Escaliers du Marché

Esacaliers du Marché
The Escaliers du Marché staircase, a direct and steep route that runs between Place de la Palud and the Cathedral, is one of the most picturesque sites in Lausanne. Its existence was first recorded back in the 13th century and its present-day appearance – a winding wooden stairway with a cover and a very steep cobbled street running alongside it – dates back to the years 1717 - 1719.

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Esacaliers du Marché
1003 Lausanne

How to get there

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.

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.
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Alexandre, the souvenir maker
The Lausanner recommends
Alexandre the souvenir maker
The city’s small gem. A magnificent staircase that recalls Lausanne during the centuries gone by. The surrounding buildings’ pretty façades give even more appeal to this must-see place. The ascent might seem hard, but it’s worth the effort as when you reach the top, you’re at the foot of the Cathedral and have a beautiful view over the town!

More info

The upper part of the stairway was interrupted in 1911 with the construction of Rue Pierre-Viret, the continuation of the Pont Bessières bridge, but it was then artificially restored thanks to the addition of an underground walkway in 1975. Until the 14th century, the city market was held on a square built to the right of the staircase, hence the name. Traces of it can still be seen in the shade of the trees at the bottom of Rue Pierre-Viret. The row of houses that lines the east side of the stairway, home to boutiques and cafés, is an extraordinary sight, towering high as it runs uphill uninterrupted from Place de la Palud to Rue Pierre-Viret. Some parts of the buildings date back to the 16th century, such as the street-level ogee bays of No. 17. At the top, the Cathedral bell tower provides a dramatic peak to the upward climb.

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