Saint-Pierre Cathedral

Holiday Travel Guide
Saint-Pierre Cathedral featuring a church or cathedral, heritage architecture and interior views

Towering over Geneva’s old town is this 12th-century cathedral, known for its mixture of architectural styles and the Roman temple ruins that lie beneath it. 

Climb Saint-Pierre Cathedral’s towers for superb views of the city, see where Protestant reformer John Calvin delivered his sermons and tour the archeological site under the building.

The cathedral was constructed in the late 12th century on the site of several earlier religious sanctuaries. It became a Protestant place of worship in the 16th century during the Reformation. The cathedral was rebuilt several times, resulting in a mix of architectural styles. Look for them when you examine the church’s exterior. The main building is Romanesque-gothic, while the columns of its façade are neoclassical. The two square towers on the east end are so different from the rest of the cathedral they almost seem to be part of a completely separate building.

Much of the cathedral’s once lavish interior was stripped away when it was converted into a Protestant church. However, you can still see some elegant Romanesque capitals in the nave. Admire one of the church’s other ornamental feature, the 15th-century carved wooden choir stalls. They survived the Reformation because they were in another building at the time. Then go to the Maccabee Chapel for its gothic paintings. One of the highlights of the cathedral is the simple wooden chair used by John Calvin.

Walk up the narrow, spiral staircase that leads to the top of the cathedral’s towers. From here, you can take in panoramic views of the city, Lake Geneva and the surrounding mountains.

Venture into the basement of the cathedral to explore the underground ruins. Many of these excavated areas date back to the fourth century. Look out for mosaic floors from the late Roman Empire, monks’ cells and the tomb of an Allobrogian chieftain.

Situated in the center of the old town, the cathedral is easy to get to via Geneva’s efficient public transportation system.

The interior of Saint-Pierre Cathedral is free to explore, but there are entrance fees for both the archaeological site and the towers. The cathedral is open every day, except for some public holidays.

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Top Trending Hotels Near Saint-Pierre Cathedral

ibis Geneve Centre Nations
ibis Geneve Centre Nations
3 out of 5
Rue De Grand Pre 33-35, Geneva, GE
The price is £72 per night from 23 Oct to 23 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 ...
4.2/5Excellent! (805 reviews)
"Modern, updated rooms. Nice breakfast. Walking distance to train station. Very lovely"

Reviewed on 7 Sep 2021

ibis Geneve Centre Nations
citizenM Geneva
citizenM Geneva
4 out of 5
31-33 Rue de la Rotisserie, Geneva
The price is £128 per night from 17 Oct to 17 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 ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (71 reviews)
"Ideal location very practical for short stays"

Reviewed on 28 Aug 2021

citizenM Geneva
Hotel Suisse
Hotel Suisse
3 out of 5
10 Place Cornavin, Geneva, GE
The price is £97 per night from 8 Oct to 8 Oct
Located in Downtown Geneva, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Notre Dame Basilica and Flower Clock. Jet d'Eau Fountain and United Nations European Headquarters ...
4.3/5Excellent! (954 reviews)
"Great location -- easy access to restaurants and public transportation. Good price. AC is a bit weak."

Reviewed on 13 Sep 2021

Hotel Suisse
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
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The price is £72 per night from 23 Oct to 23 Oct
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citizenM Geneva
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