The Old Town, Geneva’s historic centre, chronicles 2000 years of history and reflects the economic, political and religious development of this lakeside city over the centuries.
You can download the printable version of the Trail at the bottom of the page or listen to the audio guides below, which include interviews.
- The trail: Walking the trail should take 45 minutes (not including museum visits);
- Departure : Archaeological Site of the Cathedral. Arrival : Barbier-Mueller Museum;
- Access : Public transport, Cars or Bicycle;
- Wifi : Place du Bourg-de-Four, cour de Saint-Pierre, Maison Tavel, Hôtel de Ville.
Cultural trail 4 : Old Town
St Peter's Cathedral
The construction of a catherdral dedicated to Saint Peter, long before it became the symbol of the influence of the "Protestant Rome", was initiated in 1160 by the first Prince-Bishop of Geneva, Arducius de Faucigny, and its construction took over a century to complete. In June 1535, after the Catholic mass had been abolished in Geneva, the cathedral became a place of Protestant worship and was renamed St. Peter’s Temple. Of modest proportions, it owes its current appearance to additions, modifications and major restoration work in the 18th and 19th centuries. The monumental façade, with its Neoclassical portico inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, dates from the 1750s. Comprising six Corinthian marble columns surmounted by a pediment bearing the coat of arms of Geneva and by a dome, it was the work of Benedetto Alfieri, architect to the Duke of Savoy. The copper spire that gives the cathedral its slender silhouette was added in 1895.
Cour Saint-Pierre 6
Tel. +41 22 311 75 7
Open daily 10.00 - 17.00
International Museum of the Reformation
The Hôtel de Ville and public authorities
Geneva's City Hall and cantonal parliament are housed in this architectural complex, built in several phases between the 15th and 18th centuries. It has been the permanent seat of political power in Geneva since the late Middle Ages. The long stone bench on the pavement outside the Hôtel de Ville, was used by judges to dispense justice until 1829. The accused and witnesses were installed on a platform facing the public tribunal.
Rue de l'Hôtel-de-Ville 2
Article modifié le 22.09.2020 à 05:49