The Surprising Architecture of Lausanne, a Photo Essay

Posted on 16. Nov, 2011 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, Photo Posts, Switzerland

When I decided to go on a Lake Leman roadtrip, I had no idea what to expect from Lausanne. I was super inspired by Katherina’s blog, but I decided to visit it with an open-mind and decide for myself what my impression was. Well, to be honest, I was completely blown away - I had no idea Switzerland boasted such an amazing, vibrant and diversified city, architecturally-wise.

Starting from the top of the city, I explored the Old Town and its cobblestone hills. Place Saint-François is definitely Swiss, with upmarket chocolate stores, mature trees and spotless streets. After walking around a little bit, I discovered amazing views on the lower city and Lake Léman behind the big BCV building - definitely worth venturing out!

Place Saint-François

View from behind the BCV building

Gotta love Europe for unexpected details like these

My favorite street, however, is definitely is the steep rue Cheneau-de-Bourg, with lovely antique shops and colorful cafés (there’s even a British thrift store), and the contrasting über-urban graffiti-filled stairway leading to rue du Rôtillon. That’s probably the area that represents best the architecture in Lausanne - diversified, surprising and lovely.

architecture in lausanne

Rue Cheneau-de-Bourg

Stairway going up to rue du Rôtillon

I walked further around the Old Town and ended up at the Lausanne Cathedral, whose facade is a superb work of flamboyant gothic architecture. I loved the calm surrounding streets, softly dimmed with early morning autumn light, as well as the vantage point over the lower part of the city, from where you can admire the beautiful red roofs and Lake Leman.

Lausanne's Cathedral

Around Lausanne's Cathedral

The view over the lower city from Lausanne's Cathedral

And finally, I finished my journey in the new artsy district near Place de l’Europe. I was really surprised with this area, because I expected nothing like that - lots of shiny metals, cement blocks, sharp edges, blunt details. Nothing like the rest of the city, but that’s exactly what makes it so interesting.

Around Place de l'Europe

Around Place de l'Europe

Have you been to this part of Switzerland? What did you think of the architecture in Lausanne? Are you a fan of architecture in general, do you notice it when you travel?

You might also like:

  1. Autumn In and Around the Alps, a Photo Essay
  2. Exploring the Moorish Architecture at the Alhambra
  3. Tirol, Oetz Valley and Innsbruck, an Austrian Photo Essay
  4. Daytrip at the London Zoo, a Photo Essay

Tags: , , ,

9 Responses to “The Surprising Architecture of Lausanne, a Photo Essay”

  1. Andrea

    18. Nov, 2011

    Oooh - another pretty place to visit in Switzerland. Love that area with the chairs outdoors

    Reply to this comment
  2. Katherina

    18. Nov, 2011

    I’m so glad you liked it! It’s precisely something I thought of really interesting in Lausanne - it´s variety. For being a city of only 150.000 habitants… it feels culturally rich and diverse.
    Thanks for taking me back to Lausanne… your pictures are gorgeous!
    Do you have more posts on the city? :)

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      19. Nov, 2011

      HI Katherina! No I didn’t stay in Lausanne long enough to have content for several articles But I did love the architecture.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Love the gothic style of the cathedral.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      29. Nov, 2011

      Yes, it’s a beautiful cathedral in itself, but the setting around it is also quite spectacular.

      Reply to this comment
  4. I love the shot of Rue Cheneau-de-Bourg. It looks like a great place to wander!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      29. Nov, 2011

      It is! It has the most surprising stores and hidden corners. I strongly recommend it!

      Reply to this comment
  5. joanna

    17. Dec, 2011

    What are the red roofs made of??

    Reply to this comment

Leave a Reply