The idea of a museum solely dedicated to understanding the Olympic idea goes back to Pierre de Coubertin, who revived the Olympic Games and founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Olympic Museum, which was opened in 1993 in Ouchy, a district of Lausanne, reflects the spirit of the sports and games which bring nations together.
An unusual and new building within the most beautiful of locations on Lake Geneva is home to interactive exhibitions, documents, films, and collections of precious objects dating from Greek antiquity up until modern times. The museum is the largest information center on the topic of the Olympic Games within the world.
On Saturdays and Sundays, visitors can enjoy a delicious brunch at the TOM Café, enjoying the gorgeous views of Lake Geneva and the mountains.
The museum was founded on 23 June 1993, on the initiative of the then-president of the IOC, Juan Antonio Samaranch. Mexican architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, an International Olympic Committee member, and Jean-Pierre Cahen, were in charge of the project. The museum was named the European Museum of the Year in the year 1995.
After 23 months of renovation between 2012 and 2013, the Olympic Museum re-opened on 21 December 2013. During the transformations of the building, a short-lived exhibition was held on a boat (Helvétie) of the GCN, ahead of the Olympic Park.
With the renovation, the surface of the museum increased from 2,000 m2 (in 2011) to 3,000 m2 (in 2013).
Highlights of the Museum
- "The Olympic World” is the first a part of the visit. It explains the vision of its founder, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, and can cause you to realize how rooted Olympism is within the history of mankind. The space dedicated to the 50 torches that have transported the Olympic flame of all Games since 1936 is on an equivalent floor. These symbolic objects were created with great artistic skill by the countries that hosted the Games. They still seem to be imbued with the pride of these that had the honor of bearing them to their destination.
- “The Olympic Games” on the middle floor unveils all the secrets of the competitions and their champions, especially with the “At the heart of the run”, a 180° audiovisual show. Concentration, physical effort, friendship, joy, sadness... All these emotions experienced by the athletes are filmed in close-up and presented in a fast sequence that leaves us speechless.
- “The Olympic Spirit” on the third floor was entirely renovated at the top of 2018. It puts you within the shoes of an excellent athlete because of moving testimonies and interactive, immersive exercises. One of the highlights is the space dedicated to the medals, their symbolism encompassing both the rewards and the sacrifices. All in all, 1,500 objects, 5,000 photos, and 150 audiovisual materials are displayed to transmit the values of the Olympic Movement to all or any visitors.
- The adjacent Olympic Park and the TOM Café are the ideal - and freely accessible - places to relax. Throughout the park, there are about 40 sculptures that were inspired by Olympism, with Lake Geneva and the Alps as a beautiful backdrop. When you climb the 97 steps of the park, you can't but imagine all the athletes that overcame many obstacles before stepping onto the stage. Measure yourself against them within the sports facilities offering a 100-meter athletic track that challenges you to beat the record of Usain Bolt! Thanks to a simulation with light beams, you realize the incredible speed of the Jamaican runner.
- Tom Cafe
- La Pergola
- Anne-Sophie Pic au Beau-Rivage Palace
- Le Resto Bar
- Patinoire et Piscine de Montchoisi