Reformed in Geneva

After a brief stint in parking purgatory, the kind parking lady came and allowed us to pay our parking fee with a hand-written receipt instead of our “non valido” parking ticket.  Our main destination on Sunday was Geneva, Switzerland.  We chose this city on our return path “home” to Germany because of its history in the Reformation period.  One of the main sites along the way was the Mont Blanc Tunnel which is 10 miles long.  Mont Blanc itself is the 11th highest summit in the world registering at over 15,000 feet.

We arrived in Geneva just a few minutes before 5 pm which is the time the reformation museum closed.  After three circles around the old town we finally determined that only residents could drive into that area.  While we missed the small museum, we did have a downloaded guide for a reformation walking tour.  We checked into our hotel, Hotel d’Alleves near the train station.  The hotel interior reminded me of a castle, with stone walls and arched entries.  After we checked in, we headed out on our self-guided tour of the major reformation sites in Geneva.  If you have never studied this time period, I recommend reading about Martin Luther and John Calvin with the later being prominent in the history of Geneva.  There is a large wall erected to honor those who chose to stand against some of the teachings of the catholic church in the 1500’s.  These early reformers gave birth to the Reformation Movement that spread across the world and started the Protestant denominations.  The Reformation Wall is built into the original city walls of Geneva.  Depicted here are William Farel (1489–1565), John Calvin (1509–1564), Theodore Beza (1519–1605), John Knox (c.1513–1572).


At the center of the old town is the converted St. Pierre Cathedral where John Calvin preached his reformation message.  Adjacent to it is a small, simple auditorium built in the 15th century. It was the primary worship location for English-speaking Reformers and was called the Calvin Auditorium.  This is where the Geneva Bible was translated. This version of the bible was created over 50 years before the King James Version and was significant because it was mechanically mass produced.


St. Pierre Cathedral where John Calvin preached.


The interior of the Calvin Auditorium. (The organ, not present in his day, was added later.)


The austere Calvin Auditorium with the neoclassical and gothic portions of the St. Pierre Cathedral in the background.