Lausanne(redirected from Lausanne, Switzerland)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Lausanne (lōzänˈ), city (1990 pop. 117,600), capital of Vaud canton, W Switzerland, on the Lake of Geneva. An important rail junction and lake port (see Ouchy), it is the trade and commercial center of a rich agricultural region. The construction of the Simplon Tunnel (see under Simplon) in 1906 gave Lausanne much greater commercial significance, putting it on the road between Paris and Milan. Food and tobacco products are produced, as well as precision instruments, clothing, metal products, and leather goods. Lausanne is also a well-known resort city and has been the meeting place of many international conferences. It is headquarters of the International Olympic Committee, many sport governing bodies, and the seat of the Swiss federal court of appeal.
Originally a Celtic settlement, it became a Roman military camp called Lousanna. An episcopal see since the late 6th cent., it was ruled by prince-bishops until 1536, when it was conquered by Bern and accepted the Reformation. Bernese rule ended in 1798, and Lausanne became (1803) the capital of the newly formed canton of Vaud. The scene of brilliant social life in the 18th cent., Lausanne was the residence of Gibbon, Rousseau, and Voltaire. Lausanne has the famous Gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame and several notable museums. The Univ. of Lausanne was founded as a Protestant school of theology in 1537 and became famous as a center of Calvinism. It was made a university in 1890. It and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (part of the university until 1969) are now in the suburb of Ecublens.
a city in southwestern Switzerland; capital of the canton of Vaud. Population, 140,000 (1970). Lausanne is a railroad junction of trans-European importance, as well as a port on Lake Geneva. Among the city’s major industries are secondary metallurgy, machine building, printing, and tobacco. A university and a higher technical school are located in Lausanne, which is also the site of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research. The headquarters of the International Olympic Committee is in Lausanne. The city is a center for international tourism.
In antiquity a colony, which was called Lausonium during the Roman period, was located on the site of present-day Lausanne. During the Middle Ages, Lausanne was an episcopal city. (It became a bishopric in the sixth century.) The power of the seignor-bishop was abolished at the time of the Reformation (1536). From 1536 to 1798 the city was a dependency of Bern. It became the capital of the canton of Vaud in 1803. Numerous international congresses and conferences have been held in Lausanne, including the Second Congress of the First International (1867) and the Lausanne Conference of 1922–23.
Among the city’s most outstanding architectural works are the Cathedral of Notre Dame (begun in 1175; basic construction done between 1219 and 1275; early Burgundian Gothic style), the Gothic Church of St. Francis (1258–62), the bishop’s castle (14th-16th centuries), and the late Gothic city hall (1468; finished in the baroque style in 1674). Modern buildings include the administrative building and warehouse of the Eastman Kodak Company (1961–63; architect F. Brügger), the trade center (1960–64; architect J. P. Cahen), and the World Health Organization building (1966; architects J. Tschumi and P. Bonnard). The Cantonal Fine Arts Museum is located in Lausanne.