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Lausanne ( ) is a city in Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerlandmarker, situated on the shores of Lake Genevamarker (French: Lac Léman), and facing Évian-les-Bainsmarker (Francemarker) and with the Jura mountains to its north-west. Lausanne is located northeast of Genevamarker. It is the capital of the canton of Vaudmarker and of the district of Lausanne. The headquarters of the International Olympic Committeemarker are located in Lausanne and the IOC officially recognises the city as the Capitale Olympique, and the headquarters of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It lies in the middle of a wine region.


The Romans built a military camp, which they called Lousannamarker, at the site of a Celtic settlement, near the lake where currently are Vidy and Ouchymarker; on the hill above was a fort called 'Lausodunon' or 'Lousodunon' (The 'y' suffix is common to many place names of Roman origin in the region (e.g.) Prillymarker, Pullymarker, Lutrymarker, etc).

After the fall of the Roman Empire, insecurity forced the transfer of Lausanne to its current center, a hilly, easier to defend site. The city which emerged from the camp was ruled by the Dukes of Savoy and the Bishop of Lausanne. Then it came under Bernemarker from 1536 to 1798 and a number of its cultural treasures, including the hanging tapestries in the Cathedral, were permanently removed. Lausanne has made a number of requests to recover them.

After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, Lausanne became (along with Genevamarker) a place of refuge for French Huguenots. In 1729 a seminary was opened by Antoine Court and Benjamin Duplan. By 1750 ninety pastors had been sent back to France to work clandestinely; this number would rise to four hundred. Official persecution ended in 1787; a faculty of Protestant theology was established at Montaubanmarker in 1808, and the Lausanne seminary was finally closed on 18 April 1812. During the Napoleonic Wars, the city's status changed. In 1803, it became the capital of a newly formed Swiss canton, Vaudmarker under which it joined the Swiss Federation.

Modern history

In 1964 the city hosted the 'Swiss National Exhibition', displaying its newly found confidence to host major international events.From the 1950s to 1970s a large number of Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese immigrated, settling mostly in the industrial district of Renens and transforming the local diet.

The city has been traditionally quiet but in the late 1960s and early 1970s there were a series of mainly youth demonstrations confronted by the police. The next vigorous demonstrations took place to protest against the high cinema prices and since then the city has returned to its very sleepy self, until the protest against the G8 meetings in 2003.


The most important geographical feature of the area surrounding Lausanne is Lake Genevamarker (Lac Léman in French). Lausanne is built on the southern slope of the Swiss plateau, with a difference in elevation of about between the lakeshore at Ouchy and its northern edge bordering Le Mont-sur-Lausannemarker and Epalingesmarker. Lausanne boasts a dramatic panorama over the lake and the Alpsmarker.

In addition to its generally southward-sloping layout, the center of the city is the site of an ancient river, the Flon, which has been covered since the 19th century. The former river forms a gorge running through the middle of the city south of the old city centre, generally following the course of the present Rue Centrale, with several bridges crossing the depression to connect the adjacent neighborhoods. Due to the large differences in elevation, visitors should make a note as to which plane of elevation they are on and where they want to go, lest they find themselves tens of meters below or above the street which they are trying to travel on. The name Flon is also used for the Metro station located in the gorge.

Lausanne is located at the limit between the extensive wine-growing regions of Lavauxmarker (to the east) and la Côte (to the west).

The population of the greater Lausanne area (grand Lausanne) is about 316,000 (2007 estimate).


Lausanne includes buses and metros (operated by TL ), nationwide and regional train lines (CFF, LEB ), and boats ( CGN ). The majority of urban public transport in Lausanne is by trolleybus.

Lausanne became the first city in Switzerlandmarker to have a rubber-tyred metro system, with the m2 Line which opened in October 2008. The rolling stock is a shorter version of the one used on Paris Métro Line 14.

Lausanne is connected to the A1 motorway on its west side (Genevamarker - Zurichmarker axis) and to the A9 on its north and east side (for transit with Italymarker and Francemarker); the interchange between these two motorways is on the north-west side of the city.


Philip Morris International, a tobacco company, has its operations center in Lausanne.


Palais de Rumine, place de la Riponne
Lausanne enjoys some world class education and research establishements, including private schools attended by students from around the world.


Waterfront view of Ouchy, just south of Lausanne
Place de L'Europe, Flon, by night (English: Europe square)
The Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and the Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne provide a diverse and rich musical life. The latter has been under the direction of Michel Corboz for many years.

In January, the Prix de Lausanne, the famous dance competition takes place at the Théâtre de Beaulieu over a one-week period. The event attracts dancers and some of the big names in dance from all over the world.

The town hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 1989 when Celine Dion won for Switzerland.

Each July, the "Festival de la Cité" (city festival) is held in the old part of town. There are also film and music festivals, such as the Lausanne Underground Film and Music Festival and the Bach Festival, Le Festival et Concours Bach de Lausanne, which follows "La Nuit de Musées" (museums' night, occurring in May) in the fall season.

Lausanne is also the home of the Béjart Ballet.



Lausanne is also the site of many museums:

Art galleries

Main contemporary art galleries: Art centers or artist-run galleries:



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 athletic contest (Athletissima), road running through the city (the 20 km de Lausanne ), the Tour de Romandie road cycling race, marathon ( website) and triathlon competition, among other sports events. The two most important sports are ice hockey and football.

Notable people

Lausanne is the birthplace of:

Notable residents:

See also


  1. Also
  2. " Where to find us." Philip Morris International. Retrieved on 19 October 2009.

External links

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