Château Saint-Maire

Place du Chateau
Located on the far north end of the City hill, the Château Saint-Maire has been the seat of regional power since it was established. Lausanne’s bishops built it between around 1400 and 1430 as their new residence, choosing the site for its distance from the lower city and its turbulent bourgeoisie.

Useful information


Place du Chateau
1002 Lausanne

How to get there

La Cité

This is a quarter full of typical small bistros and craft shops. To the north of the Cité hill, at Place du Tunnel, avenue César-Roux avenue and Place de l’Ours, shops and quirky bistros cry out to be discovered. It is around the Cité hill, sculpted by the Flon and Louve rivers, that the mediaeval town grew. Its cobble-stoned pedestrian streets as well as its monuments, the Cathedral of Lausanne, the St-Maire Castle and the Old academy, bear witness to that.

Lausanne Cathedral

At the heart of the old town, the majestic Lausanne Cathedral overlooks the city. Seen as one of the most beautiful gothic art monuments in Europe, it attracts more than 400,000 visitors every year.

Palud square

In the centre of the square is the town’s oldest fountain, adorned with a statue representing justice. Close by, a clock presents the history of Vaud in animated scenes every hour from 9:00 to 19:00. On Wednesday and Saturday mornings this is the site of the country market, which also sets up shop in the neighbouring pedestrian streets. Every first Friday of the month, it plays host to a craft market. Typical cafes, boutiques and large, elegant shops complement what this high-class district, which is completely pedestrianised, has to offer.

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With the massive appearance of the city castles of its time, today we still consider its residential and military functions. In 1536, unwilling to abandon it to Lausanne’s residents, Bern installed its bailiff here. Since 1803, the Cantonal Government has resided here. The defensive level of the castle is particularly noteworthy. Made of brick and featuring slits and low-cut merlons, it was probably designed by Italian masters who came by invitation of Bishop Guillaume de Challant (1406-1431), who himself was originally from the Aosta Valley. This type of architecture has well-known predecessors, like the fortress in Verona, and equally famous successors, such as the Kremlin in Moscow.

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