Château Saint-Maire, Lausanne

Château Saint-Maire is a castle in Lausanne, Switzerland, that serves as the seat of the cantonal government, the Council of State of Vaud. It is a Swiss heritage site of national significance.HistoryThe château was built from 1397 to 1425 by the Bishops of Lausanne to serve as their fortified residence. Begun under Guillaume of Menthonay, it was completed under his successor, Guillaume of Challant, and named after Saint Marius, the first Bishop of Lausanne. It served as the bishop's residence until 1536, when Bern captured Lausanne and secularized the bishopric (the bishop, Sébastien of Montfalcon, escaped through a hidden stairwell). The Bernese installed a bailiff in the château and used it as an armory. Upon the creation of the canton of Vaud in 1803, it became seat of the cantonal government, a role it has retained.ArchitectureThe château was built as a single massive rectangular block, as was common at the time, with brick for the upper portion and sandstone for the lower portion. It originally had Ghibelline merlons, which gave it a somewhat Italian appearance, but due to the wet climate, the roof was extended and the merlons filled, probably in the 16th century. The windows that form a row just below the eaves fill the gaps between the merlons, and the arches above the windows fill the v-shaped openings in the Ghibelline style of merlon.
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Château Saint-Maire Reviews
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  • You cannot expect to be allowed into every historic building in every european city, there is enough to see viewing from outside and it is free.  more »
  • Construction scaffolding is up, I didn't see almost nothing. Streets between the Cathedral and quaint and pretty nice.
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  • Interesting architecture. Minus what you get inside is not. Looked at from the outside. The beautiful medieval castle. Went around the circle and went on.
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  • Red atlantic moves
  • Woua
  • Very interesting but unfortunately not open to the public and in work.
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  • Pretty on the outside, but a pity that was under construction and was not released. :-(
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  • The place of Waldensians power!
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Where to stay in Lausanne

Elegant Lausanne is home to many luxury hotels for those looking to indulge. There is also a great number of mid-range options, a happy compromise compared to some of the pricey four-star accommodation. You'll also find plenty of guesthouses and bed and breakfasts in the area, though they are slightly removed from the idyllic lakefront. Hostels in the city are few and far between, so come prepared with a flexible budget.
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