Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall)
With its belfry towering over the picturesque Place de la Palud, the imposing Town Hall building is still used today for municipal offices. The Lausanne architect Abraham de Crousaz built it between 1673 and 1675 on the site of previous town halls. An important place for the people of Lausanne, it served several functions: politically, it was both the home and symbol of the city’s power; economically, the halls of its ground floor housed the wheat market; defensively, the bells of its belfry warned of danger.
Greatly admired since its creation, the Town Hall is the most interesting example of 17th century Vaud architecture. Its main facade has a particularly subtle composition. While the rows of bay windows and their frames form a clear and striking horizontal effect, the vertical axis, marked by the sculpted entrance and steeple, are implicitly strengthened by the cadence of the windows, continually closer together towards the middle, and the steadily narrower archways.
As for the roof, it takes its aesthetic shape from the region’s country homes, giving a final provincial touch to one of the most original silhouettes.