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Cathedrals of Christmas

Lausanne's cathedral is one of several ancient buildings which dominate the skyline of Lausanne.

(Lausanne Tourism)

Classical Christmas music will once again ring out from churches across the country on December 24, 25 and 26. The cathedrals in Zurich, Basel, Bern and Lausanne are among the most inspiring concert venues.

Lausanne's Notre Dame cathedral is one of the most impressive Gothic structures in Switzerland. The cathedral's choir and orchestra will perform Bach's Christmas Cantata on Christmas Eve beginning at 10 pm.

The Cathedral organist, Jean-Christophe Geiser, will play Bach on Christmas Day beginning at 5pm. Entry to both concerts is free.

Concertgoers will equally be inspired by the 12th century building's elegant turrets and spire, and an acclaimed stained glass rose window found in the south façade.

There'll be more Bach on Christmas Eve at Basel's cathedral, which looms over the old town from a hill above the Rhine. Rebuilt after a 14th century earthquake, it houses Romanesque reliefs and the tomb of the Renaissance humanist, Erasmus.

At Zurich's Fraumünster, a panpipe Christmas concert will be held at 10 am on December 24. The set piece in the church is a series of 10-metre high choir windows, dating from the 13th century. They display stunning stained glass by Marc Chagall.

Christmas concerts are being given at Bern's cathedral on December 23 and 26. The cathedral towers above a large cobblestone square, and is entered through a central portal depicting a fine Gothic sculpture of the Last Judgement. The cathedral also boasts the highest spire in the country.


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