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

Robert Davies (4 months ago)
Visited in early January so no point climbing the stairs as it was a dreary snowy day , but brightened up by this place , wow! And stuck in the middle of the old town being the latter day hub of the community. A must visit in Geneva
Melissa McCall (4 months ago)
Beautiful cathedral and a must-do viewing tower to see the stunning landscape of Geneva. The stairs to get up are very narrow and steep. It only takes around 3 minutes to climb to the top so not as bad as it seems, and worth it when you get to the top. Reasonable price for a great tourist attraction. Cost around 11 CHF for one adult and one child
K P (4 months ago)
St. Pierre Cathedral stands as a remarkable architectural marvel, showcasing centuries of craftsmanship and artistic brilliance. The soaring spires and intricate details of the facade create a visual spectacle that captures the imagination from the outset. The interior, with its grand vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows, offers a tranquil space for spiritual contemplation. Despite the cathedral's undeniable beauty, my recent visit on Christmas Eve was marked by a regrettable incident. As the only brown individuals in attendance, we couldn't help but notice a lack of diversity. While the architectural magnificence was undeniably present, the experience was marred when, upon returning choir booklets, a lady volunteer exhibited an unfortunate lack of warmth. Her strange stare and the abrupt manner in which she pulled the booklet from our hands left a lasting negative impression. Despite this unfortunate incident, St. Pierre Cathedral remains a must-visit for those appreciating architectural wonders and seeking a glimpse into Geneva's rich history. It is my hope that future visitors encounter a more inclusive and welcoming atmosphere.
janina .cz (5 months ago)
A huge (gothic) cathedral with a view. There some 160 stairs to the top, the staircases are super narrow and operated by traffic lights. You can see the church roof both from inside and outside, you can check the bells too. The towers are definitely worth the visit (for a small fee 5-7chf, paid inside the church).
Daniel Dantas (6 months ago)
Beautiful cathedral very well maintenance and with amazing painted glass windows. Free to enter but you need to pay 15€ to go up the towers. Super worth it, beautiful views of Genebra and the lake and a unique way to explore the cathedral towers and ceiling
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