Lausanne and Olympics

There is a lot to see when you live in Switzerland.

Last weekend we were visiting Lausanne with some friends from the office. Beautifully laid out at Lake Leman the city center with the Cathedral Notre Dame de Lausanne is on to of a very steep hill. From there you have a beautiful view on the city, that is cut shaped by two valleys, which makes it a lot of walking up and down. But there’s a lot to explore besides the beautiful gothic reformed church. Come, I’ll show you around.

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First important thing on your way up to the cathedral from the train station is the hôtel de Ville (the town hall) with the beautiful marketplace. We were lucky, because on Saturdays there is a great market with all kinds of fresh food from the region. And on top of it you find a flea market, but it is quite small.

Next thing on the way up (and it is a lot of up and down in between) is the Palais de Rumine on the Place de la Riponne (here is the flea market). It’s a university building, but it also houses 5 (!) museums (art, archeology & history, geology, zoology and coins). The building itself is worth a visit as well. If you walk through it and get out on the other side, you will find yourself in the oldest part of the town.

The next thing up is the cathedral itself. It is a beautiful building. For 4 Swiss Francs one can go up to the tower and have a nice view at Lac Leman and the city of Lausanne. Next to the church you find the Historic museum of Lausanne which is housed in the former bishop’s palace (Ancien-Evêché). It gives you a great overview of the history of the city of Lausanne. And as a student (bring your Student ID!) you get free entry. Walking onwards through the old City you will find the Château Saint-Maire, where the dukes (Vogts :-)) of the Kanton of Lausanne used to live. Impressive building.

What you should not miss is the Olympic museum. The museum is very interactive with a lots of very well made video installations, touch-responsive devices and just great content. Also it is very engaging to become more active, live healthy and play fair. Most impressive I found the quotes of some Olympionics. I took some pictures.

And another stunning fact I took home is the close connection between the Olympic Games and the YMCA. I found so many references to the YMCA in the Olympic Museum. And here comes the great twist: The office of the World YMCA in Geneva, the office, where I am working right now, is the former house of Pierre de Coubertin, who reestablished the Olympic Games.

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