The most western canton of Switzerland is the canton of Geneva. It is famous for its quality of life. A great number of important international organizations also reside here. Cradle and today world capital of luxury watchmaking and of international banking, as well as the foundation of Protestantism are the pillars of Geneva’s economy since the 16th century. John Calvin preached here in St. Peter’s Cathedral. In the manufactures, high precision mechanics produce miracles of measuring time, and the protestant spirit helped the booming business with money. Hosting the European Office of the UN and some 25 other international organizations, Geneva presents itself today as a cosmopolitan and luxurious center. Travellers reach deep in their pockets for handmade chocolate at the chocolatier or for a cruise on Lake Léman (Lake of Geneva).
The heart of the old town is located on a hill between the rivers Rhône and Arve. Saint Peter’s Cathedral is the spiritual center of the former episcopal city having become the protestant Rome in the 16th century. Surrounding it, there is a lovely array of luxurious antique shops, galleries and boutiques, worth a stroll. The Tavel House holds the Museum of old Geneva showing the rich history of the city. There, on the third floor, don’t miss its “Relief Magnin”, an almost eight meter wide model of the town with its fortifications just before they were dismantled.
Note that all the museums belonging to the city of Geneva offer free entrance and are open every day except on Monday. The town also owes many of the splendid parks to wealthy donors. In the Bastion Park, the Reformers’ Wall holds a place of honor. South of the city lies the excursion mountain of Geneva, the Salève, which is already in France. A cable car takes you up there in 10 minutes. With the alpine silhouette in the background, the monumental fountain (Jet d'eau) in the world famous bay of Geneva rises as the landmark of the city on the lake. Since 1891, it brings joy to locals as much as tourists.
In Meyrin, you can visit the CERN, the European nuclear research center. Its particle accelerator seeks to understand the infinite small parts of matter.
The town south of Geneva, on the other side of the river Arve, is a curiosity of history. It was built in the 18th century in a Mediterranean style by the king of Sardinia-Piedmont and is an urban singularity north of the Alps. The Italian atmosphere, the pubs and restaurants, the boutiques and the vegetable market attract even many locals. Although Carouge is an independent city, it is sometimes called the Latin Quarter of Geneva.
Let yourself be surprised by a guided tour!