Cultural Trail around the Old Town

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.

Sentier culturel vieille-ville

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.

Pratical Informations

  • 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: 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
E-mail: info(at)
Open daily 10.00 - 17.00

International Museum of the Reformation

Created in 2005, the Musée international de la Réforme (MIR) showcases the living history of Geneva and the Protestant Reformation. Through many archival documents and a wealth of illustrations, the non-denominational MIR tells the story of the Reformation in detail from its origins to the present day.

International Museum of the Reformation (MIR)
Rue du Cloître, Cour Saint-Pierre 4
Tel. +41 22 310 24 31
E-mail: info(at)
Open Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 - 17.00

Maison Tavel

This remarkable example of medieval civil architecture in Switzerland, is also the oldest private Genevan residence. It houses a museum on six floors showing engravings, paintings, maps, models, furniture and other objects dating from the Middle Ages to the 19th century that reveal the urban development of the city, as well as different aspects of the lives of its inhabitants in times past.

Maison Tavel
Rue du Puits-St-Pierre 6
Tel. +41 22 418 37 00
E-mail: mah(at)
Open Tuesday to Sunday  11.00 - 17.00

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
1204 Genève


Matylda Levet

Tél. +41 22 418 65 64


Télécharger la vCard

A télécharger

Article modifié le 24.10.2022 à 16:56