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Geneva Old Town

The Vieille-Ville is the largest historic town in Switzerland, and is dominated by St. Peter's Cathedral, the symbolic location of the Reformation. Climb the 157 steps to the top of the tower for a unique panorama of the city. Then take a stroll in the charming surrounding alleys and passageways, each telling its own story about Geneva's history.
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Reformation Wall
At the heart of the Parc des Bastions, the main protagonists of the Reformation, John Calvin, William Farel, Theodore Beza and John Knox, are depicted in giant statues and bas-reliefs. Geneva's 'Post Tenebras Lux' motto is engraved in the wall. As you leave the park, explore the splendid Place de Neuve and its various artistic haunts.
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The Jet D'eau
The magnificent water jet is 140 metres high, with 500 litres of water passing through it per second at a speed of 200 km per hour! Used initially for distributing the Rhône's propelling force to the city's craftspeople, it became the Jet d'Eau when the workshops required an additional flow. Since 1891 it has graced the centre of Geneva's harbour, and is the must-see tourist attraction!
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Chateau de thorens
950 years of history through keeps, guardroom, kitchen: richly furnished rooms, decorated with artworks. Residence of St François de Sales and holiday destination of the Prime Minister of Piedmont-Sardinia Count Cavour, this castle contains many memories.
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The Basilique de la Visitation
Built between 1922 and 1930, the Basilique de la Visitation is the chapel at the Visitation monastery and the place housing the tombs of Francois de Sales (1567-1622) and Jeanne de Chantal (1572-1641), co-founders of the religious order.
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Vaud Museum of Fine Arts
Opened in 1841, the Vaud Museum of Fine Arts in Lausanne is one of the oldest Swiss museums exclusively dedicated to art. Located in the Palais de Rumine, it presents several temporary exhibitions a year from its collection of 10,000 works.
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Lausanne Cathedral
At the heart of the old town, the majestic Lausanne Cathedral overlooks the city. Seen as one of the most beautiful gothic art monuments in Europe, it attracts more than 400,000 visitors every year.
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Vaugelas Chapel
An area devoted to exhibiting the work of amateur artists, particularly from Chambéry, of new exhibitors and Chambéry associations. The sale of works on the premises is prohibited.
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Chateau des Ducs de Savoie
This former residence of the Ducs de Savoie is currently the seat of the Préfecture et du Département de la Savoie.
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Absinthe house
"Captivated by the different aspects of absinthe (its flavour, its opal colour, its rich history, ...) I decided to explore the Absinthe Trail to discover the famous beverage's secrets. First stop: the Absinthe house, recently inaugurated in Môtiers, a small and charming village in Val-de-Travers.
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Castles Vidomnat and Majorie
The construction of the castles goes to the 12.-13. century back. Her name refers to the episcopal officials Meier and Viztum, who originally resided here. From the late 14th century, Majorie Castle belonged to the prince-bishop.
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Valais History Museum
A monumental and natural site crowned by a well-preserved church. 50'000 years of history presented in the labyrinthine spaces of a restored medieval castle at the heart of the Valais. A collection of unique objects that make a second visit worthwhile.
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Tourbillon Castle
The construction of Tourbillon Castle dates back to the very start of the 14th Century. However, the hill on which it is located had been used since prehistoric times as a defensive vantage point in battles. Made from earth and wood, the primitive defences erected there were temporary structures, which have long since vanished without trace.
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Sant'Orso Chirch
The archaeological dig carried out in several batches between 1976 and 1999, allowed for the building’s constructive stages to be rediscovered. The digs involved an area which used to be part of a large extra-urban necropolis, where, at the beginning of the 5th century, there was an early-Christian complex which also included the cruciform church of S. Lorenzo. At the centre of the south nave, the basement of a funeral building was found, it may be dated to some time between the 4th and 5th centuries A.D.; the primitive church, which was erected to the north of this mausoleum, consisted of a simple apsidal hall surrounded by a portico destined for use as privileged burial grounds. In the 9th century, the church was completely rebuilt and enlarged, moving the general axis of the building southwards, the eastern extremity has three apses, while the facade was rebuilt to the west of the early-Christian one. In the year 989, a bell tower was added to the facade, the remains of which are still visible up to a height of approximately 15 m. The archeological dig of the choir of the church of S. Orso allowed for a square-shaped floor mosaic to be brought back to the surface, it was unknown and not mentioned by the sources, it was made with black and white tiles with some inserts of light brown coloured tiles. A series of six circles inscribed in the square, acts as a frame for the central decorations. In the central medallion there is an elegant representation of Samson killing the lion.
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La Collegiale
“When I was small, I thought the Château and the Collégiale were the same thing. They were so close, they seemed to be interlinked. Was it a church or a château? Most of all, it was the wonderful playground of my childhood! The years passed but the two emblematic monuments remain inseparable.
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Rosa Mir Garden
Le Jardin Rosa Mir, or the Rosa Mir Garden, located in the heart of Croix-Rousse in Lyon’s 4th arrondissement, is one of Lyon’s unique treasures, founded in the dreams of a self-taught artist. The Rosa Mir Garden is a small, originally private garden located in the courtyard of an apartment building. Created between the years of 1957 and 1977, the garden is a tribute to the creativity and artistic vision of its creator, a Spanish mason called Jules Senis Mir. Made up of pillars, basins, obelisks and pergolas sculpted from pebbles and shells, the monument pulls its inspiration from Arab-Andalusian motifs and styles. It is filled with over 10,000 plants, from cacti to perennials to roses to oregano and lemon.
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Place des Terreaux
Place des Terreaux was once a huge bog, believe it or not. Today, the famous Lyonnais landmark deserves a visit, either as a starting point to explore the presqu’île and the City Hall area, or as a beautifully-constructed square to while away the hours. Place des Terreaux is a famous Lyonnais square, grand and grey. It’s a perfect rectangle in fact, located in the 1st district of Lyon inside the peninsular or ‘presqu’île’ between the Rhône and Saône rivers, at the foot of the Croix-Rousse hill. It’s a Lyon landmark and a UNESCO heritage site, the place to meet, inside which you can sip beer in the outdoor cafés, perch on the steps of the Fine Arts Museum and observe the Bartholdi fountain, or pop into the beautiful City Hall to pay new mayor Mr Képénikian a visit.
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Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon
The Museum of Fine Arts is one of the largest French and European museums. Located in the heart of Lyon, between the Rhône and Saône rivers, it is found in a magnificent building dating from the 17th century. The collections are exhibited in over 70 rooms and offer visitors an outstanding sample of art from antiquity to contemporary art. The museum is regularly enriched, through an active acquisition policy that relies on donors, art lovers, collectors and the descendants of artists.
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Place Bellecour
It’s the largest pedestrian square in Europe. So whether you want to get to the Tourist Information centre inside, join a march, jump on the big wheel, or just simply sit, this oversized square reinvigorates the lungs and stretches the horizons. As the central focus of shopping on the presqu’île and the chosen starting point for most city visits, Bellecour is the kilometre 0 of Lyon and all distances are calculated from it. Four major streets start from this famous square: rue de la République, which takes you up to Hôtel de Ville and the Opera; rue Victor Hugo and rue du Plat both leading to Perrache; and rue du Président Édouard Herriot, with a concentration of luxury shops all the way to the Place des Terreaux. Surrounded by linden trees, wild cherries and beautiful Napoleonic buildings, Place Bellecour is the third largest square in France after Place des Quinconces in Bordeaux and Place de la Concorde in Paris, measuring 312m by 200m, not to mention the biggest pedestrian square in the whole of Europe. Fact.
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Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere
The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière is a vital part of the Lyon cityscape and you’d be a fool not to go up there. Mr Mayor, Gérard Collomb, even calls it a “treasure of humanity”. With one of the best views over the entire city, it understandably draws in busloads, who all load off to celebrate Mary and the paraphernalia of Christianity. Then you have those who hike up there for a brisk morning walk to lord it over the panoramic view and feel regal. The beautiful white Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere, known by locals as the upside-down elephant, sits on the top of Fourvière hill, aka the ‘praying hill’, in Lyon’s 5th district, where the world of Catholics rubs shoulders with vestiges of Ancient Rome. From its dominant position, looming over the city below with vantage points aplenty, Fourvière has become a symbol of Lyon, attracting over 2 million visitors annually. Designed by Pierre Bossan, Fourvière basilica draws from both Romanesque and Byzantine architecture, two non-Gothic models that were unusual choices at the time. It’s actually one church on top of another.
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Lyon Gallo-Roman Civilisation Museum
The Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilisation astounds the visitor with its avant-garde architecture and carefully-chosen exhibits, nudging you to uncover more of what Lyon’s Roman, Gaul and Celtic forebears got up to. Facing the rising sun and the Alps, way up over the Confluence of Rhône and Saône, the Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilisation chronicles five centuries of the city’s history under Rome when Lyon was known as the dazzling capital Lugdunum. Dug deep inside Fourvière hill in the 5th district of Lyon, with its two huge windows overlooking its neighbouring Amphitheatre and Odeon, the Gallo-Roman Museum of Lyon is akin to a submarine, set to journey through the undergrowth and vestiges of this ancient civilisation. Step on-board and be subtly wowed by polychrome mosaics, the sarcophagus of the triumph of Bacchus, the unique Gallic Coligny calendar, a plan-relied of the ancient town, a rare circus mosaic, not to mention the Tabla Claudiana, reproducing a speech by the emperor Claudius, all set inside an avant-garde architectural experience whipped up by Bernard Zehrfuss.
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The Musee des Confluences
The Museum inherited over two million pieces collected from the 16th century through today. Referred to as “the 21st Century’s Cabinet of Curiosities,” the institution’s finds relate to paleontology, mineralogy, zoology, entomology, and ethnography.
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The Grenoble Museum of Art
Created in 1798, the Grenoble Museum of Art lets you travel through eight uninterrupted centuries of Western art, and includes world-class works for each period.
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The Vizille Estate
The Vizille Estate is first and foremost a chateau that played a key role in history and a landscaped park that has been classified as a “Remarkable Garden.” But it’s also the only museum dedicated to the French Revolution that brings together so many valuable works. Set foot in this historic and natural landscape. Inside the park, you will be able to admire the tremendous ornamental lake which often served as a playground for swans, ducks, and even herons. Along the banks, you will discover the French-style gardens and magnificent rose gardens. An animal park is a home to stags, deer, and roes roaming together more or less freely. With 100 hectares of protected natural landscapes, the gardens of the Vizille Estate bring together human history and wild nature. It is, for sure, the ideal place to play, stroll, and dream.
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Baron Gamba Castle
Gamba Castle Built at the beginning of the 1900s from the designs of the engineer Carlo Saroldi, it was commissioned by Charles Maurice Gamba, husband of Angélique d‘Entrèves, daughter of Count Christin d‘Entrèves. Since 1982 it has been the property of the Valle d’Aosta Autonomous Region. After a complex restoration, today the castle houses an exhibition route that winds through 13 rooms, displaying over 150 works of art such as paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings and photographs belonging to a regional collection dating back from the end of the nineteenth century to the present day. Alongside the works of the 20th-century masters, including sculptures by Martini, Mastroianni, Manzù, Arnaldo and Giò Pomodoro, and paintings by Casorati, De Pisis, Carrà and Guttuso, the collection documents Italian figurative art produced from the second half of the century up to contemporary study exponents, such as Schifano, Baruchello, Rama and Mainolfi. A vast and varied selection of works testifies to the movements that have animated the Italian art scene over the past 25 years: for example, the exhibition hosts representations of Informal art, Geometric abstraction, Transavantgarde and Pop art. Particular importance is given to Valle d’Aosta region through the activity of local artists, or those active in Valley, on regional commission. For visitors seeking both learning and distraction, the exhibition offers a series of services designed to bring different groups of visitors (families, adults, schools, children, young people) closer to modern and contemporary art through workshop activities, guided tours and events.
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House of Parliament
The Parliament Building houses the Swiss Parliament. The Swiss federal government has its headquarters in this impressive structure where the National Council and Council of States convene for regular sessions four times a year.
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Prison tower
"When I get to the top, I feel like Napoleon Bonaparte. Yes, the man who said: “From the top of these pyramids, 40 centuries gaze upon you”. Except, for me, it’s not pyramids but a Tower, the Tour des Prisons. It’s not 40 centuries either, but 10, which isn’t bad either. Because the town of Neuchâtel, spread before my eyes, celebrated its 1000th birthday in 2011.
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Thun Castle and Museum
Built by the Dukes of Zähringen, the 12th century Thun Castle with its four towers overlooks the town and is its most visible feature. Discover the unmistakeable landmark of Thun.
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The Zytglogge (Clock Tower)
The Zytglogge (Clock Tower) was Bern's first western city gate (1191-1256) and is now one of Bern's most important sights.The ornate astronomical clock with its moving figures was built in 1530. It served as the city's main clock and thus had an authoritative function in Bern.
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Castle Church Spiez
Castle Church Spiez (St. Laurentius) is evangelical-reformed First church: 7/8th century (762 first mentioned) Refurbished: 1949/50
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Huenegg Castle
At Hünegg Castle time appears to have stood still. The rooms are still furnished just as they were under the original castle owners
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Musuem in the Castle of Nidau
"The exhibition impressively documents the meaning and purpose of political work and the chance to realize visions. I think it is an exciting, informative and well-made exhibition. It promotes understanding of a formidable achievement that has had an enduring impact on the landscape of the Seeland.
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The Pasquart
"The Pasquart shows temporary exhibitions of contemporary art. The centre is a place for innovative work and encourages artists to develop for their exhibitions. The Photo forum, the Film podium, the espace libre and the Kunstverein Biel are also on the Museum's premises"