We just went down the stairway below the cathedral and ended up a large square.
La Place de la Riponne is one the central squares in Lausanne. Its not impressive, it is actually an ugly plain of concrete but has some large buildings, the most interesting is the large neo-remaissance Palais de Rumine. The palais houses 5 different museums (Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Musée cantonal d'archéologie et d'histoire, Musee cantonal de geologie, Musee cantonal de zoologie etc) usually open Tuesday to sunday.
The reason we went there was that houses the Saturday open air market so many locals gather here for shopping. There were several stalls selling bread, fruits, veggies and a great variety of tasty but expensive local cheeses. We decided to have our breakfast here buying small portions of different things and looking the people passing by. I’ve read that sometimes concerts and other events take place here but I guess not that early in the morning. Usually the steps of Palais de Rumine are filled with local students that hang around anyway.
It used to be the market square since the early 18th century when place de la Palud wasn’t enough as market square. The metro station that is located on the square (Riponne Maurice Bejart) is named after the dancer Maurice Bejart.
Excellent Wikitravel Lausanne article says about Palace Rumine: "This lovely building is not as old as it looks". This seems to be the very appropriate beginning of the tip about one of the most appealing and most important edifices in Lausanne, the one which houses Cantonal and University Library and five museums – Musee cantonal des beaux-arts, Musee cantonal de geologie, Musee cantonal de zoologie, Musee cantonal d'archaeologie et d'historie, and Musee monetaire cantonal!!! This building was not there in the first years of the 20th century!
Palace Rumine is endowment of Gabriel de Rumine, the Lausanne born aristocrat of Russian origin, who left 1,500,000 francs to the City of Lausanne for the construction of a building for public use. French architect Gaspard Andre won the architecture contest organized in 1889, with a purpose to fulfill Rumine's will. The vast edifice, reminiscence of Florentine Renaissance architecture, was completed in 1906.
To be continued in "The Museums in Palace Rumine"…
Based on an Italian renaissance design, this lovely building is not as old as it looks.Neo-Renaissance structure adorned with lions, angels and pink marble, named after a local philanthropist and designed by a Parisian architect who hadn’t actually bothered to visit Lausanne beforehand. There are five different museums inside with exhibitions covering subjects ranging from fine arts to natural history.