Rue de Jargonnant
Henri Moore: Reglining Figure Arch Leg (1973)
Antoine Poncet: La flamboyante (1980)
Eglise Russe (Russian Church)
just one example of a community of immigrants
Monument National (Jardin Anglais)
symbolizes the four national language regions of Switzerland
Cathedral St. Pierre
Painted window in side chapel
- First written records tell of Genava as the
capital of a celtic tribe
- When Cesar conquers Gallia [France]
- Around A.D. 400, Geneva becomes seat of a bishop.
- During the migration of nations, the germanic
Burgundians settle in western (today French speaking)
Switzerland and in southeastern France (today known as Burgundy).
Their first capital is Geneva (A.D. 443 - 461). The Burgundians
assimilate to the gallo-roman culture.
- In 534 Geneva is conquered by the germanic Franc
who had settled in the region of Paris during the migration of nations
and are extending their influence over France, Germany and Switzerland
in the 6th century.
- The empire of the Francs reaches its summit under
emperor Charlemagne (crowned in A.D. 800). His sons divide the empire
in three parts, in 887 a new kingdom of Burgundy is established.
Geneva is no longer the center of this kingdom, however.
- For some centuries the counts and the bishops of Geneva
are rivaling over predominance in the city.
- From the 13th century on, the dukes of Savoy become
increasingly involved in the Lake Geneva region, in 1358 the count
of Geneva becomes a vasall of Savoy. For some time, Savoy seems to be
the only power able to guarantee safety and stability in the region.
- In 1519 a fraction among the citizens of Geneva wants
to become less dependant of Savoy and negotiates a pact with the Swiss
cities of Fribourg and Bern. But Savoy occupies the city with troops.
- Only seven years later, a new pact is made, and in 1530
the Swiss help to lift a siege by Savoyan troops. A city council gains
many political rights in Geneva. The city becomes an associated member
of the Swiss confederacy.
- The reformation of Geneva is first the work of
Guillaume Farel. Like Calvin, Farel is a French preacher exiled
by the French authorities. Farel works with explicit support by Bern,
but he is not too convincing. When Jean Calvin comes to Geneva
in 1536, he is already famous for his book "Christianae religionis
institutio". Calvin consolidates the church reform. The majority
of citizens is not really convinced of Calvin's strict principles of
morality and church order, but under political pressure from Bern the
church reform becomes a political confession against the bishop and
the duke of Savoy.
- In 1602 the duke of Savoy makes a last effort to
reestablish his control over the city, but fails.
- Jean Jacques Rousseau, born 1712 in Geneva,
is one of the most influential philosophers of the age of enlightment.
He grows up and is educated in Geneva, but spends most of the rest
of his life in France, where he dies in 1778.
- During the Napoleonian wars, Geneva and some other
strategic parts of western Switzerland are annexed to France.
- In 1815 Geneva becomes a full member of the Swiss
- Geneva born Guillaume Henri Dufour
advocates that the white cross on red background is not only used as
a seal, but also as a
national Swiss flag
replacing cantonal banners in the army (1840).
When conservative partisans try to block political progress by military
force in 1847, Henri Dufour is elected general and terminates a civil
war within a few days and very few losses on both sides thanks to his
decided but sober strategy.
Switzerland's 1848 federal constitution is based on this event.
Dufour is also a pioneer in producing precise maps, Switzerland's
highest mountain peak (Dufourspitze, ) is named after him.
- In 1859, Henri Dunant, a merchant from Geneva,
is shocked when he learnes about the fate of wounded soldiers
in the battle of Solferino (Austrian-French war). In 1862 he writes
a book in 1864 the Swiss government organizes an international
conference on humanitarian aspects during war. 12 nations sign
the Geneva conventions and establish the International Committee
of the Red Cross as a permanent, neutral institution to take care
of military and civil persons wounded or imprisoned in war. General
Dufour is one of the early supporters and proposes the red cross
- University founded in 1873
- For a broader context see also:
History of the Lake Geneva region
monument: Ile Rousseau
Guillaume Henri Dufour
general, pioneer cartographer
co-founder of the Red Cross
merchant, founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross
Escalade: Annual commemoration of the triumph
over the dukes of Savoy in 1602. Two watchful and courageous ladies,
Mère Royaume [Mother Kingdom] and Dame Piaget [Lady Piaget]
are remembered as the heroines, having discovered and pushed back
the attackers. The
Compagnie de 1602
is organising the event since 1926.
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