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The Gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame in Lausanne

The Gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame in Lausanne

The old city of Lausanne holds the churches and cathedrals built in the middle ages, such as the famous Notre Dame Cathedral. The Cathedral is a gem a charming town on the shores of lake Geneva and considered the finest Gothic building in Switzerland, on the same level with the Gothic architecture of France.

Myths and facts

The construction of Notre Dame began in 1175 and in 1275 it was consecrated by Pope Gregory X, although the Cathedral was never completed. Throughout the middle ages, pilgrims flocked to the Cathedral to pray before the Golden virgin, a miraculous statue of the virgin Mary, to whom the Cathedral is dedicated.

Lausanne was one of many medieval towns, protected at night to prevent fires. Every night the Rangers on the high walls surrounding the city, kept no fires and not if the enemy is approaching. The Cathedral was the most important object. The watchman climbed the 153 steps to the top of the tower every hour and shouted at the four sides: “C’est le guet, il a sonné l’heure!” (“It’s a night caretaker, the hour has struck”). Lausanne is the only city in Europe where this tradition continues to this day.

In 1536 the combined forces of the reformation and Bernese army plundered the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, having been stripped of altars, statues, and paintings. The appearance of the virgin Gold melted down for coins. The Treasury of Cathedral, a unique collection of liturgical vestments and tapestries were removed to Bern, where Continue reading

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