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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Geneva’s expansion under Guillaume-Henri Dufour

Born in Konstanz (Wurtemberg, Germany) of emigrated Geneva citizens, educated at the Ecole Polytechnique of Paris, after serving Napoleon as an officer until 1817, Dufour returns to Geneva where the local authorities entrust him with the first modernization of the city. He modifies the banks of the River Rhone, creates new streets, is a co-founder of the International Red Cross, saves the country at risk during a severe crisis in 1847 thus becoming a major figure in the Swiss national history.

This walk invites you to an insight into the numerous achievements of this outstanding personality.

 

 

Guide: Marlyse Beldi
Registration with the guide is mandatory.

 

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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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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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