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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.


Guide to Exploring Reformation Wall Monument


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See all 297 properties near Reformation Wall Monument
Hotel N'vY £133
Hotel N'vY

Hotel N'vY

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

    Located in Valais, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (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 mile (2 km). Butini Tram Stop and Mole Tram Stop are within a 5-minute walk.

    Hotel Royal £138
    Hotel Royal

    Hotel Royal

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

      Located in the heart of Geneva, this luxury hotel is within 1 mile (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 mile (2 km). Mole Tram Stop is only a 2-minute walk and Cornavin Tram Stop is 5 minutes.

      Warwick Geneva £129
      Warwick Geneva

      Warwick Geneva

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

        Located in Cornavin, 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.

        9HOTEL PAQUIS £135
        9HOTEL PAQUIS

        9HOTEL PAQUIS

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

          Located in Pâquis-Temple, 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 mile (2 km). Cornavin Tram Stop and Geneva Station are within a 5-minute walk.

          Hotel Bristol £198
          Hotel Bristol

          Hotel Bristol

          10, rue du Mont-Blanc, Geneva, GE
             
            4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Saint-Gervais / des Grottes, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Mont Blanc Bridge and Flower Clock. Saint-Pierre Cathedral and Bourg-de-Four Square are also within 15 minutes. Coutance Tram Stop is 5 minutes by foot and Cornavin Tram Stop is 7 minutes.

            Hotel Suisse £118
            Hotel Suisse

            Hotel Suisse

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

              Located in Saint-Gervais / des Grottes, 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 mile (2 km). Cornavin Tram Stop and Coutance Tram Stop are within a 5-minute walk.

              Hotel Century £99
              Hotel Century

              Hotel Century

              Av./De Frontenex, 24, Geneva, GE
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Les Eaux-Vives, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of City Center Shopping Area, Jet d'Eau Fountain and Flower Clock. Bourg-de-Four Square and Saint-Pierre Cathedral are also within 15 minutes. Villereuse Tram Stop and Terrassiere Tram Stop are within a 5-minute walk.

                Novotel Geneve Centre £138
                Novotel Geneve Centre

                Novotel Geneve Centre

                19 Rue De Zurich, Geneva, GE
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  This family-friendly Geneva hotel is located in the entertainment district, within 1 mi (2 km) of Paquis Baths, Saint-Pierre Cathedral and Reformation Wall Monument. Jet d'Eau Fountain and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCO) are also within 1 mi (2 km). Mole Tram Stop is only a 4-minute walk and Cornavin Tram Stop is 6 minutes.