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

Luke Phang (4 days ago)
Out of all the churches we have visited in Europe, St Pierre is one of our favourites. It is one of the most historical cathedrals, accompanying Geneva since its birth, recording a tremendous amount of history within its walls and foundation. Not only its exterior is breathtaking, it's interior architecture is also grand and magnificent, with a gigantic organ at the back. Visitors can also climb its towers or visit the archaeological site for a fee. You can choose either or do both, but we chose to visit the archaeological site for CHF 8 per person as we are not fans of climbing towers, and it turned out to be an excellent choice. The site is situated beneath the church and you have to exit the church and climb down to find it. As history buffs, we were blown away by the sheer history of the remnants of the walls and foundation of the church, and how massive the entire archaeological site is. It is truly a humbling experience walking amidst history. Definitely a must do when you visit Geneva if you love history.
Graham Attwood (4 days ago)
Relatively plain internally if I remember correctly, though obviously quite grand from the outside. That said, if looking at from the front and on the right, just as we were leaving we happened across a highly decorated Chapel (?) which made the visit worthwhile.
Benjamin Küry (2 months ago)
Visiting the (North) Tower was the highlight for us in Geneva! It's not that heavy going up but the view is amazing! See my pictures for self explanation. We were at lunch time up there and unfortunately the water fountain was turned off. However, at around 13:00(1pm) it was turned on again.
Chris Oh! Boylesque (5 months ago)
Gothic arches, flying buttresses, baroque façades and silent stones. Come and linger in this space and allow the whispers in the air of centuries of reverence and worship surround you. Must dos: climb the tower for unbeatable views over Geneva's old Town. Must do two: check out the archeology museum under the cathedral, step back in time to 1000s of years worth of I habitation of this idyllic location.
Edwin ter Voert (12 months ago)
Nice place to visit. The church is a bit sober, but next to the exit there are beautiful coloured windows. A visit to the towers is also highly recommended.
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