This pleasant forest is home to a rich and varied animal park.
History and development
The Bois-de-la-Bâtie is one of Geneva’s historic parks. It owes its name to the Bastie-Mellié fort, built in the Middle Ages, which fell into a state of ruin in the 16th century. It would appear that the wood has been considered a public area ever since. Close to the city which was still confined within its walls in those days, this wooded hill was greatly appreciated for its picturesque setting, its steep paths and its natural oak wood which radiated a sense of freedom.
In the second half of the 19th century, Geneva destroyed its centuries-old fortifications and opened up to the world outside. It was the era of industrialisation and romanticism. Together with his brother, Auguste, the engineer Théodore Turettini – the main contractor for the new Forces Motrices plant – purchased the different plots of land comprising the Bois-de-la-Bâtie in 1868. A year later, they offered the land to the City of Geneva, with a single condition: “to maintain and preserve this public property on behalf of the inhabitants of Geneva”. This generous donation made a great impact at the time. It was the first such significant gesture and heralded a tradition that would see the burgeoning city be offered numerous other parks.
The first installations in the Bois-de-la-Bâtie were funded by another donation: the estate of the Duke of Brunswick. During the 1870s, paths were marked out and a large lake was dug, around which a public park was developed, with an island in the middle. Expanded and altered over time, the site has been home to a wildlife park since 1982. The Bois-de-la-Bâtie now covers a total area of more than 20 hectares.
The Bois-de-la-Bâtie is an urban forest, unique in Geneva due to its size and the social role it plays. In addition to human activities, it is also home to a wide range of flora and fauna. The Parks and Gardens Service maintains the site, adopting a forest management approach promoting natural regeneration of the oak trees.
- Wildlife park
- Football pitches (reserved for clubs)
- Paddling pool and play area
Dogs are welcome to use the paths through the park as long as they are kept on a leash. Dogs can be taken off the leash in a specially marked area, on condition that they are accompanied.
Article modifié le 24.05.2022 à 17:36