[loˈzan], Losanna) is a city in Romandy
, the French
-speaking part of Switzerland
, situated on the shores of Lake Geneva
(French: Lac Léman
), and facing Évian-les-Bains
) and with the Jura mountains
to its north-west. Lausanne is located some northeast of Geneva
. It is the capital of the canton
and of the district of Lausanne
. The headquarters of the International Olympic Committee
are located in Lausanne, as are the headquarters of the Court of Arbitration for Sport
. It lies in the middle of a wine region
. Philip Morris International
, maker of Marlboro and other cigarettes, is also based in Lausanne.
built a military camp, which they called Lousanna
, at the site of a Celtic
settlement, near the lake where currently are Vidy
; 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.) Prilly
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 Berne 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. During the Napoleonic Wars, its status changed. In 1803, it became the capital of a newly formed Swiss canton, Vaud under which it joined the Swiss Federation.
From the 1950s to 1970s a large number of Italians
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 on 2003.
The most important geographical feature of the area surrounding Lausanne is Lake Geneva (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-Lausanne and Epalinges. Lausanne boasts a dramatic panorama over the lake and the Alps.
In addition to its generally southward-sloping layout, the center of the city is the site of an ancient river 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 Lavaux (to the east) and la Côte (to the west).
The population of the greater Lausanne area (grand Lausanne) is about 316,000 (2007 est.).
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 will become the first city in Switzerland to have a rubber-tyred metro system, with the m2 Line which will open in 2008. The rolling stock will be a shorter version of the one used on Paris Métro Line 14.
Lausanne is connected to the A1 motorway on its west side (Geneva - Zurich axis) and to the A9 on its north and east side (transit with Italy and France), the forking point between these two motorways being at the north-west side of the city.
Lausanne enjoys some world class education establishements.
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.
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) in the fall season.
Lausanne is also the home of the Béjart Ballet.
Lausanne is also the site of many museums
- Contemporary composer Leonardo Balada's Symphony No. 4 is subtitled 'Lausanne'.
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
), road running
through the city (the 20 km de Lausanne
), the Tour de Romandie
road cycling race, marathon
) and triathlon
competition, among other sports events. The two most important sports are ice hockey
Lausanne is the birthplace of:
- David Bennent, Actor
- Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh, Russian Orthodox ecclesiastic located in Britain
- François-Louis David Bocion, Swiss artist and teacher
- Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, Swiss traveler and orientalist
- Alejo Carpentier, Cuban-French writer
- Stéphane Chapuisat, Footballer
- Benjamin Constant, Swiss thinker, writer and French politician
- Aloise Corbaz, Swiss outsider artist
- Charles Dutoit, conductor
- Egon von Furstenberg, fashion designer
- Eugène Grasset, Swiss decorative artist
- Henry Markram, Director of the Blue Brain Project
- Bertrand Piccard, Swiss psychiatrist and balloonist
- Charles Ferdinand Ramuz, Swiss writer
- Ubol Ratana, Thai princess
- Théophile Steinlen, Art Nouveau painter and printmaker
- Elizabeth Thompson (Lady Butler), British painter
- Bernard Tschumi, contemporary architect, writer, and educator
- Nanos Valaoritis (1921) Greek poet
- Félix Vallotton, post-impressionist painter
- Vincent Perez, film actor and director
- Stanislas Wawrinka, Swiss Tennis player
- Jocelyn Wildenstein, Manhattan socialite and ex-wife of the late Alec Wildenstein
- Jean-Pascal Delamuraz, Swiss politician
- Jean Anouilh, French dramatist
- Ingvar Kamprad, Founder of IKEA
- Alice Bailly, Swiss painter and multimedia artist
- Maurice Béjart, choreographer
- Capucine, French actress and model
- Coco Chanel, fashion designer
- Pierre de Coubertin, French baron and IOC founder
- Victoria Eugenia of Battenberg, queen of Spain
- Peter Carl Fabergé, Russian jeweller
- Edward Gibbon, British historian
- Gloria Guinness, socialite and writer.
- Ravi Gupta, American-born scientific researcher and scholar
- Oswald Heer, Swiss geologist and naturalist
- Stéphane Lambiel, men's figure skater and 2-time World Champion
- Carl Gustav Emil Mannerheim, Finnish president and field marshal
- James Mason, English actor
- Jô Soares, Brazilian humorist
- Waldemar Mordecai Haffkine, Ukrainian bacteriologist
- Paloma Picasso, Fashion designer
- Auguste Piccard, Swiss physicist, inventor and explorer
- Albin Schram, Renowned manuscript collector
- Georges Simenon, Belgian writer
- Han Suyin, China-born writer
- Karol Szymanowski, Polish composer
- Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, French architect
- Pierre Viret, Swiss reformed theologian
- Serge Voronoff, Surgeon buried in Lausanne