June and mid-July.
Address: Théâtre Municipal, avenue du Théâtre, CP 1002, CH-1003 Lausanne, Switzerland
Lausanne International Festival
This annual festival runs from May to July with a long program of varied performances. Events include operas, chamber concerts, ballets, theatrical performances and jazz sessions. Performers come from throughout the world to participate in this festival. The two main venues are the Théâtre Municipale and the Theater of Beaulieu.
Fête du Soleil
This popular Swiss festival takes place annually in late April.
Sights in the surrounding area of Lausanne include the Château Oron and the industrial town of Moudon.
25km/16mi northeast of Lausanne, off the west side of E4, the little industrial town of Moudon (alt. 513 m/1,683ft; pop. 300) occupies the site of the Roman Minnodunum. In the lower town is the beautiful Gothic church of St-Etienne, with richly carved choir-stalls of 1502, while in the upper town are attractive old houses, the 12th C. Tour de Broye, the little château of Rochefort (1595; local museum) and the château of Billens (1677).
Old Town Museum
House of Wheat and Bread, Echallens
Visitors can follow the trail as wheat is made into bread in an active bakery housed in an 18th century building.
Map of Lausanne Attractions