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Best Historic Locations in Lausanne

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Romainmotier Priory is a monastery founded by Romanus of Condat in the Canton of Vaud, explaining its namesake. Now an entry on the Swiss inventory of cultural property of national and regional significance, it once stood as a priory for monks of the Cluniac order. The rich history of the Romainmotier Priory begins around 450, from there traveling through medieval times, a 14th-century financial crisis, the Protestant Reformation, and two restorations from 1899 to 1915 and 1992 to 2000. In the summer, spring, and autumn, hymn concerts are conducted at the Romainmotier Priory, making it not only a historically significant attraction but also a cultural one.

The Payerne Priory is also called Payerne Abbey or Peterlingen Priory. It is located in Payerne, Vaud, Switzerland as a monastery of national significance. The Abbey is a combination of Roman and Gothic art and there is a chapel dedicated to St.Michel. There is a museum and regular concerts are held during the day. A restaurant serves the delicacy of the town the saucisson or sausage, cake with cream and ham.

Abbaye de Saint-Maurice is an ancient structure in town that is worth visiting for its splendid architecture and religious significance. While the abbey was founded as early as the 6th century, the structure was constantly renovated and rebuilt, hence the oldest part of the structure dates back to the 11th century, while its Romanesque tower was rebuilt in 1945. The abbey is also a renowned pilgrimage site and welcomes hordes of people, every year, for a session of prayer and study.

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.

Located on the outskirts of Martigny, the medieval castle of Château de la Bâtiaz offers visitors a unique historical experience with its remarkable architecture, gruesome torture chamber, a small tavern and a display of old war machines and siege engines. Situated atop a small hill, it offers panoramic views of the city and can be accessed via a short trek or a tourist train called Le Baladeur. The castle also hosts many events like metal concerts, discotheque nights, civil marriages and rock operas which are very popular among the local citizens. Visitors are advised to check opening hours on the official website or see if a blue flag is hoisted atop the tower, signifying that the place is open. Access to the site is free, but one can opt for guided tours and demonstrations for a small price.

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.

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.

One of the most symmetrically built and appealing to the eye structure, Vufflens Castle and its massive fortress structure showcases the most prominent of the French castles of the late Middle Ages that were built of brick. Standing on a small hill overlooking Lake Geneva near Morges, the castle consists of the main building with rounded corner and a tower. Finally, there is a walled-courtyard connecting all the structures.

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.

Built in 1264 and once the home of the Counts of Savoy, the Rolle Castle was originally constructed in the shape of a trapezoid. It has four huge towers at each corner. The sprawling interior courtyards and turrets and its location right on the shore of Lake Geneva makes it even more special. It can be easily accessed through the various trails that run around the castle and the views of the adjoining mountains provide it picturesque and panoramic background. Today, the Rolle municipal offices are housed in part of the castle and other rooms are used for exhibitions and receptions.

Located in the Swiss city of Fribourg, La Maigrauge Abbey is a beautiful 13th-century monastery and the first female monastery in the city. Occupied and maintained by Cistercian nuns since 1939, it today is home to more than a dozen nuns who also operate a guesthouse, gift shop and a bakery on the premises. Tourists can purchase products like organic jams, herbal teas, hand crafted dolls, rosaries among other items. The abbey welcomes young and old women alike to join them in the worship of god.

Standing right in the heart of the historic city of Lausanne, the palace is most famously known as the place where the Treaty of Lausanne was signed in 1912. This opulent palace, replete with illusory staircases, spacious chambers and atriums, was christened after its sponsor, the Russian aristocrat Gabriel de Rumine. Rumine donated a princely sum to the city for the purpose of constructing a pubic edifice. The responsibility of building the palace fell to one of Lyon's most highly-acclaimed architects at the time, Gaspard André. After its construction, the palace went on to serve as the site of the Lausanne University Library, the Cantonal Money Museum, and eclectic repositories that cater to the fields of zoology, archaeology and fine arts, among others.

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