‘The sense of independence and pride nurtured by the city of Lausanne and its people provides Olympism with the kind of unwavering liberty it needs to prosper’.
These words spoken by Pierre de Coubertin marked the installation of the International Olympic Committee ( IOC ) in Lausanne during the official reception at City Hall in 1915. Intent on modernizing the Olympic Games, this French aristocrat had founded the IOC in Paris in 1894. Two years later, he staged the first Olympics in Athens. During the First World War, Pierre de Coubertin chose to make Lausanne the home for his fledgeling movement. In doing so, he made Lausanne the hub of modern Olympism.
In this city, the Olympic Games never end. In the middle of a magnificent park overlooking the lake, The Olympic Museum showcases the striking images, highlights and paraphernalia of the Games, and recalls the commitment of the IOC to foster popular as well as competitive sports. The dynamic presence of the IOC in Lausanne is not alien to the citys intimate involvement in hosting international sports-related activities. Many European and world championships, for example, have taken place here in a wide variety of disciplines such as curling, gymnastics, badminton and freestyle iceskating. The IOC has also been credited with prompting some fifteen international sports fédérations to locate their headquarters here, the creation of the Court of Arbitration for Sports and the development of the laboratory for doping control analysis. When you follow in the footsteps of those who embraced Olympism, you will discover some of the most beautiful sites of a city officially proclaimed Olympic Capital in 1994, a prestigious and unique title befitting a city whose destiny remains closely linked to international sports.
The Olympic Museum presents the cornerstones of olympism – sport, art and education – through its ultra-modern, interactive facilities. The most visited museum in Lausanne was founded by the ICO on the banks of Lake Geneva.
Pierre-de-Coubertin stadium, named after the founder of the modern Olympic Games, has an athletics track and changing rooms available to the public. This venue hosted the first Athletissima meetings from 1977.
With its long central avenue lined with double rows of linden trees, its flowered banks, its ponds full of dancing water lilies and the benches from which to admire the views, Bois-de-Vaux is one of the rare cemeteries of its size (26,000 spaces) to have such charm.
With its belfry towering over the picturesque Place de la Palud, the imposing Town Hall building is still used today for municipal offices. The Lausanne architect Abraham de Crousaz built it between 1673 and 1675 on the site of previous town halls.
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