Lucens Castle is a beautiful and grand historic structure, located on a hill top and over looking the countryside town of Lucens. Built around the 16th Century, the castle served a residential place for kings and nobility, a fortress, a girls institution before being sold to a private party. Today, it functions as a luxury event venue with weddings, dinners, parties, meetings and conferences regularly hosted here. 10 rooms for accommodation are available as well.
Holding a place of pride in the heart of Lausanne's Old Town, this imposing Gothic cathedral soars over a sea of red-roofed buildings. Although the original master mason is undocumented, construction efforts can be traced back to the 12th Century. The structure was completed roughly a century later in 1275 under an engineer named Jean Cotereel. It was ordained by three important figures - Pope Gregory X, Rudolph of Habsburg, and Guillaume of Champvent, the then bishop of Lausanne. Its belfry a home to seven sonorant bells, the Lausanne Cathedral's other noteworthy features include an exceptional pipe organ and a stained glass window considered to be one of Europe's finest. Those in the city will also hear a town crier announcing the hours every night between 10p and 2a from the bell tower, as has been tradition since the Middle Ages. An architectural wonder par excellence, this historic cathedral comes alive with a repertoire of concerts and a bevy of cultural events.
An almost 900-year-old castle, symbolic of the rich heritage of Oron and a major part of the development of the village, Oron Castle was built in the 13th Century. A magnificent facade dominates the structure while the interior are equally enchanting. Part of the Castle was converted into a library and today holds more than 20,000 books published in French between 1775 and 1825; this being the world’s most important private collection of that period. The ground floor is open to be rented by the public to host events or weddings. It comprises of four rooms with fine furnishings, large fireplaces as well as two courtyards.
Ouchy is a great place to relax with the whole family. Paddle by the water fountains, watch the boats leave the harbor or read a book along the shaded quays. There are daily trips across the lake by boat to Evian in France and a worthwhile visit can be made to the Olympic Museum, where you can wander around the gardens free of charge. The beautiful views of Lake Geneva and the Chablais mountains make it a perfect place for a Sunday stroll, but better still if you're on skates.
A site of regional and national pride, this formidable defensive fortification sits along the picturesque Lake Geneva. Built in the year 1286 on the orders of Baron Louis I of Vaud, this castle was constructed as a traditional Savoyard Carré, essentially a thick fortress with four conical towers enveloping a plaza. Through the years, several of the castle's features were altered, especially during the Bernese conquest of Vaud, when the castle's gates were destroyed. After years of instability, the castle was converted into a site housing four regional museums, the most prominent of which is the Vaud Military Museum.
One of the oldest and most serene chalets in Switzerland, the Grand Chalet dates back to the 18th Century but in 1852 it was turned into a classy hotel. It is one of the most popular landmarks in the village of Rossiniere and is situated on a small hill right above the center of Gstaad, offering an amazing view over the valley and the mountains. The architecture of the chalet is a testament to the ancient era of the village. The Grand Salon inside the building hosts popular exhibitions and concerts, showcasing the cultural heritage of the region.
At first sight, Lausanne mesmerizes with its sheer beauty, a city of Gothic grandeur cascading down the hillside up to the shores of Lake Geneva. A closer look and the city reveals an upbeat ethos driven by a youthful populace. The city's legacy as a rich milieu for intellectuals like Rousseau, Voltaire and Lord Byron has given way to a vibrant local scene. The neighborhoods of Ouchy and Flon are especially enticing, the hotbeds of the city's urban, contemporary culture. Lausanne has been home to the International Olympic Committee since 1914 and the Olympic Museum is one of its most popular attractions. The Medieval old town is dominated by the Cathedrale de Lausanne, a sight of sheer majesty, and its narrow streets are lined with boutiques, cafes and restaurants, while the city's rich and vibrant history is showcased at various museums. The fabulous art collections of the Beaulieu Castle, the Fondation de l'Hermitage and the Musée de l'Elysée are also meritorious. Backed by spell-binding vistas of the lake, and mountains clad in vineyards, Lausanne is enchanting to its very core.
One of Lausanne's most recognizable structures, Maison Mercier is truly an architectural marvel. Built during the latter years of the 17th Century, the Maison stands 11 stories tall, covering a surface area of 6000 square meters (64,583 square feet), making it a work of art that was way ahead of its time. Maison Mercier has been a versatile venue ever since its inception, housing numerous businesses, registry offices and religious institutions. The building is still functional even today and has been constantly renovated to ensure that it doesn't lose out on any of its imperial-era charms.
The Births of the Full Moon (Les Naissances de la Pleine Lune) is a piece of artwork that was arranged by artists Yves Zbinden and Anne-Hélène Darbellay around a fountain near the church of St. Francis. The constellation of golden cobblestones showcases the name of all the children who were born in the city under a full moon during 1998. The real intent was to showcase and celebrate birth and life. Though the work of art can be easily overlooked under ones feet, it is really special for all those lucky children whose names feature as part of the artwork.
Built in the 16th Century, the Town Hall has been the pivotal point of civic life in Lausanne since that time. The building is composed of three floors. At ground level are the arcades, the first floor has impressive windows and the second floor shorter bays topped off by a large sloping roof typical of Vaudois architecture/countryside. A point of interest is the beautiful ceiling painting found on the first floor, dating back to the 17th century. Although no official tour is provided you are free to walk around. Information is available on the first floor.
This quaint cobbled stone square is filled not only by the Town Hall but with the wonderfully colored buildings, each with its own window box of geraniums and pastel colored shutters. The square is home to the Fountain of Justice, whose basin dates from 1557 making it the city's oldest. The original Statue of Justice was made in 1585 but is now replaced by a copy. Every Wednesday and Saturday morning, a market is held on all surrounding pedestrian streets where you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables. The overall atmosphere of the square is very laid back, making it a good place to relax in the outdoor cafés and restaurants.
With a length of 524 feet (160 meters) and a breadth of 49 feet (15 meters), this is a relative pint-sized bridge compared to some other behemoths in the country. Don't let its dimensions fool you as it does play a vital role in connecting the city's administrative headquarters to Lausanne's commercial hub and eastern regions. The bridge was built during the late 1800's by architect Eugene Jost, drawing inspiration from neoclassical architecture, made evident by the two 16th-century-style turrets holding the bridge together at each end.