Church of St. Laurent
The Saint-Laurent church now sits in the heart of the pedestrian alleyways in the shopping district. Built between 1716 and 1719 under the direction of architect Guillaume Delagrange, it complements the cathedral and the Saint-François church, which are the only two places of worship remaining in Lausanne from before the Reformation. Also, Saint-Laurent was built on the remains of an old medieval church that was left in ruins in 1536.
Its façade, with its bell tower, was redesigned by the architect Rodolphe de Crousaz in 1762. Representing a neoclassical ornamental style – fluted pilasters supporting a rounded pediment – with deep reliefs, it creates an atmosphere of religious solemnity.
As for its history, Saint-Laurent was used during the revolutionary period as a political meeting place, accommodating the “Amis de la Liberté”, among others. It was decorated with various statues, notably depicting the French generals Brune and Bonaparte, William Tell, l’Egalité and probably an allegory dedicated to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, called “l’Education d’Emile”.