Nicholas School Internship Blogs

Une Journée dans la Veille Ville
by -- May 24th, 2011

A day in the old city of Geneva.

One lazy Sunday, that turned out to be not so lazy, my friends and I went strolling in the old city (or Veille Ville) of Geneva. Just about two miles from our apartment, the old city rises along a hill that look over Lake Geneva. It was a gorgeous day, quite hot in the sun but in the shade and with a nice breeze off the lack, perfection!

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva

City Block in the Old Town

City Block in the Old Town

This part of town is made up of tightly packed neighborhoods with small staircases, winding cobbled streets, and ornately designed fountains that date back centuries, seriously. Most of the buildings in the lower levels of the old city have been renovated and seem to be mostly family homes, very expensive homes at that! I would say that this is the most desierable area of Geneva, with the charm of an old European town and the proximity to the financial and shopping centers makes it pretty unbeatable.

Flowers in a Fountain

Flowers in a Fountain

Flower boxes and large potted plants line the streets and are also situated in the centers of fountains (shown right). The care taken to upkeep the area is truly amazing! The streets are clean, nothing is falling apart as in some old cities, and its actually exceptionally beautiful. This part of town is a bit small so you could wander without a map for about an hour or so and find your way home easily. It was so relaxing to just stroll down these old, quiet streets, shaded from the hot sun.

Tavern Madeleine

Tavern Madeleine

This small tavern is situated in the center of the old city, and is quite quaint. We actually approached the tavern from the opposite side (not shown here), where they have written on the side of the building “Restaurant sansAlcool,” which means Restaurant without Alcohol. Needless to say we were all shocked! Scare bleu!!! But we figured out that the tavern was connected to the Church of the Madeleine next door. I suppose they would like their members to show up to mass sober and serving alcoholic beverages on site is not the best idea.

St. Pierre Cathedral

St. Pierre Cathedral

At the very tip top of the Vielle Ville sits St. Pierre Cathedral. The construction of this church began in the 12th century! So from my Southern Californian perceptive, its really really old. The church took a while to build and is kind of a mix of different architectural styles, but is still very beautiful. And you really can’t beat the view. The church is actually best known as the home of John Calvin, one of the leader of the Protestant Reformation. There are many monuments to Calvin and the reformation scattered around the old city. One pretty interesting exhibit at the church is the newly excavated materials that were found beneath and surrounding the church. Some of the tomb stones date back to the Roman Empire, and these remnants of the past show is that this church is one of the three cathedrals to coexist on this site from the 8th to 10th century.

1 Comment

  1. Nancy Kelly
    May 25, 2011

    Great post Becky. I am enjoying your travels while sitting at my computer. Just one thing….Restaurant sans Alcool..at Taverne de la Madeleine? Highly unlikely!

    Thanks

    Nancy

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