Palace of Nations

Geneva, Switzerland

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: i.a. that the park always remain accessible to the public and that he be buried in the park. The park also contains a 1668 chalet.

Beneath the Palace of Nations's foundation stone is a time capsule containing a document listing the names of the League of Nations member states, a copy of the Covenant of the League, and specimen coins of all the countries represented at the league's Tenth Assembly. A medal showing the Palace of Nations with the Jura Mountains in the background was struck in silvered bronze.

The building overlooks Lake Geneva and has a clear view of the French Alps.

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Founded: 1929-1938
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Switzerland

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

andreas S (2 years ago)
A great place to get an intense impression of the UNITED NATIONS' glory, history, tremendous efforts and achievements for humanity - despite all those denying or neglecting that... highly recommend the guided tours !
Siddarth Rupani (2 years ago)
A must visit if you are visiting Geneva. If you are looking to not go inside but just spend time outside, give it 30 mins to 1 hour depending on how many photos you would like to click at the UN and the broker chair which are at the same location.
Anuradha Echambadi (2 years ago)
A really big place. But reaching it once we cross the main gates is a little confusing and especially gruelling to persons with physical disabilities. Those moving around in a wheelchair can do so very easily as accessibility is perfect. But for those not using one, very difficult. One of my friends was suggesting if they were to have some carts around for disabled people to move in and around, it would make this place the most accessible on the planet.
Duca Duke (2 years ago)
Stunningly beautiful architecture & building interiors, along with senior diplomats & ambassadors from 193 countries around the world... hard-core multilingual & multicultural, love it, wow!
rituraj gogoi (2 years ago)
An altogether superb experience wherein the seat of world power can be experienced in a beautiful surrounding. Some peaceful demonstration was going on and that added to the whole feel of the place. Felt great to see so many countries and different cultures coming together at one place. Definitely recommend and coming back again :)
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Palazzo Colonna

The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.

The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).

With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).

Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.

The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.

The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.