Cathédrale de Notre Dame
Musée Historique de Lausanne
Until the 15th century, the city’s bishops resided in this lovely manor across from the cathedral (after which it became a jail, then a...
Musée de Design et d’Arts Appliqués Contemporains
The Musée de Design et d’Arts Appliqués Contemporains is a centre of modern design that frequently holds intriguing temporary...
This ode to modern design and applied arts hosts six intriguing temporary exhibitions each year. Find it opposite the cathedral's...
This tiny, smoke-filled bar fills up on a Friday and Saturday night. The giraffe-skin motif is repeated inside on lampshades and the...
One of a handful of restaurants behind the cathedral, the White Elephant offers wonderful local market cuisine, and staggeringly good...
Place de la Cathédrale · interesting places nearby
Cathédrale de Notre Dame information
Lausanne’s Gothic cathedral, Switzerland’s finest, stands proudly at the heart of the Old Town. Raised in the 12th and 13th centuries on the site of earlier, humbler churches, it lacks the lightness of French Gothic buildings but is remarkable nonetheless. Pope Gregory X, in the presence of Rudolph of Habsburg (the Holy Roman Emperor) and an impressive following of European cardinals and bishops, consecrated the church in 1275.
Although touched up in parts in following centuries (notably the main facade, which was added to the original to protect the interior against ferocious winds), the cathedral remains largely as it was (thanks to today's constant conservation work). The most striking element is the elaborate entrance on the south flank of the church (which, unusually for Christian churches, was long the main way in). The painted statuary depicts Christ in splendour, the coronation of the Virgin Mary, the Apostles and other Bible scenes. Free 40-minute guided tours run July through September.