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Architecture of Switzerland. Must see and must visit landmarks

Grand Theatre de Geneve, Geneva

Location on the map:   Photogallery:   Interesting facts:
» The opening of Grand Theatre de Geneve was marked by the premiere performance based on the opera drama of Rossini, “Wilhelm Tell”. It is the national symbol of the country.
» Besides plays, city festivals are organized here.
» After the fire, the theatre was modernized with modern equipment and quality lighting.
» The new theatre season is marked by 8 operas and 2 ballets. They run through their performances up to 12 times and the cast is maintained.
» The building is decorated with granite columns, marble statues symbolizing goddesses of art, and busts of eminent composers.
» The construction was damaged by the fire. It has been restored for 10 years. The updated auditorium welcomes 1488 theatre-goers. The orchestra pit accommodates 100 musicians. The ceiling is decorated with moldings and crowned with a big chandelier. There are a lot of floor-to-ceiling mirrors in the hall. After the reconstruction, the auditorium has a square shape. It had had a horseshoe shape before.
» The administration encourages performances made by directors and casts from other cities and countries.

Musee Ariana, Geneva

Location on the map:   Photogallery:   Interesting facts:
» Ariana was the name of collector Gustave Revilliod known in his circles. The museum is named after her according to his will.
» His private collection includes over 5 thousand items. In the late 19th century, the collector exhibited them.
» In the museum, there is a workshop for repairing glass items.
» The Musee Ariana is famous for the collection of glass and ceramic exhibits (there are over 20 thousands of them). Patterns and inscriptions on the glass surface, as well as the unusual shape of exhibits, are very impressive.
» The Musee Ariana is located in the palace with a glass dome, in the cedar park.
» The guide will explain the origin of any exhibit. On display, you can see tea and coffee sets, and dinnerware the Royal Family used. There are also clay items made in the Middle Ages. You can learn how pottery originated and what tools for glass-painting were used.
» You can also see glass toys, porcelain zips and pens, clay amulets, and crystal lamps.
» In the museum, there are 20 separate rooms, each of which displays particular items depending on the epoch.

Musee Rath, Geneva

Location on the map:   Photogallery:   Interesting facts:
» Different art exhibitions (1826) were organized at the initiative and expense of sisters Henriette and Jeanne-Francoise Rath.
» Today, the Musee Rath has an international status. It is a cultural object and is under the protection of the State. It houses the collection of world-famous pieces of art.
» In the Musee Rath, temporary art and archaeological exhibitions are mostly held.
» The building is located in New Square. It is the only museum that houses the western art collection from ancient times to the present day.
» Two years elapsed between the project stage to the opening. The museum was opened in 1826.
» At one time, the building was rented out to the detainees’ camp of the Committee of the Red Cross.
» The collection of murder weapons and pieces of Egyptian masters is really extraordinary. Here, you can also see the masterpieces of Swiss artists living in different epochs. Individual exhibitions of modern people of art are held here.
» From the outside, it is the rectangular building of gray blocks. Its dome is upheld by 6 round columns decorated with patterned moldings. The staircase leads to the front door.

Museum of Art and History, Geneva

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » The collection of the Museum of Art and History contains over 650 thousand rare items. These are paintings, sculptures, musical instruments, and ancient artifacts.
» Not only permanent, but also temporary exhibitions are organized here.
» In the square of 7 000 m2, you can see pieces of art of global significance. There are 500-year-old items, as well as canvases of modern artists.
» The museum fund is replenished thanks to private collections.
» Graphics, books, household items of the bygone era, and old weapons are just some of the exhibits displayed.
» The building matches the collection it houses. The vault of the palace is upheld by classical columns with strict proportions. The pediment of the building is crowned with stone figurines.
» In the period of the Civil War in Spain, the authorities sent all the precious exhibits to the Museum of Geneva.
» Showrooms where you can see Greek flowerpots, ceramic items of Etruscans, pieces of medieval furniture, and ammunition of the 12th century are very impressive.
» Near the museum, there is the restaurant Le Barocco where you can taste dishes of the local cuisine.

Palace of Nations, Geneva

Location on the map:   Photogallery:   Interesting facts:
» The building complex that is 600 m long had been built for 8 years.
» One architect was excluded from the project because he signed the document with improper ink.
» In the Palace, there are the headquarter of the League of Nations, the UN office, and the office of the World Health Organization.
» About a hundred thousand tourists visit it.
» Ceremonial negotiation rooms are also open for visitors. There are canvasses of world-famous artists on the walls.
» 100 tons of paint was used and €10 million was spent to decorate the room ceiling of the total area of 1.5 m2.
» The 1st and 3rd levels intersect along the entire length but other floors don’t.
» There is a symbolic cannon near the Palace. Its barrel is knotted, which is the symbol of peace. Politicians discuss global issues in the building. Every year, over 8 thousand meetings on international issues and almost 600 intergovernmental meetings are held in the Palace.
» There is a picturesque garden around it. One of the buildings is located in the park. This land belonged to an aristocratic family. Upon its order, the authorities must keep the peacock they inherited here. Also, there is a garden pavilion aged over 300 years.

Red Cross Museum, Geneva

Location on the map:   Photogallery:   Interesting facts:
» The collection of the International Red Cross Museum contains exhibits from ancient times to the present day.
» The building is located in the territory of the head office of the namesake organization.
» Collected items, pictures and videos symbolize the role of the Red Cross helping people in post-conflict and post-disaster situations.
» Showrooms are divided into separate sections. One of the rooms presents information about the organization’s activity in all corners of the world.
» The huge interactive globe shows where rescues work today.
» The exhibition is aimed at awakening sympathy for people in trouble and calling on the citizens to contribute modestly to the humanitarian activity.
» The idea of creating the Committee of the Voluntarism Organization was brought to life by the Swiss Henri Dunant in 1863. He was impressed by the human suffering. Volunteers from many countries supported him. As a consequence, the movement has become an international undertaking.
» Now, the number of volunteers is about 100 million. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement received the Nobel Prize for its merits three times.

Russian Church of Geneva, Geneva

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » Such significant events, as the wedding of the Russian artist Vrubel and the famous singer Zabela and the baptism of F. Dostoevsky, took place in the church.
» The cathedral was blessed in 1866.
» ₣280 000 was spent on the building construction.
» Gilded domes and the chapel with a belfry of 5 bells are really impressive. The church was built of white stone from the Swiss Mountains. The ledge has the shape of a notched curve. The upper part is five gilded domes. The building resembles an elongated cross with a semicircular altar. The facade is made of gray marble. Above the front arched doors, you can see pictures of saint dukes and images of Alexander Nevsky and Venerable Sergius of Radonezh.
» The ceiling inside is decorated with the image of Christ in the midst of the sky and golden stars. It is framed with silhouettes of seraphs. The walls are decorated with painted golden crosses in green ovals. Stained glass has the shape of crosses of stars on clouds. You can see praying Christ on the altar. Behind it, there is a staircase to the basement of the church.

St. Pierre Cathedral, Geneva

Location on the map:   Photogallery:   Interesting facts:
» The cathedral built at the beginning of the 13th century combines many architectural styles but looks like a single unit.
» Its interior features some austerity, modesty and, and strictness.
» Here, you can such unique item, as the rich chair of the French theologian Jean Calvin.
» You can also climb up the tower. The path in one place offers two directions, southern and northern. The northern tower with a high spire has a panoramic view of the city, as the building is located in its center, on the hilltop, 404 m above sea level.
» On the right side, there is a gravestone in honor of French Protestants (1889).
» You should also visit the Archeology Museum behind the cathedral. Here, you can see some fragments of the old building found during the excavations. As the archeologists believe, they date back to the 4th century.
» In December, the three-day historical holiday is celebrated in front of St. Pierre Cathedral. Mummers dance and a huge fire is started at this time.
» When it gets dark, the building is illuminated with spotlights.
» In the cathedral, the Geneva Bible was translated from Latin to English for the first time.

Synagogue Beth-Yaacov, Geneva

Location on the map:   Photogallery:   Interesting facts:
» The Jewish community settled in Geneva at the beginning of the 19th century.
» Its house of worship is called the Beth Yaakov Synagogue. It was built in 1859.
» The exterior of the building reminds of the origin of Jews with its style. The construction gained a historical status in 1995.
» The octagonal dome covers the main building. Gray walls are decorated with white and pink inserts in the form of straight lines. You can see the inscription above the horseshoe-shaped arched double doors.
» There is a separate room in the upper gallery for praying women.
» The Beth Yaakov Synagogue is the first construction in the territory of the city permitted by the authorities. Beth Yaakov is the Hebrew name translated as “the house of Yaakov”. Yaakov was the Biblical Patriarch.
» In the chapel, there is a two-tier box with sacred writings. It is surrounded by white arches. People pray opposite the box.
» There is an altar in the center of the room. There is a special table for reading scrolls on it.
» The Beth Yaakov Synagogue is a cult construction and the historical attraction of Switzerland, as its architectural style is unusual.
» The main hall is intended for prayers. The Greek word “synagogue” is translated as “the gathering of people”.

Water-Jet, Geneva

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » The fountain in Geneva lifts water jets up to 140 meters of height, which is the same as a 46-storey building. It is the fountain with the most powerful water jets in the world.
» When the jets get up, they have a different shape, for example, the water cylinder or the fan of splashes.
» The wind and sunlight change the color of the water from pink to silver and blue.
» When it gets dark, the complex is illuminated with colorful lights.
» Despite the fact that it is located in the city center, it is in the center of the lake.
» Initially, in 1886, the fountain served as a “pump” that ensured the uninterrupted water supply.
» The fountain never stops. For safety reasons, it is switched off at low temperatures or if the wind is too strong.
» The water speed mode is 200 km/h. Two powerful units pump 500 l of water every second. The water rising up weighs 7 000 kg. One small drop goes down after the 16-second flight.
» The water in the lake is dark. The liquid in the fountain is transparent due to special devices that saturate jets with the air.
» The taste of the lake water is estimated every year. You can also acquaint with the inner structure of the unit.
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