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Historical

Top Rated Attractions in Oyonnax

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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 tombstones 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 the 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.

Place du Bourg-de-Four

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.

Reformation Wall

Massive and austere, this five-meter (16-foot) tall and 100-meter (328-feet) wide wall runs along the edge of Parc des Bastions on the grounds of the University of Geneva. Hewn into the walls are glorious statues and reliefs of the trailblazers of the Protestant Reformation. Its construction began in 1909 on the 400th anniversary John Calvin's birth. The intricately-fashioned landmark is dedicated to this very movement, and its four leading figures, John Calvin, William Farel, Theodore Beza, and John Knox, have been given their due place right at the center of the wall. Fringed by many more statues of saints and luminaries, the International Monument to the Reformation is indeed a soul-stirring insight into the events that unfolded in the wake of the Reformation.

Maison Tavel

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.

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