Synagogue of Lausanne

The synagogue of Lausanne (French: synagogue de Lausanne) is a synagogue located on Avenue de Florimont in Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland.

Synagogue of Lausanne
Native name
French: Synagogue de Lausanne
LocationAvenue de Florimont
Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland
Coordinates46°30′59″N 6°38′16″E
ArchitectCharles Bonjour, Adrien van Dorsser, Oscar Oulevey
Architectural style(s)Romanesque-Byzantine
Governing bodyIsraelite Community of Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud (CILV)
Official name: Synagogue
Reference no.6202
Location of Synagogue of Lausanne in Switzerland
Synagogue of Lausanne (Canton of Vaud)


In the early 20th century, the Jewish community gathered in the Jean-Jacques Mercier building on Rue du Grand-Chêne in Lausanne. The community grew rapidly and wanted to have a larger place of worship.[1]

Upon the death of French merchant Daniel Iffla ("Osiris"), the City Council of Lausanne received a bequest of 50,000 francs. This donation aimed at building a new synagogue which had to be inspired from the Buffault Synagogue in Paris.[2]

The synagogue was built in 1909–1910[1] thanks to the financial support of the local Ashkenazi community.[3] The City of Lausanne also allocated 300,000 francs for the construction.[4] The building was designed by Vaudois architects Charles Bonjour, Adrien van Dorsser and Oscar Oulevey and inaugurated on November 7th, 1910.[5]

The cost of land acquisition and construction totalled 280,000 francs, including 48,000 francs for the structural system and 28,000 francs for the decoration and the furniture.[1]

After WWII, the community grew and integrated Sepharadi Jews, which requested unity in the rites and the use of the synagogue.[6]

In 2010, Israelite Community of Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud (CILV) celebrated the centenary of the synagogue and organised events aimed at "forging bonds with Lausanne and Vaud people",[7] including an exhibition about the history of the synagogue.[8]

The synagogue is now listed among the Cultural Property of National Significance.[9] It is used for Shabbat celebrations, but usually the daily service takes place in a smaller underground room.[5] In 1995, a liturgical music concert took place at the synagogue.[10]


The Romanesque-Byzantine[1] synagogue has a long nave that can be reached from the vestibule. Three sides of the nave are bordered by galleries with 160 seats for women. The stalls are dedicated to men only.[1] The Almemohr has a tabernacle with the Torah scrolls, as well as the seat used by the rabbi. The paintings were made by Otto Alfred Briffod and the stained-glass windows were manufactured by the workshop Guignard & Schmid.[1] There is an adjacent sacristy. The underground floor has several locales.

See also


  1. "La Synagogue de Lausanne". Bulletin technique de la Suisse romande (in French). 38 (2). January 25, 1912. pp. 19–23. doi:10.5169/seals-29467.
  2. Lüthi 2016, pp. 176–177.
  3. Hanhart, Joël (2016). Waldemar Mordekhaï Haffkine (1860-1930). biographie intellectuelle (in French). Paris: Honoré Champion. ISBN 9782745330741.
  4. Signoreli, Mathieu (October 20, 2010). "Un siècle de culte juif à Lausanne". Le Temps (in French).
  5. "Grande Synagogue de Lausanne". (in French). Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  6. "Les 100 ans de la synagogue de Lausanne". (in French). Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  7. Nicollier, Marie (October 22, 2010). "La synagogue célèbre ses 100 ans en grande pompe". 24 heures (in French).
  8. "Synagogue de Lausanne 1910-2010" (pdf). (in French). Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  9. "Inventaire des biens culturels d'importance nationale". (in French). Federal Office for Civil Protection (FOCP). Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  10. "Concert de Musique Liturgique Juive a la Synagogue de Lausanne CD". (in French). Retrieved August 17, 2012.


  • Lévy, Ronald; Shamgar, Eran (2010). La Synagogue de Lausanne: 100 ans de présence en Belle Fontaine (in French). Israelite community of Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud.
  • Epstein-Mil, Ron; Richter, Michael (2015). Les synagogues de Suisse : construire entre émancipation, assimilation et acculturation (in French). Neuchâtel: Alphil..
  • Lüthi, Dave, ed. (2016). Lausanne. Les lieux du sacré. Architecture de poche (in French). 3. Berne: Société d’histoire de l’art en Suisse. pp. 176–177. ISBN 978-3-03797-277-9.
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