Top Historic Sights in Geneva, Switzerland

Explore the historic highlights of Geneva

Calvin Auditory

The Calvin Auditory (Auditoire de Calvin), originally the Notre-Dame-la-Neuve Chapel, played a significant role in the Protestant Reformation. It is associated with John Calvin, Theodore Beza and John Knox. The auditorium lies directly adjacent to St. Pierre Cathedral in the Place de la Taconnerie. The austere Gothic-style building was constructed in the 15th century, on the site of earlier 5th-century religi ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Geneva, Switzerland

St. Peter's Cathedral

The St. Peter"s Cathedral in Geneva is known as the adopted home church of John Calvin, one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation. Inside the church is a wooden chair used by Calvin. St. Peter"s Cathedral was build between years 1160-1252, on the place where previously used to stand basilica from the 6th century. Cathedral was rebuilded several times, last reconstructions took place in 18th century. In ...
Founded: c. 1160 | Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Reformation Wall

The International Monument to the Reformation, usually known as the Reformation Wall, honours many of the main individuals, events, and documents of the Protestant Reformation by depicting them in statues and bas-reliefs. The Wall is in the grounds of the University of Geneva, which was founded by John Calvin, and was built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Calvin"s birth and the 350th anniversary of ...
Founded: 1909 | Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Patek Philippe Museum

Patek Phillipe Museum is noble and prestigious private museum mapping the history of luxury watchmaking, since 16th century up to present. Huge collection of precious clocks and watches make the visit of museum artistic experience. Antoni Patek was Polish watchmaking pioneer, who settled in Switzerland in 1834, after career in millitary. Interested in art and trading, with good connections in Paris, he soon got into luxu ...
Founded: 19th century | Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Brunswick Monument

The Brunswick Monument is a mausoleum built in 1879 in Geneva to commemorate the life of Charles II, Duke of Brunswick (1804–1873). He bequeathed his fortune to the city of Geneva in exchange for a monument to be built in his name, specifying that it be a replica of the Scaliger Tombs in Verona, Italy. Linguist, musician and knight, the Duke of Brunswick, Charles d’Este-Guelph, was a unique individual indeed. ...
Founded: 1879 | Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Musée Rath

The Musée Rath is an art museum in Geneva, used exclusively for temporary exhibitions. It is the oldest purpose-built art museum in Switzerland. The museum was built between 1824 and 1826 by the architect Samuel Vaucher on behalf of the Société des arts. It was partly paid for with funds that General Simon Rath (1766–1819) had bequeathed to his sisters, Jeanne-Françoise and Henriette Rath, for such a purpose ...
Founded: 1824 | Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Basilica of Our Lady of Geneva

The Basilica Notre-Dame of Geneva is the main Roman Catholic church in Geneva. The church was built according to the design of Alexandre Grigny between 1852 and 1857 on the site of a former stronghold fortifications. This neo-Gothic building, whose appearance is partly inspired by the Beauvais Cathedral, could break ground thanks to the city of Geneva, which had ceded land to religious communities to build places ...
Founded: 1852-1857 | Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Museum of Art and History

The Musée d’Art et d’Histoire (Museum of Art and History) is the largest art museum in Geneva. It was built by the architect Marc Camoletti between 1903 and 1910, and financed by a bequest from the banker Charles Galland (1816–1901). The façade is decorated with sculptures by Paul Amlehn: an allegory of the arts, depicting painting, sculpture, drawing and architecture, is mounted on the triangular gable a ...
Founded: 1903 | Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Palace of Nations

The Palace of Nations is the home of the United Nations Office at Geneva. It was built between 1929 and 1938 to serve as the headquarters of the League of Nations. The palace was at the time of completion the second-largest building complex in Europe after Versailles. The Palace is located in Ariana Park, which was bequeathed to the City of Geneva in 1890 by Gustave de Revilliod de la Rive, on several conditions: ...
Founded: 1929-1938 | Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Musée Ariana

The Musée Ariana is devoted to ceramic and glass artwork, and contains around 20,000 objects from the last 1,200 years, representing the historic, geographic, artistic and technological breadth of glass and ceramic manufacture during this time. Built between 1877 and 1884, the museum is shaped by Neo-Classical and Neo-Baroque elements and is situated near the Palace of Nations. It was built to house the privat ...
Founded: 1877 | Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Saint-Gervais Church

Saint-Gervais protestant church is built on the foundations of a 4th century sanctuary and a 10th century Romanesque church. During the Reformation, the church became a place of Protestant worship. The archaeological site can be visited which includes the remains of a Gallo-Roman temple and the first proof of human presence on Genevan soil.
Founded: 10th century | Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Russian Church

The Russian Church is a historic Russian orthodox church in Geneva. Grand Duchess Anna Fyodorovna, who resided in Bern and Geneva after she chose to separate from Grand Duke Constantine, gave funds to build the church in 1863; it was designed by David Grimm and completed in 1866 in the fashionable Les Tranchées neighborhood of Geneva. The Russian revival church with its Byzantine striped arches and gold onion do ...
Founded: 1863-1866 | Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Cimetière des Rois

The Cimetière des Rois (Cemetery of Kings), is a cemetery in Geneva where John Calvin (the Protestant reformer), Jorge Luis Borges (the Argentine author), Sérgio Vieira de Mello (the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights), Ernest Ansermet (renowned Swiss conductor), and Jean Piaget (the noted developmental psychologist and epistemologist) are buried. The composer Frank Martin, Humphry Davy,  ...
Founded: 1482 | Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Immeuble Clarté

Immeuble Clarté is an apartment building in Geneva designed by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret starting from 1928 and built in 1931-32. It has eight storeys and comprises 45 free plan units of diverse configurations and sizes. It is one of Le Corbusier"s key early projects in which he explored the principles of modernist architecture in apartment buildings, which later led to the Unité d"Habita ...
Founded: 1928-1932 | Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Voltaire Museum

The Institut et Musée Voltaire is a museum in Geneva dedicated to the life and works of Voltaire. The museum is housed in Les Délices, which was Voltaire"s home from 1755 until 1760. The property was bought by the city of Geneva in 1929, and the museum opened in 1952, founded by Theodore Besterman. It contains about 25,000 volumes on Voltaire and the 18th century as well as a collection of paintings and ...
Founded: 1755 | Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Château des Ducs de Bretagne

The Château des ducs de Bretagne (Castle of the Dukes of Brittany) is a large castle located in Nantes. It served as the centre of the historical province of Brittany until its separation in 1941. It was the residence of the Dukes of Brittany between the 13th and 16th centuries, subsequently becoming the Breton residence of the French Monarchy. Today the castle houses the Nantes History Museum.

The restored edifice now includes the new Nantes History Museum, installed in 32 of the castle rooms. The museum presents more than 850 objects of collection with the aid of multimedia devices. The castle and the museum try to offer a modern vision of the heritage by presenting the past, the present and the future of the city. Night-time illuminations at the castle further reinforce the revival of the site. The 500-metre round walk on the fortified ramparts provides views not just of the castle buildings and courtyards but also of the town.