Prestigious hotels around the bay of Geneva

Geneva was an international  city of traders since the Middle Ages. Accomodation was needed for businessmen and pilgrims on their way from northern to southern Europe. In the 19th century, after Jean-Jacques Rousseau and with the Romantic movement, the contemplation of nature became important for the travellers who found the necessary comfort in luxurious hotels built by the lakeside between 1830 and 1950. Today, most of these hotels have been adapted to the needs of modern comfort and some of them have kept their original seduction. Internationally famous personalities, from heads of state to artists, have filled their guestbooks or left testimonies of their impression of the protestant Rome in their correspondence or publications. The visitor captures the music of these remembrances.

 

Guide: Marlyse Beldi
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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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Meeting the History of Geneva in the Parc des Bastions

At first entitled the Belle Promenade, the parc des Bastions has been thoroughly modified when the military fortifications were dismantled in the 19th century. Today it is a favourite meeting place for the Genevans. The Reformation Wall on one side faces the old University building on the opposite side of this green lung of 64968 square meters of lawn, flower beds and walks lined with trees in the center of the city. While the Town Hall reminds us of an Italian mansion at the upper end, an ornate wrought-iron gate leads to the place Neuve at the lower end, where chess players gather during the summer months. Some of the most famous scientists, humanists, theologians and politicians are remembered in this garden. A quiet stroll along the meandering paths around various memorials and sculptures will allow you to meet them.

Guide: Marlyse Beldi
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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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