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One of the oldest art museums in the country, this grand institution is the pick of the city's museums. Musée Rath is devoted to temporary exhibitions, and showcases the best of contemporary Swiss as well as international art. Established in 1826, Musee Rath was the only dedicated art museum of the time. Besides their rotating exhibitions, the museum has a splendid collection of historic fine art. Visit the website for admission prices and more.
Housed inside Bâtiment d'art Contemporain- which was previously a factory, Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain is a state-of-the-art facility for showcasing contemporary artworks. It was established in 1994 and is spread across 4000 square meters (43056 square feet) which enables it to showcase more than 3000 artworks at a time. Out of these, the museum permanently hosts 1300, whereas, the rest are temporary exhibits of works by national and international artists. Some of the classic collections of the museum include the Black mirror space by French artist Bernar Venet, drawings and projects of Corridor Store Front by Christo and collection of more than sixteen thousand cubes of different sizes and colors made by Robert Filliou. Call for more information.
The Maison Tavel is the oldest standing private house in Geneva. The house, which was burnt down in 1334 and rebuilt shortly afterwards, is listed as a historical monument. Visit the cellar and its archaeological ruins, then go up to the ground floor to discover Geneva from the Middle Ages to the Restoration. On the first floor paintings, engravings and photographs depict the evolution of the city, and in the main hall woodwork, locksmithing and ironwork by Genevan craftsmen of the 17th and 18th Centuries are exhibited.
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.
Having aged gracefully over more than 850 years, this magnificent cathedral lies nestled in Geneva's Old Town. Its interiors set alight by chandeliers, this cathedral boasts ornate chapels like the Chapel of Maccabee adorned with Gothic frescoes, and side aisles bearing tomb stones of various luminaries of the church. In addition, its majestic capitals draw influences from the Romanesque and Gothic styles of architecture, and are some of the largest in the whole of Switzerland. Not only is this cathedral a solemn dedication to Saint Pierre, but it is also a stirring emblem of Roman Protestantism. A steep climb through a labyrinthine spiral staircase leads to two imposing towers which serve as an outstanding vantage point over the shimmering blue Geneva Lake, charming brown-roofed buildings and the iconic Jet d'Eau. North of this grand structure lies the extensive International Museum of Reformation, which is a stirring insight into theology, and what life looked like after reformation.
With a pleasant combination of art galleries, bistros, bric-a-brac and antique shops, the Old City area is popular with tourists and Geneva's younger crowd. You can easily mix shopping with a bit of sightseeing in the area. Art galleries show a surprising range of styles from ancient Chinese and Japanese pots, primitive to impressionism, and all the while in attractive, bright spaces. While the medley of tiny shops makes the Old City particularly appealing for impulse purchases, a large department store in this area provides a good selection of necessities. Less hectic than other parts of the city, it is the perfect place to browse at a leisurely pace and then enjoy a cheese fondue or other regional cuisine. Pause to view the splendid Hôtel de Ville and Maison Tavel along the way. Shoppers can also admire the beautiful architecture and charming ancient streets that beg to be explored.
Located at the intersection of rue Verdaine, rue des Chaudronniers, and rue Étienne-Dumont is the Place du Bourg-de-Four, a bustling town square in Geneva's Old Town. This place draws its historic significance from the historic buildings that surround it; though bearing picturesque, pastel-hued facades with flower-laden windows, at one time these buildings were originally raised to shelter European refugees from across Europe. The square is within close proximity to noteworthy attractions like the Palais de Justice and St. Pierre Cathedral, the largest church in the city. Surrounding the Place du Bourg-de-Four are gelateria, cafés, book stores, art galleries, bars, and bistros which promise a buoyant and enjoyable atmosphere through the day. Once the site of a significant cattle market, the square also offers high-end shopping to today's visitors.
Paris has the Eiffel Tower, New York the Statue of Liberty, and Geneva the Jet d'Eau. Resting at the convergence of Lake Geneva and the Rhone, Jet d'Eau is one of the most recognizable emblems of the city. The original fountain was installed in the late-19th Century not far from the current location, where the fountain's ambitious plumes soar as if to embrace the sky. Although built for practical purposes, this fountain has now come to command much appreciation for its ability to augment Geneva's cityscape, and to leave visitors gazing in awe at its sheer glory. With its gushing waters soaring to the height of 140 meters (459 feet) every second, Jet d'Eau has become an epitome of dynamism to the people of Geneva. An engineering feat par excellence, the fountain metamorphoses into a dazzling, luminescent wonder come night.
The Musée Ariana (Ariana Museum), also known as Musée Suisse de la Céramique et du Verre, is housed in an exquisite palace built between 1877 and 1884 and is well worth visiting in its own right. The museum has one of the richest and finest collections of ceramic and glassware in Europe and is the only museum of its kind in Switzerland. The collection's approximate 20,000 pottery, stoneware, earthenware and porcelain objects, as well as some glass objects span seven centuries, from the Middle Ages to the present day in Europe, the Near East and Asia. The museum also holds temporary exhibitions in its basement throughout the year.
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum recounts the history of the Red Cross movement through various exhibition spaces that cover the inception of the first idea and the organization's role throughout history (especially during the two World Wars) all the way to the current issues the Red Cross is dealing with today. Along with temporary exhibits, the permanent collection focuses on three major contemporary issues: dignity, family ties and environmental risks. A plethora of activities are organized here, making your trip to this museum an entertaining and educative one.