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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.

Top Trending Hotels Near Reformation Wall Monument

ibis Geneve Centre Nations
ibis Geneve Centre Nations
3 out of 5
Rue De Grand Pre 33-35, Geneva, GE
The price is £71 per night from 9 Oct to 9 Oct
Located in Petit-Saconnex, this eco-friendly hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Flower Clock, United Nations European Headquarters and Palace of Nations. Saint-Pierre ...
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ibis Geneve Centre Nations
citizenM Geneva
citizenM Geneva
4 out of 5
31-33 Rue de la Rotisserie, Geneva
The price is £126 per night from 10 Oct to 10 Oct
Located in Geneva Old Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Rue du Rhône, Saint-Pierre Cathedral and Flower Clock. University of Geneva and Jet d'Eau ...
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"Ideal location very practical for short stays"

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citizenM Geneva
Warwick Geneva
Warwick Geneva
4 out of 5
14 Rue De Lausanne, Geneva, GE
The price is £117 per night from 17 Oct to 17 Oct
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) ...
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Reviewed on 6 Sep 2021

Warwick Geneva
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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ibis Geneve Centre Nations
ibis Geneve Centre Nations
3 out of 5
Rue De Grand Pre 33-35, Geneva, GE
The price is £71 per night from 9 Oct to 9 Oct
ibis Geneve Centre Nations
citizenM Geneva
citizenM Geneva
4 out of 5
31-33 Rue de la Rotisserie, Geneva
The price is £126 per night from 10 Oct to 10 Oct
citizenM Geneva
Warwick Geneva
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