The Olympic Museum
Without a doubt, this is the best known Lausanne museum throughout the world. It has the most visitors as well, somewhere between 160,000 and 210,000 each year, including lots of children and school groups.
Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the IOC from 1980 to 2001, was behind the creation of this museum. His aim was to promote and spread the Olympic spirit. With images and symbols, the museum shows that, “The Olympics is much more than a mere sporting competition. It is a philosophy of life that is rooted in the depths of time. Sport, art and culture are the traditional pillars of the Olympics” is the official message.
The museum brings together these three means of human expression in one place.
A healthy mind in a healthy body
Opened in Ouchy in 1993 on an esplanade facing the lake, the Olympic Museum follows in the footsteps of several small, temporary museums that could be found in Lausanne from 1915 onwards.
Its permanent exhibition tells the story of the grand plan of the Baron de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Games, who died in 1937, shortly after being made an honorary citizen of Lausanne. It has many historical objects, including Olympic torches from all of the Olympic Games and pieces of equipment used by top athletes to win the gold medal.
Temporary theme-based exhibitions focus on current events. At the end of 2007, for example, the “Sailing the Challenge” exhibition paid homage to the America’s Cup, while celebrating the centennial of the International Sailing Federation.
The museum is vibrant and very interactive. Computers and robotics allow you to relive great achievements in sport. The museum also includes a library, a video library, an Olympic Studies Centre, an auditorium and a restaurant with a panoramic view.