Lausanne, Switzerland bills itself as the Olympic city, serving as the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The city is located in southwestern Switzerland, on the banks of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman, in French). Lausanne is the capital of the French-speaking canton of Vaud, and has a population of approximately 600,000. It rivals Geneva as the intellectual and cultural center of French Switzerland, with several European writers having lived there, including Voltaire, Rousseau, Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo, Shelley, and Lord Byron. It is home to the Federal Court of Justice, and is known as a center for international fairs and conferences. Lausanne was the site of the 1922-23 peace conference at the end of World War I, at which the Treaty of Lausanne was created, between the Allies and the Ottoman Empire. In 1932, representatives from Britain, Belgium, Italy, and France met in Lausanne and agreed that the Great Depression made the continued payment of German war reparations impossible, and the Lausanne Protocol of 1932 ended those payments.
During World War I, Pierre de Coubertin felt that the IOC should be based in a neutral country and chose Switzerland, which he had frequently visited. He moved to Lausanne in 1915, and on 10 April 1915, in the Lausanne Town Hall, signed an agreement to transfer the base of operations of the IOC to Lausanne, despite objections from other IOC Members. Because of the war, the move officially occurred only in 1922, when the IOC headquarters was moved to de Coubertin’s home, Mon Repos. The IOC moved its headquarters to Château de Vidy in 1968, an older building on the banks of Lake Geneva that has since been enlarged several times to house the significantly expanded administrative staff of the IOC. The IOC has organized two Olympic Congresses (1913, 1922) in Lausanne, as well as a record number of IOC sessions.
In addition, the Olympic Museum is based in Lausanne, in the Ouchy section, about 4 miles (7 km.) from the IOC Headquarters, on a hill overlooking Lake Geneva (Lac Léman). Because of the presence of the IOC, several International Federations and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) have established their headquarters in Lausanne as well.