Along the waterside of Geneva

We shall walk from the Rousseau island to the “Jonction” where the rivers Rhone and Arve meet. Along the way, unexpected spots of untouched nature, testimonies of the industrial and agricultural past of the city, modern constructions on the right bank of the river will be shown to you.

Guide: Evelyn Riedener
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The Archaeological Site of Saint Peter’s Cathedral

The archaeological excavations under Saint-Peter’s cathedral cover more than 2000 years of Geneva history. Remains of prehistoric and Roman settlements, the corpse of a Celtic chief or saint, important remains of religious buildings erected since the beginning of the Christian period showing the emergence of Christianity during the 4th century, baptisteries and the apse of the cathedral of the year 1000. Every step lets you discover the importance of Geneva in former times.

Guide: Evelyn Riedener
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Saint Peter of Geneva, a general presentation of the cathedral

The first bishop-prince of Geneva, Arducius de Faucigny, initiated the reconstruction of the cathedral during the second half of the twelfth century with the help of his Chapter. Its rich decoration dating from the fifteenth century disappeared when the citizens of Geneva adopted the Reformation in 1536. The Greco-Roman façade was added in the middle of the eighteenth century. Once you enter inside its walls, you will immediately feel the “spirit of the age of cathedrals”. Saint-Peter’s cathedral is not the first church on this location. Under the present building, you will discover one of the largest subterranean archaeological sites of Europe. Recently, the archaeologists have probably unearthed the first oratory dating back to the middle of the fourth century.

Guide: Evelyn Riedener
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Henry Dunant and the Red Cross, the beginning of the international humanitarian vocation of Geneva

When Henry Dunant wrote “A Memory of Solferino” (1862), he could not fancy that only fifty years later the Red Cross would be involved in actions on every continent except Australasia. During our tour through the Old Town of Geneva, you will see, among others, Dunant’s birth place, the former headquarter of the future ICRC, the house in which “A Memory of Solferino” was written and the famous ” Alabama room”. You can pursue the tour with the visit of the International Museum of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent. For further information on this museum, consult www.micr.ch.

Guide: Evelyn Riedener
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The International District, the UN building with its special agencies and other international organizations

To accommodate the delegations meeting during the sessions of the League of Nations after First World War and those of the European seat of the United Nations with its thousands of diplomats after World War II, the Canton authorities provided facilities to the west of the city around the park of the Ariana. Before its integration into the city, this hill had been used as a resort as early as the end of the seventeenth century when rich families spent a few weeks there in their summer houses. Old properties have been restored and new office buildings have been erected on former farm-land of this now densely populated suburb. The tour intends to show the radical transformation of this area during the past century and the main international organizations.

Guide: Evelyn Riedener
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Historical visit of the Old Town

Geneva is mentioned in the De Bello gallico as the Roman town visited by Julius Cesar in 58 B.C. In the Middle Ages a bishop-prince presides over its political destiny and its international trade fairs. During the sixteenth century, Calvin transforms it into an Republic “humiliated under God”. It is recognized as a major intellectual centre in the Age of Enlightenment. It welcomes the first Peace Movement in the nineteenth century. The International Red Cross is simultaneously founded by a group of its citizens in 1863. The League of Nations chose it for its headquarters at the end of World War I. Remnants of all these periods are shown during a pleasant walk in the Old Town.

Guide: Evelyn Riedener
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