Since the 16th century, Geneva has been something of a beacon in the Protestant world, notably due to the presence of the famous reformer John Calvin. It also welcomed thousands of persecuted Huguenots and became a centre of learning of significant intellectual and spiritual force. And at the beginning of the 20th century, Geneva – the “Protestant Rome” – celebrated this heritage with a monumental sculpture.
The building of the International Monument to the Reformation – also known as Reformation Wall – began in 1908 and was only completed in 1917, mainly due to the interruptions of the First World War. Financed by public and private donations from Switzerland and other Protestant countries, the sculpture celebrates the major moments in Reformation history, and even today remains – along with the Jet d’Eau fountain – Geneva’s best-known symbol.