Lausanne (/lˈzæn/, also US: /lˈzɑːn/,[3][4][5][6] French: [lozan], German: [loˈzan];[7] Arpitan: Losena [lɔˈzəna] (listen); Italian: Losanna; Romansh: Losanna)[8] is the capital city and biggest town of the canton of Vaud in Romandy, Switzerland. A municipality, it is situated on the shores of Lake Geneva (French: Le/Lac Léman).[9] It faces the French town of Évian-les-Bains, with the Jura Mountains to its north-west. Lausanne is located 62 kilometres (38.5 miles) northeast of Geneva.

View of the city centre of Lausanne

Coat of arms
Location of Lausanne
Coordinates: 46°31.19′N 6°38.01′E
with 7 members
  MayorSyndic (list)
Grégoire Junod SPS/PSS
(as of 2016)
  ParliamentConseil communal
with 100 members
  Total41.37 km2 (15.97 sq mi)
526 m (1,726 ft)
Highest elevation935 m (3,068 ft)
Lowest elevation372 m (1,220 ft)
  Density3,400/km2 (8,700/sq mi)
Demonym(s)French: Lausannois(e)
Postal code
1000 (in general), 1003-1007, 1010-1012, 1000 Lausanne 25-27, 1052 Le Mont-sur-Lausanne (partly), 1053 Cugy VD (partly), 1032 Crissier (partly), 1032 Romanel-sur-Lausanne (partly), 1033 Chessaux-sur-Lausanne (partly)
SFOS number5586
LocalitiesLe Chalet-à-Gobet, Montblesson, Montheron, Ouchy, Vernand-Dessous, Vernand-Dessus, Vers-chez-les-Blanc
Surrounded byBottens, Bretigny-sur-Morrens, Chavannes-près-Renens, Cheseaux-sur-Lausanne, Crissier, Cugy, Écublens, Épalinges, Évian-les-Bains (FR-74), Froideville, Jouxtens-Mézery, Le Mont-sur-Lausanne, Lugrin (FR-74), Maxilly-sur-Léman (FR-74), Montpreveyres, Morrens, Neuvecelle (FR-74), Prilly, Pully, Renens, Romanel-sur-Lausanne, Saint-Sulpice, Savigny
Profile (in French), SFSO statistics

The municipality Lausanne has a population of about 140,000, making it the fourth largest city in Switzerland, with the entire agglomeration area having 420,000 inhabitants (as of March 2015).[10] The metropolitan area of Lausanne-Geneva (including Vevey-Montreux, Yverdon-les-Bains, and foreign parts) was over 1.2 million inhabitants in 2000.[11]

Lausanne is a focus of international sport, hosting the International Olympic Committee (which has recognized the city as the "Olympic Capital" since 1994),[12] the Court of Arbitration for Sport and some 55 international sport associations.[13] It lies in a noted wine-growing region. The city has a 28-station metro system, making it the smallest city in the world to have a rapid transit system.[14] Lausanne will host the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics.[15]


The Romans built a military camp, which they called Lousanna, at the site of a Celtic settlement, near the lake where Vidy and Ouchy are situated; 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.).[8] By the 2nd century AD, it was known as vikanor[um] Lousonnensium and in 280 as lacu Lausonio. By 400, it was civitas Lausanna, and in 990 it was mentioned as Losanna.[8]

After the fall of the Roman Empire, insecurity forced the residents of Lausanne to move to its current centre, a hilly site that was easier to defend. The city which emerged from the camp was ruled by the Dukes of Savoy and the Bishop of Lausanne. Then it came under Bern from 1536 to 1798, and a number of its cultural treasures, including the hanging tapestries in the Cathedral, were permanently removed. Lausanne has made repeated requests to recover them.

After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, Lausanne became (along with Geneva) a place of refuge for French Huguenots. In 1729, a seminary was opened by Antoine Court and Benjamin Duplan. By 1750, 90 pastors had been sent back to France to work clandestinely; this number would rise to 400. Official persecution ended in 1787; a faculty of Protestant theology was established at Montauban in 1808, and the Lausanne seminary was finally closed on 18 April 1812.[16] During the Napoleonic Wars, the city's status changed. In 1803, it became the capital of a newly formed Swiss canton, Vaud, under which it joined the Swiss Federation.[8]

Modern history and heritage

In 1964, the city played host to the Swiss National Exhibition,[17] displaying its newly found confidence to play host to major international events.

From the 1950s to 1970s, a large number of Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese immigrated to Lausanne, settling mostly in the industrial district of Renens and transforming the local diet.

The city has served as a refuge for European artists. While under the care of a psychiatrist at Lausanne, T. S. Eliot composed most of his 1922 poem The Waste Land ("by the waters of Leman I sat down and wept").[18] Ernest Hemingway also visited from Paris with his wife during the 1920s, to holiday. In fact, many creative people — such as historian Edward Gibbon and Romantic era poets Shelley and Byron — have "sojourned, lived, and worked in Lausanne or nearby".[19]

The city has been traditionally quiet, but in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a series of demonstrations took place that exposed tensions between young people and the police. Later demonstrations took place to protest against the high cinema prices, followed by protest against the G8 meetings in 2003.[20]



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 500 metres (1,640 ft) between the lakeshore at Ouchy and its northern edge bordering Le Mont-sur-Lausanne and Épalinges. Lausanne boasts a dramatic panorama over the lake and the Alps.

In addition to its generally southward-sloping layout, the centre of the city is the site of an ancient river, the 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 neighbourhoods. Due to the considerable differences in elevation, visitors should make a note as to which plane of elevation they are on and where they want to go, otherwise they will find themselves tens of metres below or above the street which they are trying to negotiate. The name Flon is also used for the metro station located in the gorge.

The municipality includes the villages of Vidy, Cour, Ouchy, Mornex, Chailly, La Sallaz, Vennes, Montblesson, Vers-chez-les-Blanc, Montheron and Chalet-à-Gobet (871 m (2,858 ft)) as well as the exclave of Vernand.

Lausanne is located at the limit between the extensive wine-growing regions of Lavaux (to the east) and la Côte (to the west).

Lausanne has an area, as of 2009, of 41.38–41.33 square kilometers (15.98–15.96 sq mi) (depending on calculation method). Of this area, 6.64 km2 (2.56 sq mi) or 16.0% is used for agricultural purposes, while 16.18 km2 (6.25 sq mi) or 39.1% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 18.45 km2 (7.12 sq mi) or 44.6% is settled (buildings or roads), 0.05 km2 (12 acres) or 0.1% is either rivers or lakes and 0.01 km2 (2.5 acres) or 0.0% is unproductive land.[21]

Of the built-up area, industrial buildings made up 1.6% of the total area while housing and buildings made up 21.6% and transportation infrastructure made up 12.5%. Power and water infrastructure as well as other special developed areas made up 1.4% of the area while parks, green belts and sports fields made up 7.5%. Out of the forested land, all of the forested land area is covered with heavy forests. Of the agricultural land, 11.1% is used for growing crops and 4.2% is pastures. All the water in the municipality is in lakes.[21]

The municipality was part of the old Lausanne District until it was dissolved on 31 August 2006, and it became the capital of the new district of Lausanne.[22]


Lausanne has an average of 119.7 days of rain or snow per year and on average receives 1,153 mm (45.4 in) of precipitation. The wettest month is May during which time Lausanne receives an average of 117 mm (4.6 in) of rain. During this month there is precipitation for an average of 12.1 days. The driest month of the year is February with an average of 67 mm (2.6 in) of precipitation over 8.8 days.[23] The USDA Hardiness Zone for Lausanne-Pully is 8b with an average minimum temperature of -7.0 C over the past 20 years (1997 - 2016), but at the lake level, it can be considered 9a.

Climate data for Pully (Lausanne) (1981–2010), Extremes (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14.9
Average high °C (°F) 4.4
Daily mean °C (°F) 2.2
Average low °C (°F) 0.3
Record low °C (°F) −16.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 77
Average snowfall cm (inches) 10.9
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 10.1 8.8 10.2 9.8 12.1 10.4 9.0 9.5 8.8 10.1 10.2 10.7 119.7
Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 cm) 2.9 2.8 1.3 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.8 1.9 9.8
Average relative humidity (%) 78 73 68 66 67 66 65 68 73 78 78 78 72
Mean monthly sunshine hours 72 97 159 179 201 229 252 234 183 128 79 58 1,872
Percent possible sunshine 29 37 46 47 48 54 59 58 52 42 32 26 46
Source #1: MeteoSwiss[23]
Source #2: StatistiqueVaud[24]


Coat of arms

The blazon of the municipal coat of arms is Gules, chief argent.[25]

Administrative divisions

The city is divided into 18 quartiers, or districts, sometimes composed of several neighborhoods. They are: Centre (1), Maupas/Valency (2), Sébeillon/Malley (3), Montoie/Bourdonnette (4), Montriond/Cour (5), Sous-Gare/Ouchy (6), Montchoisi (7), Florimont/Chissiez (8), Mousquines/Bellevue (9), Vallon/Béthusy (10), Chailly/Rovéréaz (11), Sallaz/Vennes/Séchaud (12), Sauvabelin (13), Borde/Bellevaux (14), Vinet/Pontaise (15), Bossons/Blécherette (16), Beaulieu/Grey/Boisy (17), and Les Zones foraines (90)


The municipality (la Municipalité) constitutes the executive government of the City of Lausanne and operates as a collegiate authority. It is composed of seven councilors (French: conseiller municipal/conseillère municipale), each presiding over a directorate. One of the members act as mayor (syndic). In the mandate period 2016–2021 (la législature) the Municipality is presided by Monsieur le Syndic Grégoire Junod. Directoral tasks, coordination measures and implementation of laws decreed by the Communal Council are carried by the Municipality. The regular election of the Municipality by any inhabitant valid to vote is held every five years. Any resident of Lausanne allowed to vote can be elected as a member of the Municipality. Since 14 April 2003, due to the constitution by canton of Vaud not only Swiss citizen have the right to vote and elect and being elected on communal level, but also foreigners with a residence permit of at least 10 years in Switzerland and 3 years in the canton of Vaud.[26] The current mandate period is from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2021. The delegates are elected by means of a system of Majorz. The mayor is later on elected as such by a public election as well by a system of Majorz, while the heads of the other departments are assigned by the collegiate. The executive body holds its meetings in the Town Hall (L'Hôtel de Ville), in the old city on Place de la Palud.[27]

As of 2016, Lausanne's Municipality is made up of three representatives of the PS (Social Democratic Party, of whom one is also the mayor), and two members of PES (Green Party), and one each of le Parti Ouvrier et Populaire Vaudois (POP) & gauche en mouvement (an alliance of the left parties POP (Parti Suisse du Travail - Parti Ouvrier et Populaire) and solidaritéS and indépendant.e.s), and PLR (Les Libéraux-Radicaux (PLR)), giving the left parties a very strong six out of seven seats. The last election was held on 28 February/20 March 2016. The mayor was elected by two ballots on 17 April/8 May 2016.[28]

La Municipalité of Lausanne[28]
(conseiller municipal/ conseillère municipale)
PartyDirectorate (Direction de(s), since) ofelected since
Grégoire Junod[CM 1]     PSCulture and Urban Development (Culture et dévelopment urbain, 2016)2011
Pierre-Antoine Hildbrand     PLRSecurity and Economy (Sécurité et économie, 2016)2016
Oscar Tosato[CM 2]     PSSports and Social Cohesion (Sports et cohésion sociale, 2002)2001
Natacha Litzistorf     PESHousing, Environmental Development, and Building/Architecture (Logement, environnement et architecture, 2016)2016
David Payot     POP & gauche en mouvementChildhood, Youth, and Quarters (Enfance, jeunesse et quartiers, 2016)2016
Florence Germond     PSFinances and Mobility (Finances et mobilité, 2011)2011
Jean-Yves Pidoux     PESIndustrial Services (Services industriels, 2006)2006
  1. Mayor (Syndic)
  2. Vice-Mayor (Vice-syndique) 2016

Simon Affolter is Town Chancellor (chancelier municipal) since for the Municipality.


Le Conseil communal of Lausanne for the mandate period of 2016–2021

  Ensemble à Gauche (POP, Sol, indépedant.e.s) (11%)
  PS (33%)
  Les Verts (PES) (17%)
  Le Centre (PDC & pvl) (6%)
  PLR (21%)
  UDC (12%)

The Communal Council (Conseil communal) holds legislative power. It is made up of 100 members, with elections held every five years. The Communal Council decrees regulations and by-laws that are executed by the Municipality and the administration. The sessions of the Communal Council are public. Unlike members of the Municipality, members of the Communal Council are not politicians by profession, and they are paid a fee based on their attendance. Any resident of Lausanne allowed to vote can be elected as a member of the Communal Council. Since 14 April 2003, due to the constitution by canton of Vaud not only Swiss citizen have the right to vote and elect and being elected on communal level, but also foreigners with a residence permit of at least 10 years in Switzerland and 3 years in the canton of Vaud.[26] The Parliament holds its meetings in the Town Hall (Hôtel de Ville), in the old city on Place de la Palud.[29]

The last election of the Communal Council was held on 28 February 2016 for the mandate period (la législature) from 1 June 2016 to 31 May 2021. Currently the Communal Council consist of 33 members of the Social Democratic Party (PS), 21 Les Libéraux-Radicaux (PLR), 17 Green Party (PES), 12 Swiss People's Party (UDC), 11 Ensemble à Gauche (an alliance of the left parties POP (Parti Suisse du Travail - Parti Ouvrier et Populaire) and solidaritéS and indépendant.e.s), and 6 Le Centre (an alliance of Christian Democratic People's Party (PDC) and Green Liberal Party (pvl)).[30]


National Council

In the 2015 federal election for the Swiss National Council the most popular party was the PS which received 30.8% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were the PLR (18.6%), the Green Party (15.9%), and the UDC (15.4%). In the federal election, a total of 26,116 voters were cast, and the voter turnout was 41.0%.[31]



Largest groups of foreign residents 2013[32]
NationalityNumber% total
 Portugal10,0817.2 (17.2)
 France9,9687.2 (17.0)
 Italy6,3264.5 (10.8)
 Spain4,5583.3 (7.8)
 Kosovo2,3181.7 (4.0)
 Germany1,3771.0 (2.4)
 Turkey9340.7 (1.6)
 United Kingdom8590.6 (1.5)
 Brazil8400.6 (1.4)
 Ecuador8280.6 (1.4)
 Serbia8100.6 (1.4)
 DR Congo8060.6 (1.4)
 Sri Lanka7840.6 (1.3)
 Morocco7490.5 (1.3)
 United States7240.5 (1.2)
 Belgium6680.5 (1.1)
 Tunisia6070.4 (1.0)
 China6040.4 (1.0)
 Canada5600.4 (1.0)

Lausanne has a population (as of December 2018) of 139,111.[33] As of 2013, 42% of the population were resident foreign nationals.[32] Over the last 10 years (1999–2009) the population has changed at a rate of 9.9%. It has changed at a rate of 8.3% due to migration and at a rate of 2.6% due to births and deaths.[34] The population of the greater Lausanne area (grand Lausanne) is 402,900 (as of December 2014).[10]

Of the population in the municipality, 58% or 80,828 have a Swiss citizenship, while 16,908 or 12.1% are from Lausanne and still lived there in December 2013. There were 27,653 or 19.8% who are from somewhere else in the same canton, while 36,276 or 26.0% have a Swiss citizenship in another canton. 58,9562 or 42.0% have a foreign citizenship.[35]

In 2000, most of the population spoke French (98,424 or 78.8%), with German being second most common (5,365 or 4.3%) and Italian being third (4,976 or 4.0%). There were 62 people who speak Romansh.[36]

In 2008 there were 840 live births to Swiss citizens and 623 births to non-Swiss citizens, and in same time span there were 862 deaths of Swiss citizens and 127 non-Swiss citizen deaths. Ignoring immigration and emigration, the population of Swiss citizens decreased by 22 while the foreign population increased by 496. There were 9 Swiss men and 57 Swiss women who emigrated from Switzerland. At the same time, there were 2230 non-Swiss men and 1802 non-Swiss women who immigrated from another country to Switzerland. The total Swiss population change in 2008 (from all sources, including moves across municipal borders) was an increase of 883 and the non-Swiss population increased by 2221 people. This represents a population growth rate of 2.6%.[37]

The age distribution, as of 2009, in Lausanne is; 11,818 children or 9.4% of the population are between 0 and 9 years old and 12,128 teenagers or 9.7% are between 10 and 19. Of the adult population, 21,101 people or 16.8% of the population are between 20 and 29 years old. 22,158 people or 17.6% are between 30 and 39, 18,016 people or 14.4% are between 40 and 49, and 13,940 people or 11.1% are between 50 and 59. The senior population distribution is 11,041 people or 8.8% of the population are between 60 and 69 years old, 8,277 people or 6.6% are between 70 and 79, there are 5,896 people or 4.7% who are between 80 and 89, and there are 1,171 people or 0.9% who are 90 and older.[38]

As of 2000, there were 58,100 people who were single and never married in the municipality. There were 48,990 married individuals, 7,797 widows or widowers and 10,027 individuals who are divorced.[36]

As of 2000 the average number of residents per living room was 0.64 which is about equal to the cantonal average of 0.61 per room.[34] In this case, a room is defined as space of a housing unit of at least 4 m2 (43.1 sq ft) as normal bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, kitchens and habitable cellars and attics.[39] About 6.5% of the total households were owner occupied, or in other words did not pay rent (though they may have a mortgage or a rent-to-own agreement).[40]

As of 2000, there were 62,258 private households in the municipality, and an average of 1.9 persons per household.[34] There were 31,205 households that consist of only one person and 2,184 households with five or more people. Out of a total of 63,833 households that answered this question, 48.9% were households made up of just one person and there were 306 adults who lived with their parents. Of the rest of the households, there are 13,131 married couples without children and 11,603 married couples with children. There were 3,883 single parents with a child or children. There were 2,130 households that were made up of unrelated people, and 1,575 households that were made up of some sort of institution or another collective housing.[36]

In 2000 there were 1,833 single family homes (or 23.1% of the total) out of a total of 7,925 inhabited buildings. There were 3,634 multi-family buildings (45.9%), along with 1,955 multi-purpose buildings that were mostly used for housing (24.7%) and 503 other use buildings (commercial or industrial) that also had some housing (6.3%). Of the single family homes 324 were built before 1919, while 153 were built between 1990 and 2000. The greatest number of single family homes (498) were built between 1919 and 1945. The most multi-family homes (933) were built before 1919 and the next most (906) were built between 1919 and 1945. There were 180 multi-family houses built between 1996 and 2000.[41]

In 2000 there were 69,383 apartments in the municipality. The most common apartment size was 3 rooms of which there were 22,408. There were 9,579 single room apartments and 7,388 apartments with five or more rooms. Of these apartments, a total of 61,056 apartments (88.0% of the total) were permanently occupied, while 6,840 apartments (9.9%) were seasonally occupied and 1,487 apartments (2.1%) were empty.[41] As of 2009, the construction rate of new housing units was 2.1 new units per 1000 residents.[34]

As of 2003 the average price to rent an average apartment in Lausanne was 1064.08 Swiss francs (CHF) per month (US$850, £480, €680 approx. exchange rate from 2003). The average rate for a one-room apartment was 597.46 CHF (US$480, £270, €380), a two-room apartment was about 792.33 CHF (US$630, £360, €510), a three-room apartment was about 1044.64 CHF (US$840, £470, €670) and a six or more room apartment cost an average of 2024.55 CHF (US$1620, £910, €1300). The average apartment price in Lausanne was 95.3% of the national average of 1116 CHF.[42] The vacancy rate for the municipality, in 2010, was 0.17%.[34]

Historic population

The historical population is given in the following chart:[8]


From the Reformation in the 16th century, the city was mostly Protestant until the late 20th century, when it received substantial immigration, particularly from largely Catholic countries. Catholics now form a plurality of the city's population.

From the 2000 census, 47,225 people (37.8% of the population) were Roman Catholic, while 33,993 (27.2%) belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church. Of the rest of the population, there were 2,698 members of an Orthodox church (2.16%), there were 65 individuals (0.05%) who belonged to the Christian Catholic Church, and there were 4,437 individuals (3.55%) who belonged to another Christian church. There were 849 individuals (0.68%) who were Jewish, and 7,501 (6.00%) who were Muslim. There were 452 individuals who were Buddhist, 772 individuals who were Hindu and 343 individuals who belonged to another church. 21,080 (16.88%) belonged to no church, were agnostic or atheist, and 7,590 individuals (6.08%) did not answer the question.[36]


In 2014 the crime rate, of crimes listed in the Swiss Criminal Code, in Lausanne was 167.3 per thousand residents. During the same period, the rate of drug crimes was 49.5 per thousand residents, and the rate of violations of immigration, visa and work permit laws was 21 per thousand residents.[43]


Lausanne is served by an extensive network of local, national and international public transport. National and international passenger trains of the Swiss Federal Railways depart from Lausanne railway station, which is also the hub of the Réseau Express Vaudois commuter rail system, and a stop on the city's metro. The metro and local buses are operated by Transports publics de la région lausannoise (TL), with many routes run using trolleybuses. Additional commuter trains are run by the Lausanne–Echallens–Bercher railway (LEB) from Lausanne-Flon station. Ships across Lake Geneva are provided by the Compagnie Générale de Navigation sur le lac Léman (CGN).

Lausanne became the first city in Switzerland to have a rubber-tyred metro system, with the m2 Line which opened in October 2008. The rolling stock is a shorter version of the one used on Paris Métro Line 14.[44] Further expansion of the system is planned, as is the re-introduction of trams.[45]

Lausanne is connected to the A1 motorway on its west side (Geneva - Zürich axis) and to the A9 on its north and east side (for transit with Italy and France); the interchange between these two motorways is on the north-west side of the city.

Lausanne Airport is located at Blécherette, and also houses a Boeing 737 Simulator.[46] The city is also directly linked by train to the Geneva International Airport, four times an hour, in 42min.


As of  2010, Lausanne had an unemployment rate of 8%. As of 2008, there were 114 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 25 businesses involved in this sector. 6,348 people were employed in the secondary sector and there were 698 businesses in this sector. 83,157 people were employed in the tertiary sector, with 6,501 businesses in this sector.[34]

There were 59,599 residents of the municipality who were employed in some capacity, of which females made up 47.4% of the workforce. In 2008 the total number of full-time equivalent jobs was 75,041. The number of jobs in the primary sector was 93, of which 56 were in agriculture, 34 were in forestry or lumber production and 3 were in fishing or fisheries. The number of jobs in the secondary sector was 6,057 of which 1,515 or (25.0%) were in manufacturing, 24 or (0.4%) were in mining and 3,721 (61.4%) were in construction. The number of jobs in the tertiary sector was 68,891. In the tertiary sector; 8,520 or 12.4% were in wholesale or retail sales or the repair of motor vehicles, 2,955 or 4.3% were in the movement and storage of goods, 4,345 or 6.3% were in a hotel or restaurant, 4,671 or 6.8% were in the information industry, 6,729 or 9.8% were the insurance or financial industry, 8,213 or 11.9% were technical professionals or scientists, 5,756 or 8.4% were in education and 14,312 or 20.8% were in health care.[47]

In 2000, there were 55,789 workers who commuted into the municipality and 19,082 workers who commuted away. The municipality is a net importer of workers, with about 2.9 workers entering the municipality for every one leaving. About 1.9% of the workforce coming into Lausanne are coming from outside Switzerland, while 0.1% of the locals commute out of Switzerland for work.[48] Of the working population, 40.9% used public transportation to get to work, and 35.1% used a private car.[34]


In Lausanne about 40,118 or (32.1%) of the population have completed non-mandatory upper secondary education, and 22,934 or (18.4%) have completed additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule). Of the 22,934 who completed tertiary schooling, 38.7% were Swiss men, 31.3% were Swiss women, 17.1% were non-Swiss men and 12.9% were non-Swiss women.[36]

In the 2009/2010 school year there were a total of 12,244 students in the Lausanne school district. In the Vaud cantonal school system, two years of non-obligatory pre-school are provided by the political districts.[50] During the school year, the political district provided pre-school care for a total of 2,648 children of which 1,947 children (73.5%) received subsidized pre-school care. The canton's primary school program requires students to attend for four years. There were 6,601 students in the municipal primary school program. The obligatory lower secondary school program lasts for six years and there were 5,244 students in those schools. There were also 399 students who were home schooled or attended another non-traditional school.[51]

Lausanne is home to a number of museums including; the Collection de l'art brut, the Espace Arlaud, the Fondation de l'Hermitage, the Musée cantonal d'archéologie et d'histoire, the Musée cantonal de géologie, the Musée cantonal de zoologie, the Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts, the Musée de l'Élysée and the Musée historique de Lausanne.[52] In 2009 the Collection de l'art brut was visited by 27,028 visitors (the average in previous years was 33,356). The Espace Arlaud was visited by 9,222 visitors (the average in previous years was 14,206). The Fondation de l'Hermitage was visited by 89,175 visitors (the average in previous years was 74,839). The Musée cantonal d'archéologie et d'histoire was visited by 14,841 visitors (the average in previous years was 15,775). The Musée cantonal de zoologie was visited by 30,794 visitors (the average in previous years was 30,392). The Musée cantonal de géologie was visited by 28,299 visitors (the average in previous years was 24,248). The Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts was visited by 26,456 visitors (the average in previous years was 26,384). The Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts was visited by 28,554 visitors (the average in previous years was 22,879). The Musée de l'Élysée was visited by 36,775 visitors (the average in previous years was 37,757). The Musée historique de Lausanne was visited by 23,116 visitors (the average in previous years was 22,851).[52]

As of 2000, there were 12,147 students in Lausanne who came from another municipality, while 2,258 residents attended schools outside the municipality.[48]


Lausanne is home to eight large libraries or collections of libraries. These libraries include: Cantonal and University Library of Lausanne, the library of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), the libraries of the Réseau EPFL, the Bibliothèque municipale de Lausanne, the Haute école de travail social et de la santé (EESP), the HECV Santé, the Haute école de la santé La Source and the École cantonale d'art de Lausanne (ECAL). There was a combined total (as of 2008) of 3,496,260 books or other media in the libraries, and in the same year a total of 1,650,534 items were loaned out.[53]

Tertiary education

Lausanne enjoys some world class education and research establishments (see also Lausanne campus), including private schools, attended by students from around the world.

Primary and secondary schools

International schools:

Culture and arts

Heritage sites of national significance

There are 46 buildings or sites that are listed as Swiss heritage site of national significance. Additionally, the entire old city of Lausanne and the Vernand-Dessus region are listed in the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites.[54]


The Orchestre de chambre de Lausanne, the Lausanne Opera 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, a famous dance competition, takes place at the Palais de Beaulieu (the biggest theatre in Switzerland[55]) over a one-week period. The event attracts dancers and some of the big names in dance from all over the world.

The Swiss Film Archive is based in Lausanne and the city hosts film festivals such as the Festival cinémas d'Afrique and the Lausanne Underground Film and Music Festival. In addition to modern cinemas, the "Capitole" (in activity since 1929) is the biggest cinema in Switzerland (currently 867 seats).[56]

The town hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 1989. Each July, the Festival de la cité is held in the old part of town. Other music festivals include the Bach Festival, the Festival et concours Bach de Lausanne, which follows the 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:

Art galleries

Main contemporary art galleries

Art centers or artist-run galleries

  • Circuit[72]
  • Galerie Galerie 1m3[73]
  • Doll espace d'art contemporain[74]



Lausanne is home to the IOC, with water sports available on the nearby lake and mountaineering in the nearby mountains. Cycling is also a common pastime, with the vineyards in the surrounding hills providing extensive views and challenging routes. There is an annual track and field meeting (Athletissima), road running through the city (the 20 km (12 mi) of Lausanne), the Tour de Romandie road cycling race, Marathon of Lausanne and triathlon competition, among other sports events. The two most important sports are ice hockey and football. Lausanne will host the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics[75] and the 2020 IIHF World Championship.


Lausanne hosts the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), and many other international sport associations:

Notable people

public service, the military & the church
science & architecture
music and dancing
royalty & the landed gentry
notorious notables

See also


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Published in the 19th century
  • Switzerland. Coblenz: Karl Baedeker. 1863.
Published in the 20th century
Preceded by
Dornbirn, Austria (2007)
World Gymnaestrada host city
Succeeded by
Helsinki, Finland (2015)
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