Switzerland // Lake Geneva //

Jet d’Eau and the Old Town

On the Rive Gauche, beyond the ornamental flowerbeds of the Jardin Anglais, erupts the roaring 140-metre-high plume of Geneva’s trademark Jet d’Eau. Nearby is the main thoroughfare of the Old Town, the steep, cobbled Grande Rue. Here, among the jewellery shops and galleries, you’ll find the atmospheric seventeenth-century Hôtel de Ville and the arcaded armoury. A block away is the late-Romanesque Cathédrale St-Pierre, with an incongruous Neoclassical portal and a plain, soaring interior. Tucked behind the cathedral in the eighteenth-century Maison Mallet, the Musée Internationale de la Réforme, documents Geneva’s contribution to the Reformation. Just beyond is the hub of the Old Town, Place du Bourg-de-Four, a picturesque split-level square ringed by cafés. Alleys wind down from here to a lovely terrace, the Promenade de la Treille, with the world’s longest wooden bench (126m). Beneath this is the austere Wall of the Reformation (1909–17), with statues of the leading reformist preachers, in the university park.