Located at Canton of Vaud, the city of Lausanne is a 40 minute train ride along the front of Lake Geneva, in the direction from Geneva airport. A historic University city with a significant student population, Lausanne now gives way to an effervescent commercial centre which frequently plays host to a multitude of trade fairs, conventions, conferences and an average of 450 free concerts and events per year. The city has been described as a ´slow burn city´, which means once you get to get to know it, you will realise exactly how many things there are to do. In addition to this, a surprising number of multi-national companies are based here as well as the world headquarters of the Olympic Games meaning that visitors to this fair city will always have something new to discover.
The Breathtaking City Of Lausanne
Lausanne rests elegantly and omnisciently on the imposing higher terraces of the Swiss Riviera. Located just above the North shore at Lake Geneva (or Lac Leman to the locals) this French speaking sector affords breath-taking views of the Savoy Alps across the lakes. The cities arrangement extends down a steep hill from the medieval city at the top, right down to the bottom shores of Lake Geneva. The historical city centre is a mixture of cobbled streets, pretty plazas and 17th century fairy-tale houses.
Below historical centre, sits the bustling intersection of Rue Centrale which houses the newly restored warehouse quarter, Le Flon. This area was once a riverbed, but now plays host to modern bars, shops and restaurants. Past this, the main student and residential streets tumble south towards the charming lakefront district of Ouchy, where Lausanne’s marina and the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee are located. All these factors make Lausanne a perfect candidate for a mini-break with an enviable European pedigree. But with such a myriad of places, spaces and plans, it can be difficult to fit all this into a long weekend. For me, these secret seven seductions of Lausanne allowed me to appreciate this city as I sought, thought and bought my way through the weekend;
1. The Cathedral Of Notre Dame
Pilgrims following the route of Santiago De Compostia would stop off here at the Cathedral Of Notre Dame to pay homage to the good Saint James. The beautifully adorned cathedral is home to some incredible pieces of sculpture as well as its famous rose window with 105 panels of beautiful 13th century glass. This is feature juxtaposed by another focal point, a contemporary organ featuring some 6000 pipes for some seriously haunting reverberations. Some of the stone carving and tombs within the central section can be traced way back to 1509 in this early Gothic gem, which thanks to its five rising towers, act as an excellent reference point for the rest of the city.