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.
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 for the occasion. Here is a brief overview:
To recreate the atmosphere
Grand parade and historical scenes in the old town
From 9 to 10 December, old town
From 9 to 10 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 10 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: parades.
Visit to the secret Passage de Monetier
9 and 10 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 rue du Perron 19, Saturday 9 (from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Passage lit by torch from 5 p.m.) and Sunday 10 (from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
In the shoes of a soldier at the time of l’Escalade
From 28 November 2023 to 07 January 2024
Plunge into the atmosphere of l’Escalade at la Maison Tavel between the scales, firecrackers, armour and cauldrons. Discovery modules, installed on the 1st floor, will even give you the chance to try a helmet on or wield a sword.
Relive the night of l’Escalade in images
From 4 December 2023 to 6 January 2024, 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 on 8, 9 and 12 December. Part of the exhibition is available online on the BGE blog.
Fancy-dress candlelit walk
8 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. Get your best clothes on and plunge into the history of Geneva!
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.
Keep warm with a tasty soup
All you need are a few vegetables, a bowl and a spoon to share a convivial moment over a delicious Escalade soup! Several schools, associations, community centres and institutions will be serving soup on the occasion of l’Escalade, such as Eaux-Vives community centre (12 December) or Saint-Jean community centre (8 December). If you want to prepare Mère Royaume’s soup yourself, you can find the recipe provided by Interroge!
To have fun, with or without costume
Festivities and parade in Plainpalais
Friday 8 December, Plainpalais community centre
Come down to the school yard of Micheli-du-Crest school, the starting point for the band, and accompany the Escalade parade from 6 p.m. to Parc des Chaumettes (around 7 p.m.), taking in la Cluse and la Roseraie on the way. Mulled wine and spiced apple juice will help you warm up again when you arrive! Come in fancy dress! More info is available in the programme of the community centre (page 15)
Fête de l'Escalade in Saint-Jean
Friday 8 December, Saint-Jean community centre
Come and take part in the musical parade through the district of Saint-Jean, organised by the Saint-Jean community centre, from 6.30 p.m.. This will be followed by a show at 7.30 p.m., accompanied by soup for anyone who has brought their bowls. The rest of the evening will be given over to music and dancing from 8.15 p.m.
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, with this fun circuit to be downloaded!
The lost treasure of l’Escalade
9 and 10 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 16.01.2024 à 11:35