Lausanne is one of the biggest and most important cities in the francophone part of Switzerland. It stands next to Lake Geneva, at the foot of the Jura mountains. Originally a Roman outpost, the city was controlled by the Dukes of Savoy and Bishop of Lausanne during most of the early-modern periods. A relatively calm city, it has gained fame in recent times for its great post-secondary schools and universities, its high level of culture, and the political awareness of its citizens.
One of the best attractions in Lausanne is its cathedral, Notre-Dame de Lausanne. This is the seat of the bishop of Lausanne, who once had such influence in the affairs of the city. The Lausanne Olympic museum is another attraction, celebrating the city's longstanding involvement with the Olympics as the site of the International Olympic Committee's headquarters. Another great attraction is Art Brut Collection, one of the biggest museums in Europe dedicated to what is known in the USA as "outsider art".