Home » Europe » Switzerland » Lausanne: World Capital of the Olympic Movement

Lausanne: World Capital of the Olympic Movement

by Lucas Dié on 06/06/09 at 6:56 pm

Lausanne is best known as the world’s Olympic capital; sometimes it is called the World Sports Capital as well. But it is also a charming town on Lake Geneva with a friendly population that makes you feel very much at home anytime you visit.

Lausanne is best known as the world’s Olympic capital; sometimes it is called the World Sports Capital as well. But it is also a charming town on Lake Geneva with a friendly population that makes you feel very much at home anytime you visit.

Lausanne was first settled in the fourth millennium B.C. by the Celts. The Romans continued the use of the town after their conquest. They called it Lousanna which probably is a derivation of the original Celt name for it. Lausanne received its first church in the sixth century together with its first bishop who moved his see from Avenches to Lausanne. Like Geneva, Lausanne was caught in several power shifts in the following centuries. In 1275, the cathedral of Notre Dame was inaugurated in the presence of Pope Gregory X and King Rudolf of Habsburg.

In the following centuries, the city became the centre of the secular power of its bishops. The power balance in it was fragile, as the Counts of Savoy sided with the inhabitants against the bishop to weaken his hold on it. In the 16th century, Lausanne was annexed by Berne and thereby became part of the Swiss Confederation as a vassal town. When Napoleon annexed the Swiss Republics in 1798, he created the Republic and Canton of Vaud, which is identical to today’s Republic and Canton within Switzerland.

It was the city of Berne which opened the first school for higher learning in Lausanne in the 16th century; this school later became the University of Lausanne. In 1915, Lausanne became the principal seat of the Olympic Movement and seat of the International Olympic Committee. After this, more and more international sports movements chose Lausanne as their main seat, and today, the list of organisations sitting in the city is too long to mention them all.

Lausanne is the seat of the Swiss Federal High Court, and at the same time of the CAS, the ‘sports high court’ for the world. With its status as Olympic World Capital, it also hosts the Olympic Museum which tells the history of the modern Olympic Games since 1896. There are many other museums as well; one of the most important ones is the Elysée Museum for Photography.

One of the most important events that are hosted yearly in the city is the Prix de Lausanne, an international competition for the top of the tops of young ballet dancers from all over the world. The prizes range from money for local education to fully paid educations at the world’s leading ballet academies.

The language spoken and used is French. Lausanne is also a seat for the Swiss National Lottery. Because of this, lawyers in Switzerland usually refer to the Swiss Federal High Court as the lottery. Among others, the Picard family originates from Lausanne; you might remember the youngest scion for his ballooning around the world.

 

For further information on the city of Lausanne you may want to go to the official homepage of the city government lausanne.ch.

8
Liked it
5 Comments

J. Dikes

Jun 6th, 2009

Interesting article with great pictures :-)

Debra.

Jun 6th, 2009

Interesting article. I had no idea, that was where the first school of higher learning was. The pictures really show off it’s beauty.

Inna Tysoe

Jun 7th, 2009

Interesting article with great pictures to show off the city’s charm.

Inna

Ruby Hawk

Jun 8th, 2009

What beautiful old buildings, It is charming.

Moses Ingram

Jun 10th, 2009

An interesting article and those building are beautiful.

Leave a Comment
comments powered by Disqus