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athletic contest

Lausanne

[loh-zan; Fr. loh-zan]
Lausanne (pronounced [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 (France) and with the Jura mountains to its north-west. Lausanne is located some northeast of Geneva. It is the capital of the canton of Vaud 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.

History

The Romans built a military camp, which they called Lousanna, at the site of a Celtic settlement, near the lake where currently are Vidy and Ouchy; 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, Pully, Lutry, 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 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.

Modern history

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 on 2003.

Geography

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.).

Transport

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.

Education

Lausanne enjoys some world class education establishements.

Culture

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.

Monuments

Museums

Lausanne is also the site of many museums:

Music

  • Contemporary composer Leonardo Balada's Symphony No. 4 is subtitled 'Lausanne'.

Sports

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

References

External links

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