An Enlightening City in Switzerland
Inhabited since the Stone Age, Lausanne majestically sits on the shores of sparkling Lake Geneva. A mecca for romantic writers (Lord Byron) and Enlightenment thinkers (Voltaire) the lake has also drawn its fair share of expats and entertainers (Sophia Loren, Charlie Chaplin) thanks to its air of elegance and grace. And while it retains a level of sophistication, today's Lausanne is more a hotspot for sports enthusiasts and the Olympic spirit.
No wonder the International Olympic Committee has its headquarters here along with the official games' museum. Housing permanent and temporary exhibits totaling more than 10,000 pieces, it's the largest archive of its kind in the world. You'll find true works of art here as well, including sculptures by Rodin and a kinetic art piece by Swiss sculpture Jean Tinguely. If you have the spirit of the games, then this museum is pure gold.
Nestled in the Lavaux and La Cote Wine Region, the city of Lausanne is the fifth largest in Switzerland.With what might be the most efficient rail service in Europe,you can see the other big cities: Lucerne and Zurich in just over two hours. Geneva in only 40 minutes. But don't rush off just yet. The train will do that part, and you can sit back and relax with your Swiss Pass.
Lausanne is considered the "San Francisco" of Switzerland,thanks to its curvy, hilly landscape. But these hills are nothing in comparison to the mammoth mountains in both size and beauty that surround the Lausanne.It's not an easily walkable city. Lucky for you, there are 28 stops on its metro system, on a side-note, Lausanne is the smallest city in the world to have a subway.
Back on terra firma, Lausanne isn't without its closer-to-sea-level monuments. The Town Hall and its belfry tower over the picturesque Place de la Palud.Built in the 17 th century in classic Vaud architecture, the building has served several functions: politically, it was both the home and symbol of the city's power; economically, the halls of its ground floor housed the popular wheat market; defensively, the belfry warned of danger.
The Cathedral of Notre Dame is considered the most beautiful Gothic church in Switzerland.Construction on the cathedral began in 1175 and was consecrated in 1275 by Pope Gregory X. To this day, the outside has never truly been completed. The interior is elegance personified – just like Lausanne.
This is a place to be enlightened – by the scenery, the people and the culture of Switzerland.
Contributed by: Melanie, Marketing Project Manager, French American with Swedish and Italian origins, who comes from the Entertainment business and truly believes that traveling by train is the best entertainment experience ever!