Palais de Beaulieu

Palais de Beaulieu is the historical and emblematic building of the Lausanne convention and exhibition center, located in Lausanne, in the Vaud Canton, Switzerland. The Palais is a convention centre that welcomes mainly conventions and events.

Palais de Beaulieu
Former namesThéâtre de Beaulieu
LocationLausanne, Switzerland
Coordinates46°31′43″N 6°37′28″E
OwnerBeaulieu Foundation
RenovatedVarious, up to 2016
Prix de Lausanne
Béjart Ballet Lausanne

The center includes the Théâtre de Beaulieu concert, dance and theatre hall which hosted the 1989 Eurovision Song Contest. With 1,844 seats, the Théâtre de Beaulieu is the biggest theatre in Switzerland. The Prix de Lausanne, an international ballet competition, is also hosted at the Palais de Beaulieu. La Télé, a regional TV-channel, has its studio and its offices at Beaulieu, as well as the Béjart Ballet Lausanne company.

Located in the Beaulieu area in Lausanne, the Convention and Exhibition Center lies in more than 6 hectares of ground. It boasts of 11,000 sq.m. of floor and 12,000 sq.m. of public gardens.[1] The Convention Center uses around 20 modular rooms and halls. Beaulieu Lausanne, part of MCH Group, also hosts some of Switzerland's major fairs and exhibitions.


The first "Comptoir Vaudois d'échantillons"[2] was inaugurated in Lausanne in 1916, thanks to the Société industrielle et commerciale de Lausanne, the Chambre vaudoise du commerce et de l'industrie, with support from the Lausanne Municipality. This kind of event was a novelty in Switzerland but was to be generalized afterwards. The first Comptoir suisse took place in September, 1920. Since then, only one edition never happened : the one of 1939, because of the war.[3] Note that the first official event of the NASA in Europe took place during the 1962 Comptoir suisse.[4]

The great hall - later to be known as Beaulieu's main building - was built in 1921. It is called the Palais de Beaulieu since 1957. During the Second World War, it hosted prisoners of war.[5] Talks about creating a new theater began in 1949, and involved the Lausanne Municipality and the Société Coopérative du Comptoir Suisse.[2] In 1954, the Théâtre de Beaulieu was inaugurated.[6] Nowadays, the Theater is used, among others, by well-known local institutions such as the Béjart Ballet Lausanne, the Orchestre de la Suisse romande and the Paternelle.

On the western side of Beaulieu, buildings were added between 1920 and 1940. Then, between 1950 and 1954, development moved to the South and East of the site. The North Halls were built in 1960 and many renovations followed.[7] Thus, as well as the Comptoir suisse, Beaulieu gradually hosted conventions, artistic activities and economic events.

Since 2000, the buildings belong to a public law foundation named the Beaulieu Foundation, created by the Vaud Canton, the City of Lausanne and Vaud district councils (Lausanne Region and Association of Vaud municipalities). The Foundation is in charge of maintenance, renovations and logistics, as well as the strategic and economic development of the site. It manages the Convention Center and, along with Opus One SA, the Beaulieu Theater. As a tenant, MCH Beaulieu Lausanne SA, that took over from the Société Coopérative du Comptoir Suisse,[8] organizes fairs and exhibitions, mostly in the South Halls. Since 2006, Eldora Traiteur SA, a branch of the Eldora SA Group (previously DSR), is in charge of the catering.

The Beaulieu Foundation launched a renovation program named Beaulieu 2020, that encompasses years 2000 to 2020. Under the Beaulieu 2020 flag, the Palais de Beaulieu has undergone various renovations since 2001, and work is still going on. The old South Halls were destroyed and new South Halls were built in 2011.[9][10] In 2014, a vote of the population of Lausanne rejected by 52% the project of building a tower of 90 meters next to the Palais de Beaulieu.[11] As a result, MCH Beaulieu Lausanne decided to reduce the conference activities (except general assemblies) and to concentrate on trade fairs (such as the Comptoir suisse). This triggered a reorganization of the Beaulieu 2020 project and of its partners.[12] As from 2014, spaces in the Palais de Beaulieu are being reallocated.[13] The Haute Ecole de la Santé La Source (La Source Healthcare High School) has decided to take premises at Beaulieu. The Court of Arbitration for Sport of the International Olympic Committee is planning to move from the Château de Béthusy (already in Lausanne) to the south part of the Palais de Beaulieu.[14]


Annual events

Past major events

Notes and references

  1. Fondation de Beaulieu. "The Beaulieu Congress and Convention Center". Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  2. Coopérative du Comptoir suisse. Archives cantonales vaudoises - archives privées. 2014.
  3. Coopérative du Comptoir suisse.
  4. RTS, Emission Carrefour (12 September 1962). "Au Comptoir suisse".
  5. (in French) Olivier Grivat, "105’000 internés militaires, 10’000 Soviétiques: les oublis de Bergier",, 24 March 2012 (page visited on 18 May 2016).
  6. Theatre de Beaulieu. "Historique".
  7. "Réalisations". Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  8. "MCH Beaulieu Lausanne SA". Bibliothèque universitaire Lausanne -UNIL.
  10. "South Halls of Beaulieu Lausanne - Reconstruction" (PDF). Fondation de Beaulieu.
  11. (in French) "Les Lausannois refusent le projet de tour Taoua à Beaulieu", Radio télévision suisse, 13 April 2014 (page visited on 18 May 2016).
  12. (in French) Aïna Skjellaug, "Privé de sa tour Taoua, Beaulieu présente son plan B", Le Temps, Wednesday 18 May 2016 (page visited on 18 May 2016).
  13. Mathieu, Signorelli (14 February 2015). "Beaulieu lâche les congrès pour les infirmiers après l'échec de Taoua". Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  14. Jérôme, Ducret (4 May 2016). "Le Tribunal du sport ira à Beaulieu". 24heures.
Preceded by
RDS Simmonscourt
Eurovision Song Contest

Succeeded by
Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall
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