Geneva: History

The Peace Capital

Geneva History

The history of Geneva has been preserved throughout the city and portrayed through its many museums, monuments, attracting visitors from all over the world. With over 4000 years of history, Geneva was originally a Roman settlement in 58 BC and because of its central location within Europe it soon became a vital trading town throughout the Middle Ages. After changing hands a number of times Geneva eventually gained Republic independence in 1535. However, in 1602, Geneva gained complete independence after resisting an attack from the Duke of Savoy. During the 1600’s Geneva became a sanctuary for mistreated Protestants from all over Europe. As the refugee population increased, so did the many trades including jewellery making, watch making, and other forms of arts and crafts. From this Geneva became Europe’s largest trading place for craftsmanship. The decades which followed introduced a high number of wealthy aristocrats, philosophers, and artists, including Rousseau and Voltaire. When Geneva joined the Confederation of Switzerland in 1814, it soon became the centre of banking, and Europe’s leader of the Industrial Revolution. By 1846, the International Red Cross was founded highlighting the importance of human rights. In the 19th century, Geneva became the proud home to the Headquarters of the League of Nations and the European Headquarters of the United Nations.

Geneva’s ‘peace-keeping’ attitude outlook is still evident today throughout the city and continues to depict its values as a representation for the rest of the world to see.