Europe’s largest freshwater aquarium opens in Lausanne

Europe’s largest freshwater aquarium opens in Lausanne
Photo: Sedrik Nemeth
More than 6,500 people rushed to visit Lausanne’s new attraction, Aquatis, on its opening weekend.
Europe’s largest freshwater aquarium-vivarium opened on Saturday, October 21st, after 15 years in the planning. 
The attendance figures “went beyond our hopes. We are very happy,” director Angélique Vallée-Sygut told news agency ATS.
Aquatis is the first tourist attraction in Switzerland dedicated to ecosystems and sustainable development. Showcasing freshwater environments across the planet, it aims to “stimulate reflection and a new awareness among visitors of the importance of protecting aquatic environments”, says the aquarium’s website. 
Photo: Sedrik Nemeth
The aquarium is spread over 3,500m2 and two floors, comprising a permanent exhibition and two temporary exhibition spaces.
The first floor is dedicated to Europe, including the Swiss Alps, the Rhône area and the Mediterranean. 
Upstairs, visitors can discover freshwater environments from other continents, including the Mekong river, the Amazon, the Congo and African lakes. 
Aquatis comprises 46 separate tanks and will, when fully stocked, be home to 10,000 fish and around 100 reptiles and amphibians, of 200 different species.
Currently the aquarium is missing around a quarter of its inhabitants, according to La Tribune de Genève
Some rare fish are still in quarantine, while others can only be transported in cold weather, said the paper.
Located in the Vennes area of Lausanne, the aquarium is part of a complex that also includes a hotel. Building work on the complex started in 2013 and the Aquatis Hotel & Conference Centre opened in 2015. 
The aquarium hopes to welcome 450,000 visitors a year.
Tickets are 29 francs per adult and 19 francs per child. Children under five go free.
Photo: Sedrik Nemeth