Victoria Hall, built at the end of the 19th Century in honor of the English queen, is a magnificent concert hall that is both luxurious and acoustically brilliant. Built for classical concerts, the hall is the venue of choice for city-based as well as visiting orchestra groups across the country. The ornate decorative elements and regal ambiance of the hall enhance the performances hosted here. A wide range of cultural events are conducted here throughout the year, which you can't afford to miss. Visit the website for details about upcoming performances.
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.
The Stade de Genève (Geneva Stadium) is a massive stadium with seats for 30,000. It hosts the national soccer team as well as concerts. Entertainment and excitement are the specialties of this fabulous arena. Built in 2001, several national level games have been played at this stadium, including the National League A Winter Classic. Check out the website for more details.
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.
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.
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.
Founded in 1981, Andata Ritorno is a contemporary art gallery that has given its space to a number of emerging artistes since its inception. The center is dedicated to promoting fresh talent and has the workshops of several artists as well. Some of the artists to have displayed their art here include Gianni Motti, Yan Duyvendak, Guy Limone and Qui Jie.
In the loft of the old food market on Ile Rousseau, which in effect floats over the river Rhône, is a very different sort of bookshop/gallery: off-beat comic books, a coffee bar the size of a church organ, modern ("art nouveau") painting and print exhibitions and displays of original comic book plates, plus art books, colored writing paper and writing/artists materials, music CDs and posters. Cross the footbridge onto the island just off the bus terminal at Place Mollard, walk through the arcade towards the cafe at the prow, up the stairs and voilà, you've reached Papier Gras!
This beautiful old synagogue was built in 1859 when the Genevan government finally allowed minorities to build religious buildings within the city walls. Beth Yaakov or La Grande Synagogue, as it is popularly called, has been listed as a historical monument and was recently renovated according to its original design. Its style is Byzantine, it has a large dome and its facade is striped pale orange and white. Services are held according to Ashkenazi rituals.
Sponsored by Geneva's Department of Cultural Affairs, Halle Nord is a non-profit interactive arts space that seeks to promote contemporary local artists. Sandwiched between a gallery and an art center, the Halle is more of a laboratory, a place of experimentation and expression. In addition to frequent performances and community events, it hosts about fifteen temporary group and solo exhibits each year, all with the goal of facilitating important interactions between ground-breaking Swiss artists and its broader public.
Founded in 1835 by François Bartholoni, Conservatoire de Musique de Genève is a premiere music school located in downtown Geneva. It also enjoys the honor of being the oldest institution dedicated to education in the field of music in the country. The internationally acclaimed music event, Geneva International Music Competition was formed at this very prestigious institute in 1939. The place plays host to several music events and concerts throughout the year.