From the early XVIth century to the late XVIIIth century, Geneva was lit by street lamps that burned a special mixture of resin
and tar. Only one lantern remains, and is located – rather
ironically – at the corner of rue Jean Calvin and rue du Perron.
If your stay in Geneva brings you to a stone bench at the
facade of the Hôtel de Ville, know that Genevan judges
issued death sentences there – until 1829!
Awarded to individuals and organisations based in Geneva, the first Nobel Prize, a Nobel Peace Prize, was given to Henri Dunant, founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The city went on to receive a total of 14 Nobel Peace Prizes, the last of which was awarded to an intergovernmental
committee on climate change in 2007. Two Nobel Prizes in Physics were awarded to Carlo Rubbia and Simon van der Meer in 1984, and to Georges Charpak in 1992.
“La fête de l’Escalade” commemorates the victory of the Protestant Republic over the Duke of Savoy’s troops on the night of 11 and 12 December, in the year 1602 of the Julian
calendar. It was on this night that the Duke’s troops attempted
to climb the walls surrounding the city with wooden ladders. This annual festival, which is typically accompanied by popular demonstrations, is a living Genevan tradition.
The Canton of Geneva is Switzerland’s third wine-producing region, and features 1,434 hectares of vineyards and 100 wineries. Catering mainly to the Swiss market, the canton’s annual wine production exceeds 46,000 hectolitres of white wine and 56,000 hectolitres of red wine.
In Geneva’s Old Town, le passage de Monetier opens just once a year, on the weekend before 12 December, the day of “La fête de l’Escalade”. This alley is located at the foot of the Old City walls. It measures a short 100 metres in distance, and on its last stretch, the passage is just 50 centimetres wide.