Lausanne, the capital of the canton of Vaud, is superbly located 40 minutes from the big city of Geneva (well, big for Switzerland) and 20 minutes from the lakeside resort towns of Montreux and Vevey. Lausanne is a small city of only 125,000 people. If you travel a kilometer or two in any direction you wind up in vineyards or villages or by the lake. It is truly a city with an extremely high quality of life.
There are only two distinct neighborhoods in Lausanne: the beach and the city. Like most lake or seaside cities, the beach is where the city people head as often as possible. Lausanne's closest beach is in a district called Ouchy. It is where you will find open-air movie theaters, rollerbladers,...
Interesting Facts About Lausanne:
1. Lausanne was once a Roman military camp called Lousanna built on the Lake Geneva shoreline where ruins still exist.
2. An interesting fact is that further up the hill in 1787 Edward Biggon finished writing ''The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.'''
3. The grand Gothic Lausanne Cathedral high up in Lausanne was begun in the 12th century and a random fact is that it is named Notre Dame but it is now Protestant.
4. The International Olympic Committee founded by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894 is headquartered in Lausanne. A lesser known and weird fact is that Coubertin willed that his heart be sent to Olympia, Greece where it is kept in a monument. The rest of his body is buried in Lausanne.
5. When the Germans invaded Paris in 1938, the already famous Coco Chanel moved to Lausanne. Although she returned to Paris after the war, she chose to be buried in Lausanne.
6. Engaged in a long tradition of hospitality, Lausanne created the first hotel school in the world, L'Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne in 1893 located at the time in the L'Hotel d'Angleterre in Ouchy.
7. Fostering cultural innovation from medieval times, Lausanne supports The Bejart Ballet, The Lausanne Symphony Orchestra, The Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, and The Lausanne Opera Company.
8. La Cinematheque Suisse contains 70'000 copies of films from around the world which are available to the public for viewing regularly.
9. Known as a European haven for blading and skateboarding, young bladers have been clocked at 56 mph on the city's slopes.
10. Bernard Piccard, scientist and psychiatrist from Lausanne flew with Brian Jones in the first non-stop around the world in a hot air balloon in 1999. Piccard flew his solar only powered aircraft for a 26-hour test in July 2010.
11. With a population of only 125,885, a fun fact about Lausanne is that it parties in 40 different (hard to get into) nightclubs.
12. Among the numerous famous former residents of Lausanne and surroundings were David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury, Charlie Chaplin, Benito Mussolini, Charles Lindbergh, Ernest Hemmingway, and Audrey Hepburn.
-Sonja Holverson, Nileguide Local Expert
More Lausanne descriptions
Lausanne has been inhabited since the Stone Age (it was the ancient Roman town of Lousanna). In 1803 the canton of Vaud, of which Lausanne is the capital, became the 19th to join the Swiss Confederation.
For centuries Lausanne has been a favorite spot for exiles and expatriates, attracting, among others, deposed monarchs. Lausanne flourished particularly in the Age of Enlightenment, when it was associated with Rousseau and Voltaire,...