St. Peter's Cathedral

Geneva, Switzerland

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 1397, the Chapelle des Macchabées was added to the original building and in 1752 the portico was added to the western facade. Interiors of the Cathedral were vastly demolished in 1535, when Geneva's residents accepted the Reformation and destroyed all the altars inside the cathedral, all the statues and most of the paintings in a rage. Luckily the Pulpit and some paintings at the tops of the pillars were preserved.

The cathedral has a old, spacious and rather plain interior, highlighted by shiny candle-like looking chandeliers, with beautiful shrine, several rows of benches and few chapels. Side aisles contains huge stone blocks - tombstones of church dignitaries from 15th and 16th centuries.

On the place of cathedral were recently found remains of basilica that was standing here previously, and mosaic paintings, walls, rooms and flooring from the buildings even several centuries older (dating back to the 4th century). All these historical findings are proving the existence of the city in the antiquity. There is a little museum made on the place of the Archaeological Site open for the public. You can see the artifacts and rooms found here, such as: The Roman Crypt, Monk's Cells, The Allobrogian Tomb and several Audio Shows portraying the history. 



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Founded: c. 1160
Category: Religious sites in Switzerland


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Senjuti Roy (18 months ago)
It was beautiful. The glass paintings on the windows were marvellous. Chapel of macca bees was very serene. There were accesses to the upper and lower part of the carhedral, but due to time crunch we skipped them (also partially because we were charged for the entry to those parts). The upper part gives a tour of the tower of the cathedral whereas the underground part gives you a glimpse of all that was excavated from there. The column structures to the architecture of the monument is breathtaking. I am not much sure about the vehicle parking facility there, but there is WC facility nearby. So overall, the experience was quite good.
Peter Meschede (18 months ago)
This place is well worth the visit. Make sure to climb the spiral staircase to the top for panoramic views of Geneva. The windows are also a standout including Marc Chagall contributions. Also don't miss the archeological site underneath which is a most interesting exhibit related to history of the site and development of the Geneva area and previous inhabitants. Very well preserved and presented.
Ty Davis (20 months ago)
Beautiful cathedral and the home cathedral of the famous John Calvin. Stained glass is excellent as expected. The cathedral is the size you’d expect from one build in the 15th century. If you are looking for a quick tour to be able to take pics and go, you could be in and out in less than 20 minutes.
Katherine Baker (20 months ago)
Beautiful and unique inside. Wonderful example of a protestant church after all the Catholic ones I have visited in Spain and Italy. Tower worth the climb as the views are amazing out across the lake and the old town. Make sure to keep going up too!
Tamanna Halim (21 months ago)
A friend and I were exploring the city and upon leaving the church we spoke to a lady who then walked us around and informed us of other places to see. The generous woman also offered to buy us drinks/food at Manor before we parted ways. We kindly refused but she was lovely. What a wonderful woman.
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