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City of refuge

From time immemorial, Geneva has welcomed foreign victims of persecution.

From 1550, the “reformed” from France and Italy, victims of persecution, found refuge in Geneva. Thanks to their relations in the fields of foreign affairs, these people boosted the economy and developed the printing industry. The production of books helped spread new ideas and contributed to the city’s wealth.


The refugees who arrived in Geneva contributed to the city’s industrial boom. Around 1600, Geneva asserted itself as one of the capitals of silk production.

Second wave of refugees

The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 by Louis XIV outlawed Protestantism. A second wave of refugees, primarily Huguenots, arrived in Geneva.


In the 19th and 20th centuries, Geneva continued this tradition of providing refuge by welcoming numerous political exiles.

Article modifié le 02.03.2020 à 14:32