Once a catholic church St.Pierre Cathedral is the main place of worship of Geneva’s protestants since the advent of the Reformation in 1536.
It was built between 1150 and 1230 with many roman and gothic elements. Of course it must have been changed through the next centuries under several additions, restorations including a monumental porch in neo-classical style (18th century).
No surprise the major changes happened during reformation (16th century), don’t forget that John Calvin (who helped reform the church in Geneva) adopted the cathedral as his home church. When I got inside I felt disappointed, not only because (as expected due to reformation) all the statues, paintings and altars taken away but because the cathedral was full of noisy tourists that were yelling, I guess they were there just because the cathedral is mentioned as a major attraction.
There’s no entrance fee for the church but you have to pay 4chf to access the towers for the view. I walked up the narrow steps (they seemed endless, be patient) and enjoyed the panoramic view over Geneva but as it wasn’t a clear day I couldn’t see really far but I checked both towers anyway as I love high spots/view points in every city. North Tower seems to have a bit better views if you have to visit only one.
Major excavations on the area brought to light foundations of ancient buildings (3rd century BC) and ruins of proto-christian churches. A visit to the Intarnational museum of Reformation (ground floor of Maison Mallet, opposite the cathedral) will satisfy those who want to learn more about what was below the cathedral. I was supposed to return the day after but I didn’t :(
The cathedral is open in summer Monday to Friday 9.30-18.30, Saturday 9.30-17.00, Sunday 12.00-18.30
In winter (October to may) Monday-Saturday 10.00-17.30, Sunday 12.00-17.30
Some days there are live organ perfomances inside, check their site for timetable, adult tickets cost 16chf.
Construction began on Cathedral St. Pierre as far back as 1160 but went through a number of setbacks and transformations. One of the most significant transitions took place in the 15th century at the time of the austere Reformation. The Cathedral was stripped of its altars, statues, paintings and furniture. Only the stained glass windows remained. The initial Gothic facade of the Cathedral was also later modified to its present mid-18th century neo-classical style. For many visitors, one of the highlights is the breathtaking panoramic view of the city once you have climbed the 157 steps of the narrow winding staircase of the North tower. The Cathedral also has a very important archaeological site dating from the beginning of Christianity to the 5th century mosaics, 12th century, 4th century baptistery, and pits are exhibited
St. Peter Cathedral (French: Cathedrale de St-Pierre) is famous landmark in Old town.
Build in 12th century as Catholic cathedral under Arducius de Faucigny, the prince-bishop of the Diocese of Geneva.Today belonging to the Swiss Reformed Church.
His design includes an eclectic mix of styles.
It is a place of John Calvin's preachings (one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation), there is his wooden chair. Most important church in the region.
The St. Pierre Cathedral is a cathedral in Geneva, Switzerland, today belonging to the Swiss Reformed Church. It was begun under Arducius de Faucigny, the prince-bishop of the Diocese of Geneva, in the 12th century, and includes an eclectic mix of styles. It is best known as the adopted home church of John Calvin, one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation. Inside the church is a wooden chair used by Calvin.
The area beneath the Cathedral has recently been excavated extensively, revealing a rich history of the site dating back to the time of the Roman Empire. From the 8th to 10th centuries it was one of three cathedrals to coexist on the site. The present building has grown from a cathedral devoted to ecclesiastical use and an early Christian funerary cult; the other two structures, subsumed in the 12th century by the growth of the surviving building, were apparently for different uses, one for public sacraments and the other for church teachings.
The German painter Konrad Witz painted an altarpiece, the so-called St. Peter Altarpiece, for the Cathedral in 1444, now in the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva, which contains his most famous composition, the Miraculous Draught of Fishes.
If you have the energy climb up the towers .... cost is 4 CHF but be ready to climb and endless amount of stairs .... once above the views are outstanding !!!! well worth it !!!!
Located underneath the Cathedral of Geneva, the Saint-Pierre archaeological site was excavated over a couple of decades ending in 2006. The excavations revealed the foundations of buildings dating from as far back as the 3rd century BC to the ruins of the paleo-christian churches that preceded the mediaeval cathedral above. The pièce de resistance of the ruins is a fairly well preserve mosaic floor that once belonged to a hall in the Bishop's palace. The is very well laid out and guides the visitor through the ages.
It may come as a surprise to some that Geneva's Cathedral is in fact a Protestant church. Construction of Cathédrale Saint-Pierre began in 1160 as a Catholic church, but it became Protestant during the 16th century Reformation when Geneva was the centre of Protestant activity and the birthplace of Calvinism. During the Cathedral’s conversion, Reformists stripped its rich interior of all ornamentations as Calvinism strongly preferred unadorned, austere churches. Additional modifications to the Cathedral were made over time, including the construction of the neoclassical façade in the 18th century, which gave the structure the mix of styles we see today. Below the Cathedral is an archaeological site showing the foundations of earlier churches dating as far back as the 6th century. Geneva’s population today is estimated to be 42% Catholic and only 35% Protestant. This is partly due to the efforts of Saint François de Sales, the early 17th century Geneva bishop, who managed to return a large part of the diocese back to Catholicism.
Climbing the spiral staircase up the tower was a real workout, and left our legs aching however the view from the top was amazing. At the top of the south tower we got some amazing views, but the north tower seemed even better - this is the one which over looks Lac Leman.
Cathedrale de St-Pierre, or St-Peter's Cathedral, is Geneva's impressive cathedral. Construction began in the 12th century in a Gothic style. It is located on the site of earlier cathedrals, discovered when the area underneath it was extensively excavated in more recent years. Today it is made up of a variety of architectural styles, including an 18th century neo-classical façade.
Make sure you have a look at the pretty side chapel which has a brightly frescoed ceiling and some nice stained glass windows.
If you are feeling energetic you can climb the 157 steps which will take you to the top of the cathedral's north tower. The climb is well worth it for the great views over the city and lake. It was the first tower I have climbed that had traffic lights telling you when you should ascend/descend the narrow, spiral staircases. A great idea considering there was no room to pass someone coming the other way.
This is very lovely cathedral at the top of the old part of Geneva. It is a Romanesque with Gothic details and Neoclassical facade. As you come in the front door the main cathedral is in front of you, however if you turn right in the back corner (along the wall you cam ein on) is a decorated side chapel.
Opening June-Sept., Mon.-Sat. 9:30-6:30, Sun. noon-6:30; Oct.-May, Mon.-Sat. 10-5, Sun. noon-5.
Saint-Peter's Cathedral (cathédrale Saint-Pierre in French) in Geneva. The former catholic cathedral has been ransacked by Calvin and his supporters and is now considered the Genevan's answer to Saint-Peter's in Rome - a protestant cathedral.Below the church is an archeological site with the remains of a roman church.
Geneva's principle cathedral lies on a hilltop in the center of the old town. The mostly Romanesque building has two towers as well as a steeple between them. For a small fee, visitors can climb up through to both bell towers. This is one church where it is really to explore the upper reaches in length. The views of the city are incredible. Just as interesting is the close look at the steeple and the sister bell tower to the one you happen to be standing on. In one of them, there is a large model of the cathedral. Look inside the windows. The stairs are narrow as in many places, but there is a "traffic light" of sorts in various areas to allow flow in one direction (up or down). This way, you will not be trying to squeeze in between others as you pass on the narrow stairs. I thought this was a really good idea. The cavernous interior is also impressive. Certainly, this is one of the best churches aesthetically in in terms of history.
After the Reformation, the interior decoration of the church was striped off and now St Peter's has a much white-washed interior, staying true to Reformation aspirations. What is impressive is its size, its sheer size which dominates the Geneva skyline. Its tall spire must be one of the tallest around. It a good exercise for you to walk up to it.
The interior of this cathedral isn't all that impressive, apart from a massive organ. However, for CHF 3 (about 2 euro) you can climb the 153 steep and windy steps of the 177ft/54 m "Tour Nord" (North Tower), and be rewarded by a great view of the city and lake.
Bottom-line: Not the most remarkable cathedral, but if you're up for a little physical exertion, the view from the top is a nice treat.
157steps lead to the summit of the cathedral’s north tower and to a fabulus panorama overlooking the city and the Geneva lake .
the queen of the bells ,weighing over a tons and hoisted to this very tower in 15th centary . the first phase was constructed 12th centaury .
In the old town, this cathedral is the symbol of the protestant church, but it was a catholic church. It have 157 steps to reach at the top of the north tower. The construction start in 1140 and during over a century.