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Famous Religious Sites in Geneva (Self Guided), Geneva

Geneva’s spiritual life boasts a great number of religious sites that are of historic and cultural value to the city. The city is also the place where the reformist movement started to grow, having theologian Jean Calvin as its leader. Take this tour, whether you are a keen church goer or simply interested in places of spirituality, and visit the most important religious sites of Geneva.
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Famous Religious Sites in Geneva Map

Guide Name: Famous Religious Sites in Geneva
Guide Location: Switzerland » Geneva (See other walking tours in Geneva)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Author: john
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Eglise Russe
  • Auditoire de Calvin
  • Cathédrale de St. Pierre
  • Eglise Saint-Germain
  • Temple de la Fusterie
  • Temple Saint-Gervais
  • Basilique Notre-Dame
  • Église Sainte-Trinité
Eglise Russe

1) Eglise Russe (must see)

The Eglise Russe (Russian Church) was built at the beginning of the 19th century, thanks to the great number of orthodox priests residing or studying in Geneva at that time, and generous donations made by the Russian Grand Duchess Anna Fiodorovna. This place of worship features a Byzantine design, and consists of bright golden onion domes and striped arches. The Church holds services in Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian, and other languages.
Auditoire de Calvin

2) Auditoire de Calvin

The Calvin Auditorium or Calvin Auditory (French Auditoire de Calvin), originally the Notre-Dame-la-Neuve Chapel, is a chapel in Geneva, Switzerland which played a significant role in the Protestant Reformation. It is associated with John Calvin, Theodore Beza and John Knox. The auditorium lies directly adjacent to Geneva's St. Pierre Cathedral in the Place de la Taconnerie. The austere Gothic-style building was constructed in the 15th century, on the site of earlier 5th-century religious buildings, and originally dedicated to Notre-Dame-la-Neuve. From 1536, the time of Geneva's Reformation, it became a lecture hall where Calvin actively expounded his reformed theology: Bible studies were conducted here at 7:00 each morning. In 1559, it served as the original home of the University of Geneva. Once Geneva accepted the Reformation, it became a haven for Protestant refugees from all over Europe, and Calvin gave this building over for them to worship in their own language. It was also used by the Scottish reformer John Knox, during his exile in Geneva in the 1550s. Here he ministered to an English-speaking refugee congregation and developed many of the ideas that were to be influential in the Scottish Reformation. Subsequently, it became a place used by numerous Protestant refugee groups including Italian Waldensians, Dutch Reformed and Scottish Presbyterians. It is viewed by many Reformed churches throughout the world as a crucible of their faith. Today, this protestant chapel still offers sermons in French, English, Dutch, German, Italian and Latin.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Cathédrale de St. Pierre

3) Cathédrale de St. Pierre (must see)

The Cathédrale de St. Pierre is probably one of the best-known holy buildings in Geneva. The Cathedral is located in the old part of the city of Geneva, thus making it a must-see attraction. Its history dates back to the 11th century, hence why its architecture combines a mix of Roman, Gothic and Neoclassical styles. The church has also been used by the reformist movement for its daily sermons. Underneath the cathedral there's an interesting archaeological site.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 10am-5:30pm; Sun: 12pm-5:30pm (Oct-May); Mon-Sat: 9am-6:30pm; Sun: 12pm-6:30pm; carillon concert: 5pm; organ concert: 6pm (Jun-Sep)
Free admission. Last entry to the tower: half an hour before Cathedral's closing time.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Eglise Saint-Germain

4) Eglise Saint-Germain

The Eglise Saint-Germain is one of seven historic parishes of the city of Geneva. The actual building dates from the 15th century, and was initially a protestant church. In 1873, during the French occupation, it was turned into a Catholic church. The church is also known for its classical outdoor concerts during Summertime.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Temple de la Fusterie

5) Temple de la Fusterie

The Temple de la Fusterie is distinguished from other churches as the first religious building specifically established for Calvinist worship. The Temple was opened for protestant masses in 1715, and has enjoyed great popularity for many years. The building features Baroque style architecture with a big clock on the top.
Temple Saint-Gervais

6) Temple Saint-Gervais

The Temple Saint-Gervais is located in an old quarter of Geneva, called Saint Gervais. The initial church underwent some major improvements in the 17th century and was rebuilt in a Gothic style, funded with donations from local watchmakers, jewelers and goldsmiths, who lived in the area.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Basilique Notre-Dame

7) Basilique Notre-Dame (must see)

The Basilique de Notre-Dame is the main Catholic church in Geneva. It was built according to the design of Alexandre Grigny between 1852 and 1857 on the site of a former stronghold fortifications. This neo-Gothic building, whose appearance is partly inspired by the Beauvais Cathedral, could break ground thanks to the city of Geneva, which had ceded land to religious communities to build places of worship, and through donations and manual labor provided by the Geneva Catholics.

The statue of Our Lady of Geneva, offered by the Pope Pius IX, is venerated; however, it's the basilica's stained glass windows that are particularly remarkable. Some are semi-industrial production neo-gothic, but most show the evolution of the art of stained glass during the twentieth century, in various styles, after those of Claudius Lavergne (installed from 1857 to 1875). From 1912, several artists have successively contributed to adorn the basilica: Charles Brunner, Alexandre Cingria, Maurice Denis, Gherri Moro, Paul Monnier, Jean-Claude Morend, Théodore Strawinsky. The building is classified as Cultural Property of National Significance.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 6:30-7:30pm; Sun: 7am-9pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Église Sainte-Trinité

8) Église Sainte-Trinité (must see)

The Eglise de la Sainte-Trinité is considered to be very much like a village church in England. The English Church, as known by the locals, appeared as a result of the large number of Anglicans that came to Geneva in the 16th-17th century and were in need of a place of worship. The holy building is situated on one of the central streets of Geneva, and this makes it a much-visited place for the English-speaking community in the city.

Walking Tours in Geneva, Switzerland

Create Your Own Walk in Geneva

Create Your Own Walk in Geneva

Creating your own self-guided walk in Geneva is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Geneva Art Museums Walk

Geneva Art Museums Walk

Geneva is the home of many interesting and impressive art museums. Some of them are unique in the world. A great part of the valuable collections was donated by passionate Genevian collectors, who have managed to obtain the rarest examples of both antique and contemporary art. Large exhibitions of Fine Arts and Oriental Art are most impressive. Take the following tour to discover the most popular...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Best Swiss Watch Shops Tour in Geneva

Best Swiss Watch Shops Tour in Geneva

Swiss watches are known as the best, when it comes to quality and precision. Some world-famous brands, such as Patek Phillipe, Swatch, Omega and Piaget were designed and masterminded in Geneva. The watch industry in Geneva dates back to the 16th century, and since then, it has developed rapidly and now makes the most desired watches. Take this tour to choose your watch from the best watch shops in...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Nightlife Walking Tour in Geneva

Nightlife Walking Tour in Geneva

The night life scene of Geneva offers a variety of venues for a nice evening out, and a unique and spectacular experience. The majority of the bars and pubs are located in the downtown area and are available from the late evening into the early hours of the morning. Take this tour if you are looking for a memorable night out, and a place to relax and enjoy yourself in the city of Geneva

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Historic Museum Walk in Geneva

Historic Museum Walk in Geneva

Geneva is a magnificent city with a great number of museums that offer a full spectrum of the city’s history. These showcases will enable you to discover the prehistoric Switzerland, and see how the city changed under Roman rule. There are views of medieval Geneva, as well. Take this tour to explore the historical insights of Switzerland and the city of Geneva.

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.5 Km or 5.3 Miles
Top Architectural Sights

Top Architectural Sights

Geneva has always been very much appreciated by tourists, as it provides a variety of attractions. Everyone, who comes to Geneva is fascinated by its medieval look and the marvelous buildings, which are a mix of French and German influences. Take this walking tour if you are interested in learning more about some of the top architectural wonders of Geneva.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Geneva Introduction Walk

Geneva Introduction Walk

Geneva is a beautiful city that is worth visiting at any time of the year, as its beauty remains the same throughout the seasons. Mostly known as the city of watches and jewelery making, it has many more attractions to be discovered once you get there. The top landmarks of Geneva include the famous Jet D’eau and the Flower Clock. Take this tour to explore the top landmarks of the city of Geneva.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles