Geneva, home to the headquarters of some 200 international organisations, is at the centre of the worldwide diplomatic scene. But the city, which is one of the three principal Swiss cantons, is also famous for its cultural buzz thanks to its opera, theatre and 40 museums. In addition, its wealth of wonderful architecture and its superb scenery never cease to amaze everyone that sees them, making this a very a special place. Our hotel near the Jardin Anglais will be the ideal place for enjoying your next trip to Geneva to the full.
Geneva is especially close to nature. There are no fewer than 310 hectares of parks in the city, over 40,000 trees planted in public places and as many rose bushes adorning the streets with flowers. But the Jardin Anglais holds a special place in the hearts of Genevans. This park, which in its current form dates from 1862 and is situated on the shore of the famous Lake Geneva, is the city’s first English-style garden. It’s perfect for strolling, daydreaming and revelling in the sheer poetry of the place. Providing those who walk there with a real breath of fresh air in the midst of the city, the Jardin Anglais is loved by everyone and is well worth a visit.
As you walk, you’ll discover the huge Quatre-Saisons fountain, where, in the manner typical of English-style gardens, the park’s winding paths converge. There is a charming bandstand that hosts many concerts during the warmer weather, and as you walk, you’ll see the busts of famous Swiss artists at intervals along the way. Lastly, you will have the opportunity to admire the National Monument, officially unveiled in September 1869, which celebrates the city joining the Swiss Confederation in 1814.
Nevertheless, it is obviously the Floral Clock for which Geneva’s Jardin Anglais is famous. The monument, created in 1955 by Armand Auberson, a Genevan landscape architect, represents a clock face and measures 4 metres in diameter. Its appearance was slightly altered in 2002 to make it more modern. Painter José Pitteloud and sculptor Jean Stern were tasked with carrying out the work. The flowers making up the Floral Clock are changed regularly to keep the monument looking beautiful all year round.
The Floral Clock pays tribute to the importance of Geneva’s role in Swiss watchmaking (see our articles about Patek Philippe Museum and SIHH). Indeed, the city is its national flagship, Geneva being the place where, in the 16th century, the first Swiss watchmakers appeared, as a reaction to a reform by John Calvin requiring the people of Geneva to divest themselves of their finery and any frivolous decorations on their clothing. The city is still known as the birthplace of this high-precision art for which the whole country is famous.
Choosing a hotel near the Jardin Anglais in Geneva means you can be sure of discovering a place rich in history and symbols. It’s also an excellent way of enjoying some time out in the heart of the city.