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27 Jan 2008

Geneva - Attractions Guide

List of most of the attractions in Geneva with quick information:

SG01 City: Geneva
Name of Attraction: Carouge
Details: This little artisan town, 2km (1 mile) south of the city centre, is full of book and antique restorers, glass blowers, watchmakers, clothes designers, hatters, bistros and restaurants. In 1772, the people of Turin (the capital of the kingdom of Sardinia) came to set up a town to rival Geneva. Carouge changed hands frequently but, in 1816, the town was annexed to Geneva and became Swiss.
Its architecture remains Italianate in style and the narrow streets are straight and orderly, with apartments looking onto wide, green courtyards. Many are open to the public, such as the courtyard of Rue Vautier (opposite number 43) and the courtyard of the Musée de Carouge.
Location: Carouge
Musée de Carouge
Place de Sardaigne 2
Tel: (022) 342 3383.
Website: www.carouge.ch
Website: www.ville-ge.ch/geneve/culture/musees/musees/carouge.htm
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 1400-1800.
Free admission.

SG02 City: Geneva
Name of Attraction: Cathédral de St Pierre (St Peter’s Cathedral)
Details: Built between 1160 and 1289, St Peter’s Cathedral is surprisingly small. Even more surprising is its combination of Romanesque, Gothic, and neo-classical styles. The austerity of the main body of the church is wholly appropriate for a building in which John Calvin preached (1536-1564). However, the 15th-century Chapel of the Maccabees, restored in 1875, is a riot of gilded embellishment against blue and red grounds that recall the decoration of Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch by William Burges. The neo-classical façade was added in 1750. Under the cathedral is one of Europe’s largest underground archaeological sites with some good 14th-century mosaics, while the top of the north tower offers fine views over the old town and lake.
Location: Cour St-Pierre
Tel: (022) 311 7575.
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 1000-1200 and 1400-1700, Sun 1100-1230 and 1330-1700 (Oct-May), Mon-Sat 0900-1900 and Sun 1100-1900 (Jun-Sep).
Free admission, charge for the tower.

SG03 City: Geneva
Name of Attraction: Jardin Anglais (English Garden) and Horloge Fleurie (Flower Clock)
Details: The English Garden, dating from 1854, is home to the Monument National, a statue of two young women – the ‘Republic of Geneva’ and ‘Helvetia’, symbolising Geneva’s attachment to the Swiss Confederation on 12 September 1814. Within the park there is an elegant bronze fountain and L’Horloge Fleurie (Flower Clock) (decorated with over 6,300 plants) that was installed in 1955 to honour Geneva’s watch-making industry. The clock is the largest in the world – 5m (16.4ft) in diameter and 17.7m (58ft) in circumference. Its second hand advances nearly 27cm (10.6 inches) per second.
Location: Quai Général Guisan
Opening hours: Daily 24 hours.
Free admission.

SG04 City: Geneva
Name of Attraction: Jardin Botanique (Botanical Gardens)
Details: Geneva’s world-renowned Botanical Gardens were created by the botanist A P de Candolle, in the Parc des Bastions in 1817. Relocated to their present site in 1901, the 28-hectare (69-acre) gardens have greenhouses with tropical plants from six continents, a pond brimming with aquatic plants, thousands of flowers, a garden of the senses, an aviary and a park of rare animals, as well as a research laboratory, herbarium collection and extensive library.
Location: Chemin de l’Impératrice 1, Chambésy
Tel: (022) 418 5100.
Website: www.cjb.unige.ch
Opening hours: Daily 0930-1700 (Oct-Mar), daily 0800-1930 (Apr-Sep).
Free admission.

SG05 City: Geneva
Name of Attraction: Jet d’Eau (Water Fountain)
Details: The famed Water Fountain is the Eiffel Tower of Geneva, an impressive 140m (459ft) fountain that dominates the Geneva harbour and all modern depictions of the city. The Jet was originally the safety valve for the city’s water supply and is Europe’s tallest fountain. This water showpiece is illuminated at night, however, during the day, the fountain takes care of the special effects for itself – when the sun shines, a rainbow hovers behind the powerful jet of water, which spurts straight up into the sky at a speed of 200kph (125mph).
Location: On the Rive Gauche, off Quai Gustave Ador and the Horloge Fleurie in the Jardin Anglais
Operating hours: Daily 0930-2315 (Mar-mid-Oct), subject to weather conditions.
Free admission.

SG06 City: Geneva
Name of Attraction: Large Electron Positron Collider
Details: The world’s largest scientific instrument, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), straddles the border between Switzerland and France, just outside Geneva. Operated by CERN (European Centre for Nuclear Research), the particle accelerator lies in a 27km- (17 mile-) long tunnel. It is used to study the outcome of high-speed collision between constituent parts of atoms, mimicking (for a split second) the apparent state of the universe at the moment of its creation. The exhibition explains how particles are accelerated to near the speed of light and what has been learnt from over a decade of experiments. The LHC is due to switch on in 2007.
Location: Off the road to St Genis, France, on the Route de Meyrin
Tel: (022) 767 8484.
Website: www.cern.ch
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 0900-1700.
Free admission.

SG07 City: Geneva
Name of Attraction: Maison Tavel (Tavel House)
Details: The one-towered Tavel House is named after the noble Tavel family, who lived here in the 14th century. Today a museum, it provides an insight into the day-to-day lives of Genevois from the 14th to 19th centuries. The attic houses the Magnin Maquette of 1896, a huge relief model of Geneva before 1850, with its city walls still in place.
Location: Rue du Puits-Saint-Pierre 6
Tel: (022) 418 3700.
Website: www.ville-ge.ch/geneve/culture/musees/musees/tavel.htm
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 1000-1700.
Free admission, charge for temporary exhibitions.

SG08 City: Geneva
Name of Attraction: MAMCO (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art)
Details: Situated in a former factory, this museum extends over four floors that are best visited from top to bottom. One of the permanent displays is L’Appartement, a faithful reproduction of a Parisian collector’s flat, for which he has loaned his own furniture, paintings and sculptures.
Location: Rue des Vieux-Grenadiers 10
Tel: (022) 320 6122.
Website: www.mamco.ch
Opening hours: Tues-Fri 1200-1800, Sat-Sun 1100-1800, closed Mon.
Admission charge.

SG09 City: Geneva
Name of Attraction: Mur des Réformateurs (Reformation Wall)
Details: Construction of the 60ft (18m) Reformation Wall began in 1909, on the 400th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin. The monument is dedicated to the four figures central to the Reformation movement – John Calvin (1509-64), Théodore de Bèze (1513-1605), John Knox (1513-72) and Guillaume Farel (1549-65).
Location: Parc des Bastions
Opening hours: Dawn to dusk.
Free admission.

SG10 City: Geneva
Name of Attraction: Musée d’Art et d’Histoire (Museum of Art and History)
Details: The Museum of Art and History presents a multidiscipline approach to history (from prehistoric times to the present) through important collections of fine art, archaeology and applied art, including arms and armour, costumes and musical instruments. The most celebrated work is Konrad Witz’s early 15th-century painting, La Pêche Miraculeuse.
Location: Rue Charles-Galland 2
Tel: (022) 418 2600.
Opening hours: Tues-Sun 1000-1700.
Free admission.

SG11 City: Geneva
Name of Attraction: Musée de l’Horlogerie et de l’Émaillerie (Clock and Watch Museum)
Details: Set in an attractive Palladian townhouse, this museum traces the development of Genevois clock making, which began in the 17th century and reached its height in 1785. Of particular interest is the watch that was owned and made by Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s grandfather (in the form of a skull that splits in half to reveal the time) and an astronomic automated clock made in 1711.
Location: Route de Malagnou 15
Tel: (022) 418 6470.
Website: www.ville-ge.ch/geneve/culture/musees/musees/horlogerie.htm
Opening hours: The museum is currently closed to the public. It will reopen in 2009.
Free admission, charge for temporary exhibitions.

SG12 City: Geneva
Name of Attraction: Musée International de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge (International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum)
Details: With a powerful combination of audiovisuals, sculpture, computers and documentation, this extraordinary museum tells the story of the founding of the Red Cross by Henry Dunant, as well as its present humanitarian actions. It is Geneva’s most impressive and original museum. The Café Dinant also is a multimedia area.
Location: Avenue de la Paix 17
Tel: (022) 748 9525.
Website: www.micr.org
Opening hours: Daily 1000-1700, closed Tues.
Admission charge.

SG13 City: Geneva
Name of Attraction: Palais des Nations (Palace of Nations)
Details: This vast building, designed in the form of a double horseshoe and set in a park with century-old trees, is the largest United Nations centre after New York. It was built between 1929 and 1937 to host the League of Nations, the precursor to the UN. Visits are extremely popular and allow entrance to certain conference rooms (including the Council Room with frescoes by José Maria Sert, and the Assembly Hall) and an opportunity to sign the Livre d’Or, the golden book of peace.
Location: Avenue de la Paix 14
Tel: (022) 917 4896.
Website: www.unog.ch
Opening hours: Daily 1000-1200 and 1400-1600, 1000-1700 (Jul-Aug). Tours are available, and must be booked in advance. ID is necessary.
Admission charge.

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