The Cathe­dral

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It took over a century to build this cathe­dral. And when you see it, you will be amazed by it. The cathe­dral is topped with tow­ers and spires; the south fa­cade is pierced by a gi­ant Gothic rose win­dow; and fly­ing but­tresses sup­port the choir.

The por­tals and fa­cade of the cathe­dral are richly or­na­mented with carved sculp­tures and bas­re­liefs. En­trance is through the west door­way, called the Mont­fal­con Por­tal af­ter a 16th- century bishop.

The mon­u­men­tal door­way is dec­o­rated with sculp­tures of bi­b­li­cal fig­ures, saints, bish­ops and var­i­ous crea­tures. The glo­ri­ous South Rose Win­dow also sur­vived from the 13th century; only the cen­tral piece is not orig­i­nal. The rose was a pop­u­lar me­dieval rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the uni­verse, and Lau­sanne’s huge rose con­tains im­ages rep­re­sent­ing the four sea­sons, el­e­ments, winds and rivers of par­adise, and the twelve labors of the months and signs of the zo­diac.

The cathe­dral night watch­man was the most im­por­tant, dat­ing back to 1405. Ev­ery night, the watch­man walks up the 153 stairs to the top of the tower and calls out to the four di­rec­tions: C’est le guet; il a sonné l’heure (“This is the nightwatch; the hour has struck”), he calls out ev­ery hour on the hour from 10pm to 2am. Lau­sanne is the only city in Europe to con­tinue that tra­di­tion to this day.

Lau­sanne Cathe­dral is con­sid­ered Switzer­land’s finest Gothic build­ing

Photo by Ika Da­ma­janti

Photo Cour­tesy o

Photo Cour­tesy o

of Lau­sanne Tourism

of Lau­sanne Tourism

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