This page is also available in Français !

Fête de l'Escalade 2022

Between costumes, games and chocolate cauldrons, come and celebrate l’Escalade. In addition to the grand historical parade and the festivities organised by the Compagnie 1602, several visits and activities will take place to celebrate these two special days.

enfants sur une table qui mangent des légumes en massepain

At the beginning of December, Geneva comes to life to celebrate one of the days of the year young people most look forward to: the Fête de l'Escalade.

Custom dictates that children and secondary school pupils dress up and parade through the streets.

In addition to the large-scale historical parade and the festivities organised in the old town by the Compagnie 1602, several popular events will also be held. Here is a brief overview:

To recreate the atmosphere

personnes en costume tenant des torches

Grand parade and historical scenes in the old town

From 9 to 11 December, old town

From 9 to 11 December in the old town, the Compagnie 1602 recreates daily life in Geneva at the end of the 16th century. Halberdiers, arquebusiers, horsemen and historical characters parade through the streets in medieval costume. Demonstrations of musket fire, canon fire and handling a halberd are also organised.

From 5 p.m. on Sunday 11 December, don’t miss the grand historical parade of l’Escalade, involving some 800 costumed volunteers both on foot and on horseback, leaving from Parc des Bastions. The full programme is available on the Compagnie 1602 website.

personne en costume dans une galerie, éclairée par la lumière d'une torche

Visit to the secret Passage de Monetier

10 and 11 December, rue du Perron 19

Take advantage of the unique opportunity offered by the celebration of l’Escalade to discover the Passage de Monetier, which is closed by a gate every other day of the year. The vestige of a path that led under the walls at the end of the 5th century, it is one of the more or less secret pathways that allowed the City’s defenders to reach their combat positions quickly. Entrance to rue du Perron 19, Saturday 10 (from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.) and Sunday 11 (from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

personne en armure

In the shoes of a soldier at the time of l’Escalade

15 November to 23 December, MAH

Plunge into the atmosphere of l’Escalade in the famous Tavel House (Maison Tavel), with explanatory modules which even offer you the chance to try on a helmet or wield a sword.

personnes se battant et femme penchée à sa fenêtre

Relive the night of l’Escalade in images

28 November to 7 January 2023, BGE

To enjoy a foretaste or prolong the festivities a little, visit the Couloir des coups d’œil at the BGE library to see the most striking images of the famous night of 11-12 December 1602 through the illustrations of Edouard Elzingre, who shaped the imagery of this event at the beginning of last century. Guided visits at 12.30 p.m. from 6 to 10 December

vue de nuit en veille ville avec lampions

Candlelit walk

3 and 11 December, old town

Relive l’Escalade by candlelight, just as the people of Geneva experienced it, in the company of the heritage guide, Catherine Hubert-Girod. At the end of the walk, the participants will break the famous chocolate cauldron together!

L’Escalade told by those who lived through it

What better means of plunging into the history of the event than hearing it told by those who lived through it? With a light and slightly offbeat tone, a mini video series gives you the chance to hear the thoughts of Charles Emmanuel I, Simon Goulart and the inescapable Mère Royaume.


To celebrate with music

image avec des traits colorés

Time Machine - the Escalade disco

9 December, L'Usine PTR

The PTR and Urgence Disk invite you to turn back time with three DJs: Smoky Balboa, Dr Dood and La Fripouille, together with a time machine. During this Escalade disco, simply draw a year at random and let the DJs do the rest! And it’s even better if you come in fancy dress!

La fanfare du Loup en concert

L'Escalade concert: “The Carnival of the Animals”

11 December, Victoria Hall

For its Sunday concert, Victoria Hall will celebrate l’Escalade with its “Carnival of the Animals” by Saint-Saëns, revisited by the Fanfareduloup Orchestra and Geneva Brass. For this concert intended for all the family, the public can even come in fancy dress!

L’Escalade ball

Mains d'un couple qui danse

11 December, Cité Seniors

Cité Seniors and Nicolas Tankoff invite senior citizens to enjoy a dance at l'Escalade ball, preceded by a gym class for seniors, from 11.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m..


To have fun, with or without costume

foule déguisée en pull blanc rayé en rouge

Where’s Waldo in the old town

14 December, old town

With the Escalade rally, held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., the Chausse-Coq community centre invites the public to try and find Waldo. This large-scale game, with several stations throughout the old town, will finish with a moment of sharing around a chocolate cauldron.

Dessin dd'enfants sur des échelles

Discovery circuit for children

During the night of the 11-12 December 1602, the Savoyards attacked Geneva by attempting to scale the ramparts using ladders… Children can discover what happened next at the Maison Tavel and the Museum of Art and History, with this fun circuit to be downloaded!

personnes en costume autour d'une marmite posée sur un foyer

The lost treasure of l’Escalade

3, 4, 10 and 11 December

In this game of puzzles, legend tells that during l’Escalade, the people of Geneva found a huge Savoyard treasure and hid it deep under the city. With the help of key characters from history, will you succeed in solving the puzzles to recover the treasure?

Article modifié le 08.12.2022 à 15:45