A few timeless impressions of Lausanne...
"Lausanne is a mass of picturesque houses, laid out over two or three hills that radiate from a central knot, and the cathedral, like a tiara, crowns it all. I stood on the esplanade of the church, in front of the great door, at the top of the head of the town, so to speak. I could see the lake above the roofs, the mountains above the lake, the clouds above the mountains, and the stars above the clouds. It was all like a staircase up which my thoughts rose step by step, and, as they rose, they grew greater and greater."
(Victor Hugo, 1802-1885)
"The ignorant in Paris imagine that all of Switzerland is a wild country. How surprised they would be to see a better performance of Zaïre in Lausanne than in Paris."
"I must end the day with a word of praise for the canton of Vaud. Of all the countries I know, it is the most beautiful, and the one where I would most like to live, should I live to be old."
Square Cité - Cathedrale
The Old Town stands on a rock above the city, where ancient cobbled streets and elegantly restored medieval houses cluster around Switzerland's most splendid Gothic cathedral. During the night hours between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., echoing from the belltower you can hear the "all's well" cried by Europe's last nightwatchman! In the Old Town there are cosy inns, the students' cellar and two tiny theatres, one devoted to children's shows. Below, in the squares and streets at each end of the Tunnel, every corner has its small shops and bars which echo an older time.
Square Palud - Riponne
In the streets around the Place de la Palud, dominated by the Town Hall with its magnificent roof, wednesday and saturday mornings see the weekly fruit and vegetable market, and the first friday of the month the craftsmen's exhibition. On the wall behind the Fountain of Justice - the city's oldest - every hour a procession of mechanical figures appears, reminding onlookers of the region's history. Guided walking tours through the city streets start from here. Several small theatres, cafés and boutiques, and several elegant department stores, make this one of Lausanne's most charming neighbourhoods.