Thursday, August 11, 2016


We spend most of our leisure time getting outdoors and exploring the mountains, but we have neglected some of the more urban attractions Switzerland has to offer. And so we decided to spend a sunny Monday in Geneva, the so-called "capital of peace" as it is home to the UN and Red Cross.

We were impressed with how very clean the streets of Geneva were. We strolled through the high-end fashion shopping district and saw first hand how Geneva qualified as the third most expensive city in the world!

A clean city centre
A bit further uphill and away from the lake, we arrived in the more historic Old Town. At the heart of the old town is the Place-de-Four, the oldest square in the city. We saw St Peter's Cathedral and then headed down into the grounds of the University of Geneva to see the Reformation Wall. This 100m-long wall was built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of John Calvin's birth and it honours the main individuals, events and documents of the Protestant Reformation. It is built into the old city walls of Geneva. At the centre of the wall are four 5m-tall statues of Calvinism's main proponents: William Farel, John Calvin, Theodore Beza and John Knox.

St Peter's Cathedral

The Reformation Wall

The main Calvinist proponents at the centre of the Wall

After exploring the old and modern parts of the city, we made our way down to Lac Léman to stroll along the promenade where the Rhône leaves the lake. There we saw the Jet d'Eau, one of Geneva's most famous landmarks. Five hundred litres of water per second are jetted to a height of 140m, with the water leaving the pump nozzle at 200km/h! The first Jet d'Eau was installed in 1886 a little further downstream from its present location and the present fountain was installed in 1951.

View from the lakeside promenade

The Jet d'Eau - I can see this from my classroom!

During out visit, the Geneva Lake Festival was taking place and the waterfront was packed with stalls, arcades and mobile restaurants. We stopped off at a wine bar to enjoy a glass of champagne in Switzerland's most international city.

A wine bar at the Lake Festival


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