City Hall (Hôtel de Ville)

City Hall (Hôtel de Ville)


5 (1)

The City Hall (Hôtel de Ville) is the headquarters of Geneva's government. You can visit the building's courtyard, where you can admire the architecture in the style of the Renaissance.
The City Hall is called Hôtel de Ville, because it used to be the true city hall until 1814. In this year Geneva became part of the Swiss Confederation and turned the city hall into the parliament of the canton of Geneva. Today the city hall lies a few metres from here (close to the Reformation Wall).

One of the architectural highlights is the stone ramp on the right side of the courtyard. This ramp leads up to the upper part of the tower, allowing noble people to reach the highest floor on their horses back. Today it is only used by pedestrians, though. (You can still see the horses in the city hall once per year: during the time of the Fête de l’Escalade, the city festival in December.)

Above the entrance of the Hôtel de Ville you can usually find two to three flags. Normally, the swiss flag (white cross on red background) is on the left. The right flag is the flag of Geneva (eagle and key in red and yellow). The flag in the middle differs from no flag at all to the flag of the United Nations (blue with white picture of the earth) to a flag made from light bulbs.

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