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Reformation Wall Monument

Historic protestant reformers and Geneva's involvement in the Reformation are honored in this remarkable memorial, a massive wall with huge sculptures.

The Reformation Wall Monument is a powerful tribute to key figures in the religious movement that swept across Europe in the 16th century. The impressive carving measures 325 feet (100 meters) long and 30 feet (9 meters) high and features statues, bas-reliefs and inscriptions. It was constructed between 1909 and 1917 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the birth of Protestant leader John Calvin. 

The Reformation Movement ushered in a period of religious upheaval that divided Catholic Europe. It led to the creation of Protestant churches in the 16th and 17th centuries. During this time of intense turmoil, Geneva established itself as a safe haven for Protestant exiles from other parts of Europe. 

Survey the four towering figures at the center of the monument. The 15-foot (4.5-meter) statues are of the most prominent reformers, including Guillaume Farel, one of the first people to lobby for the Reformation in Geneva and John Knox, founder of Presbyterianism in Scotland. There is a large inscription across the top of the wall that reads: ‘post tenebras lux’ which translates as ‘after darkness, light’. This was the motto of the Reformation and it remains Geneva’s motto today.

Look at the bas-relief of pilgrims praying on the deck of the Mayflower. This was the ship that transported them from England to the New World. Study the sculpture that depicts the presentation of the Bill of Rights to King William by the English Parliament in the 17th century. 

You can also see smaller memorials dedicated to other important reformers, such as Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli. The statues are intentionally less prominent because Calvin disagreed with these leaders on several issues. 

The Reformation Wall Monument is situated in the grounds of the University of Geneva, just below the old town. Take the tram to Place de Neuve and walk from there. After your visit, continue on to nearby Bastions Park where you can play chess on the enormous boards.


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Best Lodging Options Near Reformation Wall Monument

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Hotel N'vY $151
Hotel N'vY

Hotel N'vY

Rue de Richemont 18, Geneva, GE
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Downtown Geneva, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Park Mon Repos, Ariana Ceramics and Glass Museum, and Jet d'Eau Fountain. Saint-Pierre Cathedral and Flower Clock are also within 1 mi (2 km). Butini Tram Stop and Mole Tram Stop are within a 5-minute walk.

    9HOTEL PAQUIS $114
    9HOTEL PAQUIS

    9HOTEL PAQUIS

    31 Rue De Berne, Geneva, GE
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Downtown Geneva, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of The Library In English and Flower Clock. Saint-Pierre Cathedral and Reformation Wall Monument are also within 1 mi (2 km). Cornavin Tram Stop and Geneva Station are within a 5-minute walk.

      Hotel Royal $143
      Hotel Royal

      Hotel Royal

      Rue de Lausanne 41-43, Geneva
         
        4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown Geneva, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Notre Dame Basilica, Saint-Pierre Cathedral, and Reformation Wall Monument. Bourg-de-Four Square and Jet d'Eau Fountain are also within 1 mi (2 km). Mole Tram Stop is only a 2-minute walk and Cornavin Tram Stop is 5 minutes.

        Warwick Geneva $146
        Warwick Geneva

        Warwick Geneva

        14 Rue De Lausanne, Geneva, GE
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Downtown Geneva, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Notre Dame Basilica, Cité du Temps, and Rousseau Island. Paquis Baths is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) away. Cornavin Tram Stop and Geneva Station are within a 2-minute walk.

          Hotel Suisse $129
          Hotel Suisse

          Hotel Suisse

          10 Place Cornavin, Geneva, GE
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Downtown Geneva, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Notre Dame Basilica, Saint-Pierre Cathedral, and Reformation Wall Monument. Bourg-de-Four Square and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCO) are also within 1 mi (2 km). Cornavin Tram Stop and Coutance Tram Stop are within a 5-minute walk.

            Hôtel Longemalle $203
            Hôtel Longemalle

            Hôtel Longemalle

            Place Longemalle 13, Geneva, GE
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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              Hotel Metropole Geneve - Preferred Hotels & Resorts $349
              Hotel Metropole Geneve - Preferred Hotels & Resorts

              Hotel Metropole Geneve - Preferred Hotels & Resorts

              34 Quai General Guisan, Geneva, GE
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of Geneva, this luxury hotel is steps from Rue du Rhone and Flower Clock. Bourg-de-Four Square and Saint-Pierre Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Rive Tram Stop is 6 minutes by foot and Molard Tram Stop is 6 minutes.

                Mandarin Oriental Geneva $533
                Mandarin Oriental Geneva

                Mandarin Oriental Geneva

                1, Quai Turrettini, Geneva, GE
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  This family-friendly Geneva hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of Rues Basses - Old Town, Saint-Pierre Cathedral, and Reformation Wall Monument. Bourg-de-Four Square and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCO) are also within 15 minutes. Bel-Air Tram Stop and Coutance Tram Stop are within a 5-minute walk.