Last Monday, I joined a group of about twenty women for a walking tour of the heart of Geneva, the Vieille Ville (Old Town). The tour was organized by the Volunteer Services group of the American International Women’s Club.
We began at Place du Bourg-de-Four, the old Medieval town square. Our group listened as our guide, Susan, walked us through a short history of the Old Town and pointed out notable sights in and around the square. Susan started at the beginning, telling us the hill where Old Town sits is one of the oldest continually occupied sites in northern Europe; human habitation dates back more than 2500 years. From Bourg-de-Four, we walked uphill to St. Peter’s Cathedral, then passed by a Medieval “zig-zag” street and the Maison Tavel museum on our way to the government buildings of the Hotel de Ville. Then we walked on to the birthplace of Jean-Jacques Rousseau before leaving Old Town and visiting the Reformation Wall in Parc des Bastions.
As someone who visits Old Town frequently, I was surprised to learn all of the different layers of history that can be found on nearly every street in the neighborhood. From a peek at a Medieval-era staircase to the best view in Geneva (check out our blog post on that here!) to the symbolism of the flag of Geneva, there was much to learn and soak in during the two-hour tour.
Thank you to the AIWC’s Volunteer Services, and especially to our guide, Susan, for a memorable and informative morning!
If you’re looking for a similar experience, walking tours of Geneva are offered through Geneva Tourism. Find more information here.
We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland. If you would like to join the AIWC, please visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/
I did a similar tour with a group of colleagues a couple of years ago. Very interesting, even to someone who’s not a history buff!