Geneva is the capital of the canton of Geneva and ranks second in population density in Switzerland (188.987 inhabitants). With respect to financial matters, it is second in importance in the country third in Europe (after London and Zurich) and sixth in the world. Ranks among the "world city", offering, together with Zurich, the best quality of life (to Vancouver and Vienna).
The official language is French.
Geneva is home to 22 international organizations and more than
250 NGOs. Among them are: The International Committee of the Red Cross, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, World Organization for Trade and Development, World Health Organization, Council for Human Rights and the High Commissioner of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the European Organization for Nuclear Studies, International Labour Organization, the Committee on Disarmament, the High Commissioner for Refugees, the Office of the Coordinator of aid in case of an accident, World Economic Forum, International Telecommunication Union, World Meteorological Organization, World Intellectual Property Organization, the IPU and others.
New York and Geneva are the two most important centers for international cooperation, Geneva is the largest in number of meetings that take place in it. The name of the town has become a byword for efforts aimed at preserving peace.
Already in 1920 the League of Nations (UN) selected its Geneva headquarters, and management of the city provides the world organization park Ariane to build the future Palace of Nations. This palace was built between 1929 and 1936 is expanded with one additional building in 1973 during opening in 30 years its area has been equated to that of Versailles in France. Now, of course, is even greater.
In 1946 after the establishment of the United Nations (UN) following World War II, built Palace of Nations has become a major center of activity in Europe, the United Nations and the symbol of Geneva's international role.
This is a very active diplomatic center, which conducted more than 5,000 annual meetings and negotiations. Outside of its regular army of 3,000 international staff, housed in 886 offices in the old building and 700 in the new, Palais des Nations has adopted some 20 000 delegates per year, participating in various meetings and negotiations.
One of the most notable room is the assembly hall, which area is equal to the Paris Opera and serves to conduct the most important meetings. Another of the four most representative hall in the new building is called "Swiss Hall, whose clearance Swiss government has given 4,000,000 francs.
Press Center covers more than 200 journalists, whose contribution reaches all corners of the globe.
The library, which occupies an entire wing of the Palais des Nations, store the largest collection of international legal and diplomatic books, magazines and records, and originals of contracts, documents and other relics testifying to the efforts of the United Nations for peace .
The library was founded in 1920 with the assistance of John D. Rockefeller. Her longtime director with a substantial contribution to the completion of this collection was a Bulgarian - Teodor Dimitrov.
Park of the Palais des Nations occupies 25 hectares area. He descends to the oblique Lemanskoto lake, discovering lovely views of both the water surface and the peak Mont Blanc from the French shore of the lake. Reviyo owned by the family, it bears the name "Ariane Park" in the name of the mother of Mr. Riyo.
Without heirs, the owner of the park it bequeathed the town Geneva in 1890, in his will asked to observe three conditions: (1) park to remain public, (2) to honor the grave of the owner, who is in the park, and (3) by the Romantic tradition of the XIX century, in the green areas to walk freely peacocks. All these terms are strictly adhered to this day.
Attractions in the park is a planetary ball drawn in the style of "decorative", donated in 1939 by the U.S. in memory of President Wilson and placed at the center of the park-in "Honour courtyard.
Planetary ball goes back to ancient times (3 century BC) and is intended to provide space. This tool illustrates both heaven and earth at the point at which the observer. His wooden arches symbolize the major terrestrial and celestial coordinates, and the orbits of major planets.
Planetary ball is a symbol of hope for global human community for a peaceful world governed by international law, elaborated by the UN and signed by the member states. As such, planetary ball is also a symbol of European based United Nations in Geneva - the largest and most active representation of the UN in the world, and conglomeration of organizations affiliated with the United Nations.
The whole ensemble of the Palais des Nations in Geneva is freely available to visitors. So everyone can see with your eyes where to build peace and security in the world where, in the modern sense, be built light in the world.
Not incidentally the motto of Geneva states: "Post tenebras lux" (after dark - light). It sounds very modern and today, although there is in the middle of the XVI century and had related primarily to the reform (1536), which, in Geneva headed by Frenchman Jean Calvi, celebrates the city as a "Protestant Rome" .
When around 1520 in Germany began reform with sermons of the monk Martin Luther (Martin Luther, 1483-1546) against the abuses of the Catholic Church, indeed all over Europe now has a Catholic church who wish to return to traditional values.
In Geneva at this time, unfolds a genuine popular movement for a return to more modest religion corresponding to the time of the apostles. The story is too long to tell at a glance.
Eventually they came to the plebiscite on 21/05/1536, which is considered the beginning of the reform in Geneva. From his time in the Cathedral of St. Peter, the oldest cathedral in Geneva, built in the XII century in Romanesque started and finished in the Gothic style, service and today is only Protestant. First preacher-reformer it is Bishop William Farrell (Guillaume Farel, 1489-1565).
When in July 1536 the Frenchman Jean Calvi (Jean Calvin, 1509-1564), then aged 27, went to Geneva, he found a church that has adopted the reform. Cause of Calvi consists not really in this to bring reform in Geneva and to bring organization into it. In 30 years Calvi preached in the cathedral of St. Peter. " After his death in 1564, Theodore de No (Théodor de Bèze, 1519-1605), Rector of the Academy in Geneva and chief associate of Calvi, some time consultant to Catherine de Medici of Religious Affairs, assumed his duties and continues his work .
Geneva is proud to this day with its reformers. In the park of the University, back on the very wall of the XVI century, was erected the Wall of the Reformers. This monument, constructed in 1909, consists of a stone platform, decorated with bas-reliefs with which stand statues of the public - pioneers or patrons of reform in Geneva - William Farrell, Jean Calvi, Theodore de No and John Knox (John Knox , 1513-1572), founder of in Scotland.
They are dressed in long black robe, called "Geneva robe, which only brought scholars or preachers, who had jurisdiction to clarify the truth of scripture, at the heart of the Church.
Before the entire ensemble stretches a hundred meters of water surface, which symbolizes the pit filled with water, before the old fortifications, once defended the city.
The monument is international - so the left and right of the central 4 figures are statues of individuals associated with Calvinism in different countries, among them Admiral Colin (France), Oliver Cromwell (England), Etienne stinging (Hungary) and others., and also are engraved the names of Jan Hus, Pierre Valdo and others.
On the opposite side of the four central figures are two memorial plates that remind of Martin Luther, founder of Protestantism and Ulrich Zwingli (Ulrich Zwingli, 1484-1531), one of the clergy, introduced Protestantism in Switzerland.
"Post tenebras lux" ....
The motto of Geneva, irrespective of their direct connection with the reform can be applied to many other historical moments marked the appearance and traditions of the city.
To not fully back in history, let me just mention that shortly before 400 AD the city became bishop - center of a vast diocese. And in 1443 it became the capital of the Burgundian kingdom, which in 1032 passed within the German Empire.
In other words, legal Geneva depends on the Empire, and in fact, to reform itself in the XVI century, it was ruled by bishops. This duality of belonging to both the secular and the spiritual power found expression in the crest of the city.
It contains the symbol of the empire (the eagle with a crown) and the Geneva Bishop Adhemar Fabry (gold key), who attributed freedoms and privileges since 1387, when the bishop gives the right of the citizens of Geneva to participate in the management of city and provide them with opportunities for trade facilitation.
The old colors of the emblem of the Geneva were gray and black. In the XVII century - black and purple in the XVIII century imposing yellow and red, and black is introduced into the revolutionary period. The emblem of the city and canton of Geneva Geneva is the same.
Since the beginning of the XIII v.third force is included in the aspirations for power over Geneva - Savoy dynasty. Highlight in the conquest ambitions of this dynasty was invasion of the armies of Charles-Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy, the city Geneva. The event happened at night, 11 against 12 December 1602 and is known as "Eskaladata" (The attack).
Around 2000 Savoy troops gather in front of the fortress wall of Geneva. Several of them, armed with stairs, wrapped in cloth to avoid a fuss, managed to climb the wall and head to the gate, intending to open them to allow outside forces to come into town.
Legend has it that at this time Mom Roayom (mère Royaume) preparing vegetable soup with rice. Pot simmer on the fire when the hostess looks down through the window of her house, which is located near the city gates themselves.
She saw Savoy soldier and there was no way to stop it, grab a pot of boiling soup and poured it on the head of the soldier who died on the spot. Troops outside the city gates realized that plans to raid failed and withdrew immediately.
Legend or not, Mom Roayom really existed. Catherine was told Roayom, lived in Geneva near the gate and was completely probably person on the night of .
Today this event is celebrated every 12 December in Geneva - both in family and in public places. The shops are loaded with chocolate cauldrons filled with chocolate pieces of vegetables and two people - the oldest and the youngest in the family or the office, grabbed the pot from both parties, with all the force broke it on the table, shouting: "So perish all enemies of the Republic! "remaining present repeated the phrase and its eating of vegetables and chocolate chips from the pot.
Failure to forcing Duke of Savoy to enter Saint-peace treaty of June 12, 1603, recognizing the independence of the city. "Post lux!"
XVIII century brought political turmoil of Geneva, known as the "Geneva revolutions. They broke out between the class of aristocrats and the bourgeoisie on the one hand, and those who are not political, but some civil rights (indigenous peoples).
After the French Revolution in 1793 in Geneva was overthrown the old regime and adopted a constitution made by the national Assembly of the city, voted by the citizens of 05/02/1794, it provides control of the citizens of all governmental and administrative matters.
Geneva in 1798 joined the French Republic, but after the defeat of Napoleon regained its independence. Realizing that the city can not exist as an independent state, its leaders declared their willingness to join the Swiss Confederation, which became of May 19, 1815
The specificity of the Geneva fountain consists precisely in the exhaust pipe. The jet is concave, making it opaque, ie visible. At the crown of the jet gather millions of tiny bubbles that give the snow kind of fountain.
This aerial water is a specific light extravaganza that fits into the motto of the city, which already been mentioned. It is not surprising that it of Geneva has become a symbol of the city.
Does mentioning Geneva, immediately arises the idea of the fountain, and with it to light, which has struggled and continues to fight the city - as in distant ages and in modern times.