Lausanne Off The Beaten Path

  • Chateau de Chillon
    Chateau de Chillon
    by sue_stone
  • Chateau de Chillon
    Chateau de Chillon
    by sue_stone
  • Chateau de Chillon cellar
    Chateau de Chillon cellar
    by sue_stone

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Lausanne

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    Unforgettable sweetshop

    by vanessadb Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Mojonnier desserts

    Mojonnier is renown to make the best pastries and sweets..... people come from pretty faraway just to buy cakes, cookies, and all sorts of desserts, especially chocolate desserts.

    So, if you are into sweets, do not miss Mojonnier. You have two options:
    1. go to the brand new shop they just opened in the center at 1, Rue Cheneau-de-Bourg, where they also have a tea-room upstairs where you can sit and eat your dessert.

    2. jump into the bus number 7 towards Renens, get off at Pont de Chailly and walk 50m to yur right; Mojonnier is right there!

    Try the fruit mousses, the chocolate desserts, and truffles. Trust me you won't regret it =)

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    Secluded Place de la Madeleine (I&V)

    by Zvrlj Updated Mar 10, 2010

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    Place de la Madeleine
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    Place de la Madeleine is could be described as a terrace standing by the south side of Palais de Rumine, on the elevation half-way between Place de la Rippone and Rue Pierre Viret, connected to both by Escaliers de l'Universite. It is one of those spots near the most prominent places, but somehow secluded, calm, sleepy, tourist free… Very useful Lausanne tourisme web page gives A touch of history using the book Les places de Lausanne by Louis Polla: Until the 16th century, the square was a cemetery to the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene, adjoining Dominican convent established there in the 13th century. And then, in the 16th century, everything was demolished. Later, in 1754 a railing was made, and 15 years later, in 1771, the shops were built. From 1841, the merchants of shoes, hats, baskets… used to sell their products on the Place de la Madeleine. In the 1850s, the place was leveled and a covered fountain was erected. The fountain was especially popular among washerwomen, actually it was so popular that the municipality had to prohibit the hanging of laundry on gates.

    Place de la Madeleine took its present appearance during the construction of the Palais de Rumine, between 1898 and 1906. As the final touch, the Monument of Louis Ruchonnet, eminent Lausanne politician, was erected in 1906. The monument was the artwork of Alfred Lanz, mostly recognized as the author of the Monument of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi in Yverdon, town on the south tip of Lac de Neuchatel – Neuchatel Lake.

    Place de la Madeleine is among our favourites in Lausanne. We used it many times as the suitable spot for a short break during our explorations of the city.

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    Neuchatel (I&V)

    by Zvrlj Updated Jan 24, 2010

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    Neuchatel

    If one is settled in Lausanne, probably the best choice for a day-trip, excluding places on the shores of Lake Geneva – is Neuchatel. Located on the Lake Neuchatel, the largest lake entirely in Switzerland, this small city is part of French-speaking-Switzerland. From Lausanne it can be reached by train, in no more than an hour. Although Neuchatel has much to offer, it is not very spacious, and one who is willing to explore the city in the running-style – will see a lot and have a great day.

    The highlights of our visit to Neuchatel were Chateau, Collegiale – Collegiate Church, Musee d'Art et d'Histoire – Museum of Art and History… but the whole Old Town, of which the most is pedestrian zone – is beautiful.

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    Montreux (I&V)

    by Zvrlj Updated Jan 24, 2010

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    Montreux

    When one is settled in Lausanne, one-day trip to Vevey and Montreux is certain pick. It seems to us that those two towns are kind of twin-towns – both look like rising from the water of Lake Geneva, both were settled in Roman times, both of a similar population (one a bit more than 20,000 inhabitants, the other a bit less than that), both, apart, earned the nickname of "Pearl of Swiss Riviera", even if you want to bye a map of one – you'll get the map of both, because the maps are printed on the same sheet.

    Montreux is the more popular "twin", more vivid and "wild" one. It is known for its Jazz Festival, Freddie Mercury's Montreux Memorial Day, Golden Rose Festival, Smoke on the Water… And, more than anything, for the famous Chateau Chillon.

    We have enjoyed a long walk along the lake, after the visit to Chateau Chillon. Thanks to VT, Monument of Freddie Mercury was no surprise to us.

    Montreux can be reached from Lausanne by train and by boat.

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    Vevey (I&V)

    by Zvrlj Updated Jan 24, 2010

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    Vevey

    When one is settled in Lausanne, one-day trip to Vevey and Montreux is certain pick. It seems to us that those two towns are kind of twin-towns – both look like rising from the water of Lake Geneva, both were settled in Roman times, both of a similar population (one a bit more than 20,000 inhabitants, the other a bit less than that), both, apart, earned the nickname of "Pearl of Swiss Riviera", even if you want to bye a map of one – you'll get the map of both, because the maps are printed on the same sheet.

    Vevey, the smaller, is often neglected by visitors in favour of the larger, Montreux, but undeservedly – it is a chic little resort of quiet charm, with much to offer to its visitors.

    For the short time we have spent in Vevey, we managed to see Musee Jenisch – Jenisch Museum and Musee suisse de l'appareil photographique – Swiss Camera Museum, both excellent. And to take a pleasant walk along the lake.

    Vevey can be reached from Lausanne by train and by boat.

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    Chateau de Chillon (I&V)

    by Zvrlj Updated Jan 24, 2010

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    Chateau de Chillon
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    The most amazing spectacle at the Lac Leman – Lake Geneva is the magnificent Chateau de Chillon. The castle is among the best-preserved medieval castles in Europe. Occupying the whole islet in the like, it looks like rising from the water – stunning and almost surreal!

    Here are a few facts about the history of the castle taken from the leaflet-guide: "In its current state, the Castle of Chillon is the result of several centuries of constant building, adaptations, renovations and restorations. The small rocky island on which the castle is built, acted both as natural protection and a strategic location to control the movement between the north and south of Europe. The history of the castle was marked by three important periods: the Savoy era (12th century to 1536), the Bernese era (1536 – 1798) and the Vaudois era (1798 until today). Excavations carried out from the end of the 19th century, particularly those by the cantonal archeologist Albert Naef (1862 – 1936), indicate that the site of Chillon has been occupied since the Bronze Age. The oldest written mention of the castle dates from 1150 and establishes that the House of Savoy already controlled the fortress and hence the path along the lake shore. The Swiss, more specifically the Bernese, conquered the Vaud region and occupied Chillon in 1536. For more than 260 years the castle was used as a fortress, arsenal and prison. The Bernese left Chillon in 1798 at the time of the Vaud revolution. The castle became the property of the Canton of Vaud when it was founded in 1803. The restoration of the historical monument began at the end of the 19th century and continues today."

    It is very easy to spend hours wandering all over the castle. Among the most interesting parts of the castle are huge Coat-of-Arms Hall with the designs painted in the 13th and the 16th century, and Aula Magna overlooking at the lake, Chapel of the dukes of Savoy with the partially preserved 14th century decoration, toilets… But the most breathtaking is underground prison, so called Bonivard Prison for its famous prisoner who inspired Lord Byron to wrote the poem The Prisoner Of Chillon.

    Leaflet-guides and audio-guides propose systematic tour and short but very useful information. The best time to enter the castle and to avoid crowds is early in the morning, just after the opening.

    The only direct connection between Lausanne and Chateau de Chillon is by boat. By land the castle can be reached from Montreux by foot or City bus #1. Trains from Lausanne Central Train Station – Gare CFF to Montreux are very frequent.

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    Lavaux Vineyard Terraces (I&V)

    by Zvrlj Updated Jan 24, 2010

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    Lavaux Vineyard Terraces
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    We do prepare for our travels, but every place (including the area around the city we live in) hides something that could produce great feeling of surprise and thrill, no matter how solemn our preparations were… That "something" (regarding our travel to Lausanne) was astonishing landscape of the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces.

    Quite a long time later we have found out that the Lavaux is the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. World Heritage web page gives the following description of the site: "The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, stretching for about 30 km along the south-facing northern shores of Lake Geneva from the Chateau de Chillon to the eastern outskirts of Lausanne in the Vaud region, cover the lower slopes of the mountainside between the villages and the lake. Although there is some evidence that vines were grown in the area in Roman times, the present vine terraces can be traced back to the 11th century, when Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries controlled the area. It is an outstanding example of a centuries-long interaction between people and their environment, developed to optimize local resources so as to produce a highly valued wine that has always been important to the economy. […] The Lavaux vineyard landscape is an outstanding example that displays centuries of interaction between people and their environment in a very specific and productive way, optimizing the local resources to produce a highly valued wine that was a significant part of the local economy. Its vulnerability in the face of fast-growing urban settlements has prompted protection measures strongly supported by local communities."

    We saw the Lavaux Vineyard Terraces from the Geneva Lake. Hopefully, next time we'll have opportunity to take a closer look of Lavaux.

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    The Seat of International Olympic Committee (I&V)

    by Zvrlj Updated Dec 6, 2009

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    The seat of International Olympic Committee
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    The seat of International Olympic Committee is in Lausanne, but it is neither in the building of the Olympic Museum, nor near it. The seat building is in part of Lausanne called Vidy, by the shore of Lake Geneva, west from the city center. In front of the building there is the famous and widely recognizable "Monument to the Olympic Games", artwork of Catalan sculptor Josep Maria Subirachs i Sitjar, created in 1983. In the beautifully shaped surrounding there are a few more sculptures, among them one from the "Tai Chi" series by Taiwanese sculptor Ju Ming. On the south side of IOC building, between the building and the lake, is Place du Granit – Granite Square, with beautiful, granite, cascade fountain.

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    Sauvabelin – Forest & Lake (I&V)

    by Zvrlj Updated Mar 2, 2009

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    Lac de Sauvabelin ��� Lake Sauvbelin
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    Sauvabelin is a forest overlooking Lausanne. In 1888 the city of Lausanne authorized the construction of the artificial lake in Sauvabelin forest. Almost immediately after the construction of the little romantic lake, Sauvbelin had become very popular picnic place – the citizens of Lausanne take Sunday walks there, in winter they come to skate, in the summer they spend time in the rented rowing boats on the lake… Lac de Sauvabelin – Lake Sauvbelin is approximately 100 m wide and 150 m long, deep between 1 m and 1.5 m, with an island in the center.

    Probably the most interesting area for the children is tiny ZOO with cows, goats, woolly pigs, ducks, geese, swans…

    Although beautiful place, Sauvabelin forest and lake surrounding is not among the top tourist attractions in Lausanne. This "face" of Lausanne is reserved for those travelers who spend a bit more time in the city.

    Lake Sauvbelin can be easily reached by Public transport – bus #16.

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    Tour de Sauvabelin | Sauvabelin Tower (I&V)

    by Zvrlj Written Mar 2, 2009

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    Tour de Sauvabelin ��� Sauvabelin Tower
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    Tour de Sauvabelin – Sauvabelin Tower was built in 2003 using wood cut from local forests. This 35 m high structure, provides a full-circle view over the city, the lake, the mountains and the neighbouring countryside. The view is well worth of the effort of climbing to the top, although we liked the view from the Tower of the Cathedral more.

    The Tower is located very near Lac de Sauvabelin – Lake Sauvbelin, just a few minutes of walking to the south, towards the city of Lausanne. In winter the Tower is open from 9 am to 5 pm and in summer from 9 am to 9 pm. When the weather is bad the Tower is closed for security reasons.

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    Chateau de Chillon

    by sue_stone Written Aug 3, 2008

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    Chateau de Chillon
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    A highlight of our visit to Lausanne was a trip along the lake to the Chateau de Chillon. This proper castle-looking castle is located on a small rocky island on the edge of Lake Geneva, making an approach by boat a great way to arrive for a visit.

    The castle was constructed prior to 1150 - as written mentions from that time refer to it. Over the years it was used as a fortress, arsenal and prison. Restoration commenced in the late 19th century and still continues, though it does appear to be in pretty good condition.

    A visit inside the castle is a must, and when we visited (July 2008) tickets were CHF 12 for adults. You can also pay extra for an audio tour, but the leaflet they give you with your standard ticket offers so much information that I don't think an audio tour is worth the extra cost.

    The aforementioned leaflet leads you on a tour through the different (numbered) parts of the castle, starting in the cellar and crypts, continuing through the main living quarters and bedrooms, onto the watchtower and beyond.

    The castle is located 45 minutes walk from Montreux, along the river, or catch trolley bus No. 1 to Montreux (or onto Vevey) where you can catch the train to Lausanne. Or catch the ferry like we did.

    Avenue de Chillon 21, 1820 Veytaux

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    Wine Tasting at Lausanne TrainStation

    by meiyergani Written Apr 27, 2007

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    A welcome drink at Lausanne train station
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    Beside Lac Leman, Lausanne also well-known with its grape-yard along the steep hill. When the visitors stepping down to the train station, glasses of wines are already serve as a welcome greeting. Please do don't miss it if you have a chance to tasting Lausanne wines, feel the differences, it was probably the best in Europe(?)

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    Live Music at Lausanne Train Station

    by meiyergani Updated Apr 27, 2007

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    Live music at Lausanne train station
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    As stepping down from the Orient Express Train, A group of Music present their performance. It was really a very exciting moments, after hours trip from Basel and ended the journey at Lausanne Train station, hearing jazzy european music is encouraging us to enjoy the touristic environtment of European rail trip. All visitors are taken a chance to have a picture with the musician while they are playing accordion, guitar, trumpet, bass and drum

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    Signal de Bougy - Look at the animals

    by anne77 Updated Oct 23, 2006

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    Two bunnies enjoying the autumn sun
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    As I have said in my previous tip, Signal de Bougy is a great place for kids. On one side of the park, there is a little "farm", where you can see different animals. There are goats, pigs, rabbits, ducks and donkeys most of the time. If you go in the spring, you might be lucky to see some of the babies, which are always very cute.

    Although I don't have kids, I like going to the Signal de Bougy for a walk, and I enjoy having a look at the animals on my way through the parc.

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    Signal de Bougy - Great viewpoint

    by anne77 Updated Oct 23, 2006

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    View from the Signal de Bougy
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    One of the best places to have a global view of Lac Léman, is Signal de Bougy. On a clear day, you can see from Geneva to the Valais, it's really worth the visit.

    Signal de Bougy is located between Aubonne and Rolle.

    Signal de Bougy is a big parc, where a lot of different activities can be done. It's a very popular place for families, as there are different play grounds, animals to see, etc. It will keep you busy for a long time!

    People come here for pick-nicks, to play basketball, volleyball, play soccer/football, etc.

    There is a restaurant with tables outside, so you can have a snack or a drink and enjoy the beautiful view...

    There are 2 parkings, free of charge. Check out the website for more details.

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