GENEVA - OCTOBER 2006
Geneva is the seat of the European headquarters of the United Nations and of many other inter-governmental organizations. So, it used to be our destination for many years. In the intervals of the meetings, some time was dedicated to sightseeing...
"LAKE LEMAN - The crescent-shaped Lacus Lemannus of the Romans (Lake Geneva), on the course of the Rhône River, is the second largest freshwater lake in Europe, after the Balaton"
"LAKE LEMAN - Going up the hill?"
"HOTEL LES BERGUES, on the Rhône River and by the Lake, was Geneva’s first hotel when it opened in 1834. It was already a great hotel when I had the chance to stay there sometimes in the nineties; after 2005, as a Four Seasons Hotel, it's surely unbeatable as the place to stay in Geneva!"
"WATER JET - The most famous landmark in Geneva is the jet d'eau at the centre of the marina. This photo was taken from the island that in 1832 was given the name of the great Geneva-born philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Having served as a bastion for the city in the seventeenth century, the Island is now a (small) public garden, just close to the Mont Blanc Bridge"
"RAINBOW COLOURS seen from the English Garden. Originally a security valve for a hydro power generator, the jet d'eau became the symbol of Geneva"
"BEACH - «Bains des Paquis» is the popular downtown beach. The current jet d'eau replaced the former jet created in 1891. The exhaust pipe has been carefully designed so that the water jet is hollow and filled with microscopic drops of water, which ensures it remains opaque and white"
"JET D'EAU - The water fountain reaches a maximum height of 140 meters at a speed of 200 km/h and has been copied by many cities around the world"
"EVENING LIGHT - In 1951 the water fountain was provided with an autonomous pumping station, propelling 500 litres of water per second. At night, strong projectors light the fountain’s jet as it soars up in the sky"
"FLOWER CLOCK - Created in 1955 for the first time, redesigned in 2002 and located between the Mont Blanc Bridge and the Jardin Anglais (English Garden), it's composed of over 6,500 flowers and is one of 50 public clocks across Geneva. A symbol of the Geneva watch industry, the famous flower clock has the largest seconds' hand in the world (more than 2.5 meters long)"
"THE BRONZE FOUNTAIN at the Jardin Anglais was created in 1862 by Alexis André, a Parisian sculptor"
"SCULPTURES - Wooden at the Jardin Anglais, bronze at the Quai Wilson"
"SISSI - Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie (not Rosemarie Magdalena Albach-Retty a.k.a. Romy Schneider), Princess of Bavaria, married Franz Joseph and became Empress of Austria. On September 10, 1898, while walking along the Quai du Mont Blanc before boarding a steamship for Montreux, Sissi, who was then 60 years old, was stabbed in the heart with a needle by an anarchist named Luigi Lucheni. It seems that Lucheni wanted to kill an Orleans prince but could not find him and turned to Elisabeth instead. He reportedly said afterwards: "I wanted to kill a royal; it didn't matter which one!"
"THE BRUNSWICK MONUMENT - Charles II d'Este-Guelph, Duke of Brunswick, lived part of his agitated life in Geneva. When he died there in 1873, he left all his wealth to the city of Geneva in exchange for the construction of a replica of the Scaligeri mausoleum in Verona. The city used the money to create the golden gates of Parc des Bastions and the city's opera, the Grand Theatre, and built the mausoleum in 1877 in the gardens in front of the Richemond and Beau Rivage luxury hotels. It seems that Brunswick once said that, «were not for his enormous wealth, he would already be in an insane asylum». No wonder the mausoleum is so awful!"
"MONT BLANC - At 4,810 m, it's the highest mountain in the Alps and in Western Europe. It's not an easy task to catch it from Geneva, as one needs a very clear day, without any mist on the top. This was the best I could get..."
"OLD TOWN - Mont Blanc Bridge, Cathedral and the hills around town"
"SUNSET towards the Alps"