A visit to the Fondation de l’Hermitage

By My-Lausanne

Lausanne, with Lake Geneva and the mountains in the background, could well have been imagined by an artist. At least, that’s what we reflect on as we arrive at the Fondation de l’Hermitage, which offers one of the most beautiful panoramas over the town.

Before we get too caught up by the view, we head off towards the Foundation. The stately home (finished in 1853) is at least as beautiful as the paintings it houses.

Besides, we quickly forget we’re in a museum. High ceilings with mouldings, chimneys and herringbone parquet flooring, not to mention the magnificent paintings – it makes you want to live there.

The visit continues on the upper floors. The higher we climb, the more often we look out of the windows to catch a glimpse of the Cathedral. We have to admit that the windows also seem to frame beautiful paintings at the Hermitage.

Vue sur la Cathédrale depuis le Parc de l’Hermitage, Lausanne
(c) LT/ Laurent Kaczor


At the top of the house, under the roof, there are no more windows but solid wood beams that attract our attention. The room’s layout reminds us a little of our visit to the musée de l’Elysée.

The rooms change colour while retaining a unique character.

We stop for a while in the Napoleon III lounge (also called the “small blue lounge”): a room that is accessible to the public with furniture, curtains and tapestry dating back to Napoleon III. The room is magnificent, and we’re almost afraid of damaging the (restored) armchairs by sitting in them. And once we are comfortably seated, we no longer really feel like leaving the Hermitage.  😉

This room is one of the two permanent spaces of the Foundation. Portraits of Lausanne dignitaries are hung there, as though to immerse us in the 19th century.

The second permanent space is in the basement. The collection of Chinese porcelain from the Qing dynasty is displayed there: vases and plates in a very sober and exquisitely precise design. The second part of the basement, a modern, refined space with grey walls and pleasant lighting, houses the last part of the temporary exhibition. This is where the visit ends. Before leaving, we stop at one of the veranda’s small tables to consult the book dedicated to the exhibition. We also stop by the boutique. While some enrich their collection of the Foundation’s superb posters, other leaf through books dedicated to painting and art.

We think of the view that awaits us and quicken our pace. Once through the door, however, we spot the Esquisse’s terrace, its red-brick walls, its tower that puts us in mind of a miniature fortified castle and its delicious brunches. Oh well, we might as well…

Having quenched our thirst and satisfied our hunger, we can at last head off towards the old town. From the Hermitage building, the view is magnificent. In the distance, we admire Lausanne’s Cathedral, Lake Geneva and the mountains; on both sides, great majestic trees; and in front of us, a garden full of sunflowers and other colourful flowers.

Campagne de l’Hermitage (c) Marino Trotta

As we take in the view, we muse that all this is quite real; it’s Lausanne: even an artist couldn’t have imagined such a beautiful landscape.


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01.02. – 02.06.2019,tue.-sun. 10 am til 18 pm.