Lausanne, the capital of the canton of Vaud, is a city in Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland, at 62 km (39 mi) northeast of Geneva. Situated on the shores of Lake Geneva, it faces the French town of Évian-les-Bains, with the Jura Mountains to its north-west.
Its population of 130,421 inhabitants (in December 2012) makes Lausanne the fourth largest city of Switzerland, the entire agglomeration area having 336,400 inhabitants and the Metropolitan Area of Lausanne-Geneva counting over 1.2 million inhabitants.
Lausanne is well-known as an Olympic city, officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the Olympic Capital, hosting the headquarters of the IOC and of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Distinguished by its culture, Lausanne is the home of the Béjart Ballet, the Orchestre de chambre de Lausanne, the Lausanne Opera and the Ensemble vocal de Lausanne, providing a rich and various artistic life.
The Palais de Beaulieu is a convention centre and the venue of the 1989 Eurovision Song Contest. The old part of town holds the Festival de la cité each July and other music festivals such as: the Bach Festival, the Festival et concours Bach de Lausanne, which follows the Nuit de musées (museums’ night) in the fall season.
The Prix de Lausanne, a famous dance competition, takes also place at the Palais de Beaulieu. It lasts over one week and gathers dance celebrities from all over the world.
Lausanne hosts the Swiss Film Archive and the film festivals such as the Festival cinémas d’Afrique and the Lausanne Underground Film and Music Festival.
Due to its 28-station metro system, Lausanne is the smallest city in the world that has a rapid transit system.
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