With its feet in Lake Geneva, the beautiful city of Lausanne faces the Alps and its imposing mountain range. This exceptional panorama makes the Swiss city an ideal place for excursions into nature - a green setting that hides a dynamic and lively city, at the crossroads of the worlds of sport and culture!
Lausanne is the capital of the Canton of Vaud, located in the French-speaking part of the west of Switzerland.
A city on a human scale, it combines the liveliness of a university centre with the effervescence of a business city.
The fourth largest city in Switzerland after Geneva, Zurich and Basel, it has the particularity of having been founded on three hills, linked by bridges. Since 1915, it has also been the seat of the International Olympic Committee and is distinguished by its cultural dynamism, visible in its 25 museums.
A little history...
Born from the melting of the ice, Lake Geneva has shaped a landscape of valleys, green hills and waterways. These nourishing waters encouraged the development of a rich and varied ecosystem. It was this fertile environment, conducive to cultivation, that allowed man to settle in the region nearly 6,000 years ago and to prosper.
Until the middle of the 4th century, the inhabitants of the lake were concentrated on its outskirts. The city, which was under Roman rule at the time, held a strategic central position. Before the Germanic invasions, the population moved to the surrounding hills, which were easier to defend.
Today the oldest buildings are located on the hill of the Cité. Many of them date from the medieval period, such as the famous Notre-Dame Cathedral, in Gothic style, or the Sainte-Marie Castle. It was during this period that Lausanne became a major pilgrimage destination: it was one of the stops on the Via Francigena route to Rome.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the construction of the Simplon tunnel transformed the city into a crossroads of railway trade. This was the period of the Industrial Revolution, which drastically changed the morphology of the city. The districts located below the hills began to develop, such as the Ouchy district.
The old centre of Lausanne is made up of three hills: the Cité, the Bourg and Saint-Laurent, around which are spread out 17 districts, arranged in a snail's pace.
For a run in the centre, go to the Place de la Palud where you will find the town hall as well as a lively clock and a fountain decorated with a statue representing justice. Passing through the Rue du Bourg, admire the many luxury shops, with their signs surmounted by a metallic Saint-François. They will lead you to the eponymous square and its church.
During your walk, enjoy a run on the Quais d'Ouchy, the port district. Along the shores of the lake, you will see the magnificent Beaux-Rivage Palace.
For a night out, prefer the Flon district, a former industrial wasteland rehabilitated into bars, shops, cinema, bowling and other entertainment venues.
The Lavaux, a landscape of terraced vineyards classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is the perfect place for a nature excursion just a stone's throw from the city!
Lausanne, Olympic Capital
Committed to promoting culture, Lausanne has many museums, including botanical museums, the Elysée Museum devoted to photography, and the Hermitage Foundation. However, the most unique is the Olympic Museum, a unique place in the world dedicated to the Olympic Games and its history.
It was in 1915 that the founder of the Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin, decided to establish the headquarters of his committee in Lausanne. At a time when the First World War was raging, the city was chosen as a place symbolising peace and harmony. It is also home to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, as well as some 40 international sports federations and the main institutions linked to the Olympic Movement. This distinction earned it the title of Olympic Capital, awarded in 1994.
The Vidy district is home to several sports venues, including the Pontaise Olympic Stadium, as well as the IOC.
Finally, Lausanne organises numerous sporting events and functions such as the Athletissima, the Ladies Open Lausanne and the Marathon.
On the occasion of the 20 km of Lausanne, a walking race created in 1982, Runnin'City takes you on a tour of the city with guides who are sometimes storytellers and sometimes humorists. 2, 4, 10 or 20 kilometres, the choice is yours!
Run with Runnin'City from the Quais d'Ouchy to the Flon district!