Luxury in Geneva

Luxury in Geneva

When international traders became bankers at the beginning of the 18th century, luxury insidiously invaded  the most exclusive areas of the city in spite of the austerity specific to  the calvinist society. The front of houses are decorated, art collections are formed, which finally ended up in the museums of the city, fashionable items such as decorated carriages are tolerated. This walk shows you how some rich citizens prided themselves upon circumventing the prevailing sumptuary laws.

 

Guide: Marlyse Beldi
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The New Look of Geneva in the 18th Century

The New Look of Geneva in the 18th Century

French architects enjoy a European reputation which reaches Geneva. Several Geneva businessmen become extremely rich at the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century. For their families, they build mansions imitating to a certain degree the taste of the French aristocracy. The tour shows you how the French model chosen by rich Geneva patricians could be adapted to the specific features of the hilly old city.

 

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The Archaeological Site of Saint Peter’s Cathedral

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

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

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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Historical visit of the Old Town

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 a Republic “humiliated under God”. It is recognised 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. Reminders of all these periods and the present evolution are shown during a pleasant walk in the Old Town.Guide: Marlyse Beldi
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