City of Calvin remembers the Reformation

Geneva and its landmark water jet.

Geneva is a cultural site richer with the opening of the first museum dedicated to the Reformation.

This content was published on February 18, 2005 - 17:54

In mid-April, the country’s leading comic festival kicks off in Lucerne and the guilds of Zurich rejoice in the arrival of spring by blowing up an oversized snowman.


Switzerland’s international city is also the city of Calvin but up to now, had no museum allowing visitors to discover the roots of the Reformation.

The new museum opening in April is symbolically located in the Mallet Mansion, which was constructed nearly 300 years ago on the site of the former cloister of St Pierre Cathedral where the people of Geneva chose to become Protestant in 1536.

The intention of the museum is to enable visitors to follow the development of the Reformation and measure its impact on civilisation.

The museum mixes modern interactive and multimedia elements with classical paintings, books and prints illustrating key episodes of the Reformation.

Comic Switzerland

Lucerne’s international comic festival, Fumetto, takes place this year from April 16 to 24.

Over the eight days, there will be 20 main exhibitions from both national and international artists, an alternative program with animated films, workshops, talk shows, speeches and book signings.

Burning snowman

Every year the guilds of Zurich and the townspeople celebrate their traditional spring festival, Sechseläuten (six o’clock bells).

More than 7,000 people dressed in historic costumes, along with horses and marching bands will take part in this year’s event on April 18.

During the procession through town, the blacksmiths carry hammers over their shoulders; the bakers hurl pastry treats into the crowd, and the butchers throw sausages.

Upon reaching the large field named after the festival, the riders gallop round the "Böögg" - a large snowman-like figure placed atop a bonfire.

The festival reaches its climax at 6pm sharp when the Böög is set alight. If his head explodes quickly, it is a sign of a good summer ahead.

The festival got its name from an ancient law regulating the working hours of the guild members.


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