Must visit museums in Lausanne
On Mastodon we got the great architectural shots from Dominik Gehl impressed. He depicts both modern and historical buildings in his photos and in Dominik's ARTchitecture blog before. Anyone interested in architecture, museums and art is guaranteed to find one or two tips from him. As is the case in social media, a communication emerged that revealed that Dominik knows the museums in Lausanne well. So we asked him to present them in a guest article. Here he describes why you should definitely take a look at them.
Lausanne in Switzerland
The history of Lausanne on the shores of Lake Geneva dates back to Celtic times and its name comes from the Roman settlement "Lousonna". Today the city has around 150000 inhabitants, making it the fourth largest city in the world after Zurich, Basel and Geneva Switzerland.
Lausanne is the only city in Switzerland to have a metro system, which is greatly appreciated given the steep terrain on which Lausanne is built: there is a height difference of over 300 meters. With over 25.000 students from 125 nations studying at the various universities, Lausanne is not only a diverse but also a very dynamic city. At the end of 2019, Lausanne was named the world's best small city by the global affairs and lifestyle magazine Monocle. And recently it was recognized as the best up-and-coming cultural city at the LCD Berlin Awards 2021/2022.
From the north, the best way to travel is by train via Bern and Friborg to Lausanne. Towards the end of the journey, towards Puidoux-Chexbres, the train passes through the Cornallaz Tunnel, at the end of which there is a breathtaking view of Lake Geneva and the Lavaux vineyards.
The writer and poet Charles Ferdinand Ramuz wrote in 1936: "When you come out of the Chexbres tunnel, we are at first blinded" (Quand on sort du tunnel de Chexbres, on est d'abord dans l'éblouissement). The Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler (1853 – 1911) also immortalized this view in his painting "Le lac Léman vu de Chexbres", which is on display in the Cantonal Art Museum (MCBA) in Lausanne. Which brings us to the first museum on our list, located just a few steps from the Lausanne train station.
Five museums in Lausanne
The Cantonal Museum of Fine Arts in Lausanne was founded in 1841. Today its collection includes more than 10000 works of art with a particular focus on art from the late 18th century onwards. In 2019, the MCBA moved into its new building, designed by the Spanish architects Barozzi/Veiga, which is part of the new Plateforme 10 museum district.
The sculpture in front of the museum by Olivier Mosset and Xavier Veilhan is titled "Crocodile" after the iconic crocodile-shaped Swiss electric locomotive that celebrated its 2019th anniversary in 100.
The 14,5 m high sculpture "Luce e ombra" by the Italian artist Giuseppe Penone stands in the entrance hall of the MCBA with a view of the Lausanne train station and the Léman.
Orientation in the museum is very easy. The entrance hall is in the center and while the right side of the museum is dedicated to the permanent collection, the left side is used for temporary exhibitions. Incidentally, admission to the permanent collection is free!
Station Square 16
The mudac, the "musée cantonal de design et d'arts appliqués contemporains", was founded in 2000 and has a collection of contemporary glass art, jewelry, graphics and ceramics. It also regularly organizes temporary exhibitions. As the MCBA, it is now part of Plateforme10 and moved into its new building designed by the Portuguese architects Aires Mateus in the summer of 2022.
Mudac occupies the upper floor of the building, while Lausanne's photography museum, Photo Elysée, occupies the basement.
After so much art (and with two other art museums on this list) we move to the sporting side of Lausanne, the Olympic capital, a title Lausanne was awarded in 1994. In fact, the IOC has had its headquarters in Lausanne since 1915, when Pierre de Coubertin moved it from Paris to escape World War I.
Station Square 17
The Olympic Museum was established under the direction of IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch and opened on June 23, 1993. It received the "European Museum of the Year" award in 1995 and, with more than 250.000 visitors a year, is the second most visited museum in Switzerland. The Olympic Museum is located in the Parc Olympique right on the lake shore. The building, designed by Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, Jean-Pierre Cahen and Miguel Espinet in the classic modern style, was completely renovated in 2013 by the Swiss architects Brauen Wälchli Architectes and Tekhne SA and the exhibition space was expanded from 2000 to 3000 square meters.
While the permanent exhibition shows the development of the modern Olympic Games, for example through an exhibition of Olympic torches and the development of sports equipment, the museum also regularly organizes temporary exhibitions on current Olympic events. There is even an interactive area in the museum that is particularly popular with children.
As mentioned, Lausanne's geography is hilly... and our next two museums are higher up!
1, Quai d'Ouchy
Collection de l'Art brut
We owe the existence of the Collection de l'Art brut to the French painter Jean Dubuffet, who donated his collection and archive to the city of Lausanne in 1971. The museum, housed in the 18th-century Château de Beaulieu, opened to the public on February 26, 1976. His collection includes works by self-taught artists, many of whom were inmates of various psychiatric hospitals and prisons.
Collection de l'Art brut
11, avenue des Bergieres
Foundation de l'Hermitage
The mansion called l'Hermitage near the Sauvabelin forest was built between 1851 and 1853 by the banker Charles-Juste Bugnion. It is surrounded by a large park that offers a magnificent view of downtown Lausanne and the Alps.
The building plans for l'Hermitage were developed in collaboration with the architect Louis Wenger.
The building was donated to the city of Lausanne in 1976 and has hosted several art exhibitions a year since 1984, most of them with works from the 19th and early 20th centuries. In many exhibitions, the artworks seem to belong right in this historic building... it's like stepping back in time!
Foundation de l'Hermitage
Route du Signal 2
Tips for visiting the museums in Lausanne:
If you stay in a hotel in Lausanne, you automatically get a free public transport pass. Lausanne Tourism offers a Lausanne City Pass which includes entry to many museums at a reduced price
We thank Dominik Gehl for these interesting museum tips for Lausanne. Maybe they inspire you to visit Switzerland?
Lausanne travel guide
Parking at the airport
How to get to the museums in Lausanne:
Arrival by plane, bus or train*. Nearest international airport is Geneva. It is also possible to travel to Lausanne by train or bus.
Hotels in Lausanne:
Accommodation in Lausanne* you can book here.
Are you traveling to the museums in Lausanne by motorhome?
- Do you want to rent a motorhome? Then you will find information and a selection in these booking options here. Rent a motorhome or a camper near you here. Or would you prefer to stay overnight in a roof tent on the car? Also the overnight stay in camping tents is possible.
- Check our packing list for campers to see whether you have packed everything for your motorhome tour.
- You can stay at Camping de Vidy-Lausanne, Chem. du Camping 3, 1007 Lausanne, Switzerland. But there are other campsites near Lausanne. There you can after a day trip in a Dutch Oven or on the portable grill or on campfire . You can also find Dutch oven accessories can be found here.
- Motorhome accessories you can also find here.
Do you also know:
- The historic old town of Stein am Rhein
- Visiting the Mostviertel with the Mostbaron Distelberger
- Tips for a weekend in Potsdam on the Havel
- Three museums in Vancouver
- Museums in America are different
- Balloon Museum Gersthofen
Source: Guest article by Dominik Gehl
Text: Dominik Gehl
Photos: Dominik Gehl
Last update on 30.11.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API