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SWITZERLAND :  GENEVA

Geneva (French: Genève is the second most populous city in Switzerland, situated where Lake Geneva (French Lac Léman) flows into the Rhône River, at the foot of the Jura mountains and at the beginning of the Alps. The city’s beauty and charm, as well as the perfect location in Europe make it a very popular tourist and business center.

It is the capital of the Canton of Geneva. The population within the city limits is 185,526 (2004) and that of the city and its suburbs — which extend into France — is 645,000 (2000). Geneva's international profile as a global city is mainly due to the presence in the city of numerous international organisations, including the European headquarters of the United Nations.
 

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Genève was a safe heaven for protestants who were being persecuted in their own countries. In 1863 The Red Cross Organisation was founded here. Since then, the city has become home to numerous humanitarian organisations, which gave it the nick-name “City of Peace”.  Because of reformers such as John Calvin, Geneva was sometimes called “ the Protestant Rome”. In the 16th century Geneva was the center of Calvinism; the St Peter's Cathedral in what is now called the Old Town was John Calvin's own church. During the time when England was ruled by Queen Mary I, who persecuted Protestants, a number of Protestant scholars fled to Geneva. Among these scholars was William Whittingham who supervised the translation of the Geneva Bible in collaboration with Miles Coverdale, Christopher Goodman, Anthony Gilby, Thomas Sampson, and William Cole. 

One of the most important events in Geneva's history is l'Escalade (literally: "the scaling of the wall"). For the people of Geneva, l'Escalade is the symbol of their independence. It marked the final attempt in a series of assaults mounted throughout the 16th century by Savoy, which wanted to annex Geneva as its capital north of the Alps. This last assault happened on the night of 11-12 December 1602 and is celebrated yearly in the Old Town with numerous demonstrations and a parade of horses, cannons and armed men in period costumes. 

The Jet d'eau, the world's tallest water fountain, is Geneva’s most famous monument. It provides a constant landmark for exploring the city. Geneva's Old Town offers a living glimpse of the past while  more than 30 museums and art galleries show the rich and vibrant history of the city. Some highlights : the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCO). For a change of pace take a cruise on the lake or relax in one of Geneva's man waterfront parks.  

Visitor’s should not leave without having visited Geneva’s famed Market Street to buy a Swiss watch or just window shop. Being an international organisations city, Geneva has a wide range of hotel options to accommodate the visitor’s stay offering renowned service and easy access to the city’s major sites.
 


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