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Notable Architecture

Top Rated Attractions in Geneva

Search Radius (Miles)
CERN

In one of the world's largest centers of nuclear research, there are several possibilities of discovering the world of 7000 scientists from 80 countries. By reserving in advance at CERN, a half-day visit to one of the world's largest research centers, Cern, can be arranged. It is not necessary to make reservations for the Microcosm exhibit, in which it is possible to view videos, models, original equipment and computer games. The Globe of Science and Innovation, a visitor center featuring striking architecture, is located in the vicinity of the institution.

Old City (Vieille Ville)

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.

St. Pierre Cathedral

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.

Le Jet d'Eau

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.

Nyon Castle

Throughout its history, Nyon Castle has been used for many purposes. Originally an administrative building in the House of Savoy, it has since been a courthouse, prison, and now a beautiful museum that offers visitors a little bit of everything from history to portraiture to a permanent exhibition of fine Swiss porcelain that was created in the municipality of Nyon between 1781 and 1813. Completely restored as of 2006, visitors can view the entire building floor-by-floor, beginning in the basement then working their way up, passing old prison cells, as well as wonderful art and architecture along the way.

Palais des Nations

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson chose Geneva as the headquarters of the League of Nations, predecessor to the United Nations. Construction on the Palais des Nations, or Palace of Nations, began a decade later and continued until 1938. Peacefully nestled in heart of the picturesque Parc de l'Ariana, the Palais de Nations has been home to the United Nations Office at Geneva since 1946. As its name suggests, the Palace of Nations dedicates itself to aiding in global peace, security, human rights, disarmament, humanitarian aid, and economic and social development. It holds one of the most important international conference centers in the world, numbering over 7000 sessions per year. The chambers of this courtly ivory-white edifice are a place of iconic historic negotiations. Frequented by hundreds of thousands of delegates every year, the Palace of Nations is a striking torchbearer of diplomacy and world peace.

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