The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Lausanne is a city in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva (French: Lac Léman), across from Évian-les-Bains, France, and about 60 km northeast of Geneva. It is the capital of the canton of Vaud. Population (as of December 2003): 126,766. It lies in the middle of a wine-growing region.



The Romans built a military camp, which they called Lousanna at the site of a Celtic settlement. The city which grew from the camp was ruled by the Dukes of Savoy and the Bishop of Lausanne, and then by Berne from 1536 to 1798. In 1803, it became the capital of a newly formed Swiss canton, Vaud.


The most important geographical feature of the area surrounding Lausanne is the Lake Geneva, which means "foggy lake." The north shore of the lake rises to a plateau. Lausanne is built against the side of this plateau, with about 500 meters of elevation difference from its southern edge bordering Ouchy and its northern edge bordering Le Mont sur Lausanne. Lausanne boasts dramatic views of the lake, and of the Alps.

The area surrounding Lausanne is an extensive wine-growing region, stretching all along the north (Swiss) shore of the lake.


The International Olympic Committee has its headquarters in Lausanne, and the Olympic Museum is also located there.



Sporting activities are very popular in Lausanne, with water sports available on the nearby lake and mountaineering in the nearby mountains. Cycling is also a popular pastime, with the vineyards in the surrounding hills providing spectacular views and challenging routes. There is an annual marathon, road cycling race GP Lausanne, and triathlon competition among other things.

The Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and the Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne provide a varied and rich musical life, the latter under the direction for many years of Michel Corboz.

Each summer, the City festival, or Fête de la Cite is held in the beginning of the July. There are also film festivals, and the Bach Festival. The Le Festival et Concours Bach de Lausanne follows the La Nuit de Musées in the fall season.

Lausanne is also the site of many museums:

  • Cabinet des Médailles cantonal
  • Collection de l'Art brut (Art Brut Collection)
  • Espace Arlaud
  • Espace des Inventions (Science Center for Kids)
  • Fondation de l'Hermitage (Hermitage Foundation)
  • Fondation Claude Verdan - Musée de la main (Museum of the Hand)
  • Fondation du vivarium de Lausanne
  • Forum d'architectures de Lausanne
  • Forum de l'Hôtel de Ville (Forum of the Town Hall)
  • Musée cantonal d'Archéologie et d'Hitoire (Cantonal Museum of Archeology and History)
  • Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts (Cantonal Fine Arts Museum)
  • Musée de design et d'arts appliqués contemporains, mu.dac
  • Musée de l'Elysée (Elysée Museum)
  • Musée cantonal de Géologie (Cantonal Geological Museum)
  • Musée Historique de Lausanne (Lausanne Historical Museum)
  • Musée et jardins botaniques cantonaux (Cantonal Museum and Botanical Gardens)
  • Musée Olympique Lausanne (Olympic Museum)
  • Musée de Pully (Pully Museum)
  • Musée romain de Lausanne-Vidy (Lausanne-Vidy Roman Museum)
  • Musée de la Villa romaine de Pully (Pully Roman Villa Museum)
  • Musée cantonal de Zoologie (Cantonal Zoology Museum)
  • Roseraie de la Vallée de la Jeunesse (Rosegarden)
  • Etablissement horticole de la Bourdonnette - serres de la Ville (Horticultural Establishment of La Bourdonette - Municipal Glasshouses)

Lausanne is the birthplace of:

Photos of Lausanne

Photos of Lausanne, taken in June 2001:

Lausanne lake
Lausanne lake
Lausanne wine
Lausanne wine

External links

  • City of Lausanne, official site
  • The official tourism homepage of Lausanne
  • Lausanne travel guide at Wikitravel
  • Musée de l'Elysée

See also: Lausanne Township, Pennsylvania

Last updated: 02-07-2005 08:27:32
Last updated: 05-03-2005 17:50:55