Contrary to popular belief, Switzerland’s capital is not Geneva, Zurich or Basel but Berne. However, many people may know about Geneva more as it is also where the headquarters for various international organisations are.
The Alps located on the southern part of the country is an important feature in Switzerland. It is made up of the Swiss Alps, the Swiss plateau called “middleland” and on the northwest is the Jura mountain range bordering France.
Geneva has a long and rich history before it is known as a global city or a city of diplomacy as many United Nations organisations and the Red Cross headquarters are located there.
It was once conquered by the Kingdom of Burgundy and it was also colonised by the German emperor. It also had a long history of struggle between the churches that saw it being taken over by one church after another.
Located more than 375 metres above sea level, or more than 1,000 feet, Geneva is located between the Swiss Alps and the Juru range. It has a temperate climate making it an ideal location for visitors.
Geneva is located south-west of Switzerland bordering France. Hence, most of the people there speak French. Besides French, the Swiss also speak German, Italian and Rumantsch.
Like most cities in Switzerland, it provides a very scenic view of the mountains. Geneva is accessible via road, trains and also aeroplane through Aeroport International de Geneve, making it a popular destination for tourists.
As mentioned, Geneva is a city where many international organisations are based and it is also known as the centre of peace. Hence, you will also find many different nationalities staying there.
Its scenic view of the mountains and lakes makes visiting Geneva and Switzerland a wonderful experience.
Besides the International Red Cross, other world organisations located there include Palace of Nations which was the old United Nations before World War II, International Labour Organisation, World Intellectual Property Organisation, United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, World Health Organisation and Inter Parliamentary Union.
Other things to do when going there include visiting Geneva’s lakefront that provides a beautiful and scenic beauty view of the city, the Jet d’eau (water fountain) and the flower clock. It is said that on a clear day one could also view Mont Blanc.
Places of worship to museums
Visiting Geneva would not be complete if one were to miss out in visiting the Reformation Wall, St Peter’s Cathedral, Place Neuve and Place du Bourg-de-Four.
The Reformation Wall is built early in the 20th century, a reminder of Geneva’s important role in the Protestant movement while the St Peter’s Cathedral is famous as the place where John Calvin gave his sermons.
The Place Neuve showcases the Genevan culture and in the square you will find the statue of Henri Dufour, a Genevan general who placed Switzerland on the map. The Place du Bourg-de-Four is the city square where tourists could view the rich architecture of the 18th century and how it was used as a commercial area.
If you are a history buff, then Geneva is the place to be as it houses 40 public and private museums as well as art galleries for all visitors to see.
Some the famous museums include the Art and History Museum, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, Rath Museum, the Natural History Museum, Museum of Military History, History of Science Museum and International Museum of the Reformation just to name a few.
Interested in skiing? Then Geneva is the place to be as its surrounding mountains and icy cold weather is suitable for the avid skier. There are also many ski resorts to choose from, making the city a perfect getaway or haven for skiers with its perfect slopes and challenging courses.
If you do not bring your skis, you may rent any of them at the various range that offer competitive and affordable prices.