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In the former residence of Voltaire, a museum has stood since 1952. Principally a centre of research on the philosopher and the 18th century, it houses old editions, manuscripts, paintings, drawings and sculptures. Articles belonging to Voltaire himself are on display giving you a fascinating taste of the day-to-day life of the author. The library can be used by appointment in the mornings. The mansion is on the grounds of the Parc des Délices which Voltaire himself described as "Les jardins d'Epicure". Admission is free at the Institut et Musée Voltaire.
Located close to La Cathédrale St Pierre, on the ground floor of the Maison Mallet, Musée international de la Réforme is a must visit in Geneva. It houses paintings, manuscripts, unique objects, rare books and engravings regarding Geneva's reformation. You can also avail of the guided tours conducted by the museum. Temporary exhibitions take place occasionally as well. Call or visit their website for more details.
For a cultural experience, the Musée d'Ethnographie de Genève, abbreviated to MEG, is the perfect place to be. Conferences about cultural exchanges take place a few times a year and are animated by experts of the field. Exhibitions are organized throughout the year and workshops on different subjects are also offered. To attend these workshops, prior reservation is a must. The exhibitions focus on societies and cultures the visitor can relate to as well as older civilizations. After a visit at the museum, ethnography, which once was a puzzling word, becomes crystal clear.
The Musée d’Art et d’Histoire (Museum of Art and History) is Geneva's prime museum, which houses both permanent and temporary exhibitions. Its permanent art collection is particularly centered around Alpine and lake scenes, portraits by Ferdinand Hodler, and works by some of the most famous artists associated with Switzerland, including Giacometti. The fine arts wing also contains works by Rodin, Cézanne and others. Other areas of the museum comprise an applied arts area (silverware and furniture) and the museum expands its show area to an elegant courtyard in the summer. There's also a bookshop, filled with research material on related subjects. Check website to know more about exhibitions and upcoming events to be held here. Entry to the permanent exhibits is free, but you will be charged for touring the temporary collection.
Natural History Museum of Geneva is one of the largest of its kind in Switzerland and has become very popular with an average of 250,000 visitors a year. The permanent exhibition covers an enormous area with regional wildlife, including mammals and species of nesting birds), exotic wildlife, the history of the Earth (with dinosaur and extinct giant mammal skeletons) and a beautifully presented section of minerals. There is a café, a museum shop and a team of attendants ready to answer all your questions.
Located on the fringes of Geneva, Bodmer Foundation is a renowned library that also doubles as a museum. This museum features an array of original plated bookplates that date back to the 1420s. Public institutions lend out the manuscripts that correlate to their original bookplate, so visitors can see these works in their complete forms. Dürer and Jost Ammann are some of the prominent engravers that are featured.