2 Cathe­dral of St. Pierre

Timeless Travels Magazine - - SWITZERLAND -

Set in the old city, high on the hill over­look­ing the lake, the Cathe­dral of Saint Pierre was built be­tween 1150-1250. It has been dam­aged and re­built many times over its life-time, and dur­ing the Re­for­ma­tion in the mid-16th cen­tury was stripped of all its in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tions and or­na­ments. At this time, its in­te­rior paint­ings were cov­ered in white and only its stained glass win­dows sur­vived.

It was here that John Calvin preached to his fol­low­ers, apparently twice on Sun­days and once on week­days ev­ery other week.

TOP TIP: On the right-hand side of the Cathe­dral is a small en­trance that leads to the ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ex­ca­va­tions that were car­ried out for 30 years (1976-2006) un­der­neath the Cathe­dral.

Here the re­mains of the many churches were found that pre­ceded the cur­rent struc­ture, with the old­est dat­ing from the late 4th cen­tury, which pro­vided ev­i­dence of Geneva’s piv­otal role in the devel­op­ment of Chris­tian­ity. Fur­ther­more, the ex­ca­va­tions have brought to light traces of pre-Chris­tian oc­cu­pa­tion of the hill: wells, a grain pro­cess­ing area, a likely cer­e­mo­nial build­ing and an Al­lo­bro­gian tomb.

Pre­vi­ous pages: The four main pro­tag­o­nists of the Re­for­ma­tion in Geneva, Wil­liam Farel, John Calvin, Theodore de Beze and John Knox (Image: Ele­narts/ Shutterstock) Left: The Re­for­ma­tion Wall in the Parc des Bas­tions Above: The Cathe­dral of St. Pierre (Both im­ages: © Geneva Tourism) Right: The Au­di­toire de Calvin, where John Knox preached whilst in ex­ile (Image: © F. Richards)

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