A few tid-bits of Genève history

Post by Lauren

Now that I am a student, I am learning more about the history of Genève. We actually have some cultural excursions built into our summer French course. On Monday, a professor gave us a walking tour of the area around the University. She said it was the last time she was going to teach us anything in English, so I figured I better report on this one as my facts might get a little screwy in the future when I am trying to digest them en français.

Henri Dufour was one of most important men in Geneva history. He was a Swiss army officer, and engineer and topographer. He helped found the Red Cross along with Henry Dunant.

Our professor said that the windows along Rue de Confederation were designed to maintain the same perspective the entire length of the street. Good to know if I ever decide to paint it!

 

 

T

he population of Geneva doubled by 10,000 in one year in the 16th Century as French and Italian Protestant refugees fled from their countries into Switzerland to escape the massacres. Since it was a walled city for its own protection, they ran out of room and had to go upward. See the different stories and window patterns as you go up?

Note, that in the Reformation, that is why Geneva became the center of commerce and trade – it now housed an extraordinary amount of watchmakers, jewelers, & bankers.

It still be it is harder to find an apartment now in Geneva than back in the day. Current vacancy rate is 0.17% – yes, that is a tenth of 1 percent, not 17%.

Place de la Fusterie and Molard used to be actual ports. Water once was were cafés now are. There were different ports for different goods, like water, food and stone.

Place du Molard, current times

Place du Fusterie, current times

They had to eventually push the Rhone out to make more room for the population. Temple de la Fusterie was a French Protestant Temple after they pushed back the water. Globo Gym is located directly between these two. If only they knew back then.

Pierre du Nitron

We have seen this little rock many a day, but never knew its significance. It was brought in by the glaciers and used to be a place for human sacrifice in the Iron Ages. Later, when the mountain elevations of Switzerland were being mapped, this rock was apparently used as a surveying basis for determining heights for all of Switzerland.

Okay, that is it for now as I need to be a good student and study more French. Au revoir!

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