Lausanne in situated on the shores of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva). When I visited I headed straight for Lausanne Cathedral. It is a very steep walk from the Lake up to the Cathedral. But, well worth it as a tour of the city, and for the amazing views to the Lake and Alps.
The Cathedral is considered to be the most beautiful Gothic Church in Switzerland and the spiritual heart of French-speaking Switzerland. Its construction began in 1170 and it was consecrated in 1275. It is famous for its examples of polychromy which is the coloured paint still visible on its statues in the Chapel of the Virgin and the Painted Portal. The Painted Portal is enclosed with glass and I sat peacefully for some time absorbed in the beauty of the statues.
Medieval pilgrims flocked to the Cathedral to pray before the Golden Virgin hoping for miracles. Sadly, in the Reformation, the Golden Virgin was melted down to make coins! But, the glorious south rose window has survived.
In the evening, I walked along the shores of the Lake towards Vevey admiring the sculptures, the Lake and the Alps. After a while, I found a great spot to sit and sketch the Alps and watch the sunset. I imagined I was Turner sitting there! And was surprised to see the golden yellow colours, so typical of Turner’s sublime paintings, appearing in the evening sky.
I did indulge in the luxury of eating a very tasty veal knuckle and risotto in a Swiss/Italian Michelin star restaurant near my hotel. But the best part was sampling the local Lavaux wine. I could see their vineyards in the distance as I sat sketching. Lausanne is well known for its amazing food and has many events throughout the year celebrating its cuisine!
Go to http://www.lausanne-tourisme.ch/en/ to find out more about how to enjoy a visit to Lausanne.