Time for Geneva

Tick tock, tick tock. Bonjour my name is L’Horloge Fleurie but you can also call me the flower clock. I am a combined, timeless, master piece of floral art and technology, tick tock, tick tock.

Take your time to enjoy my beauty as I present it to you 24/7. You can find me near Pont du Mont Blanc at the edge of Jardin Anglais, which is a beautiful park on the southern bank of Lake Geneva. I am beauty myself, tick tock, tick tock, and, as you probably already guessed, I am a real clock.

My flower design makes me a very special and colourful piece of work. That is, of course, because I am the flower clock, tick tock, tick tock. I am a famous landmark in Geneva. Perhaps even the most photographed landmark in the city. I have been posting for pictures many, many times, since my existence. Due to my popularity, you probably have to wait a a few minutes if you want to take one.

I am standing in the great city of Geneva since 1955 and I have the honour of being the very proud symbol of Geneva’s watch industry, tick tock, tick tock. The birth of Swiss watches and clocks took place in Geneva. As you all know, those clocks and watches are important to the Swiss people. That is one of the reasons why I am financially supported by the local watch makers union.

As with many of my tourist attracting companions in this city, I have something big to offer. In my case it is my seconds hand which is 2,5 meters long and reported as the longest in the world, tick tock, tick tock.
I thank my existence to Favag from Neuchatel who is the creator of my watch mechanism.
People have put a lot of time in my creation and in maintaining me. I am made of 6500 plants and flowers!
Originally I was only a one circle clock but in 2002 those nice city gardeners gave me a facelift and now I have eight concentric circles and their colours change every season.
Every year a new beautiful design is created for me and ever year many tourists come to visit me. I continue showing them my beauty and of course my time, tick tock tick tock. That was my introduction. Have a good time in Geneva and I hope to see you around my clock, tick tock, tick tock.

Did you ever visit the famous flower clock in Geneva? What did you think of it? Leave your interesting responses in the comment section below. If you have any pictures of the clock then you are welcome to post them as well.


La nature dans la ville

Did you have a busy day?
Come take a break from your stressful life to visit me. I am the beautiful Parc des Bastions and I offer you a place to relax and to enjoy nature in the city.

Settle down it the grass for a nap or have a walk along my collection of fountains, statues and trees. When all that relaxing makes you hungry or thirsty then you can visit the pavilion restaurant. If you love board games and your up to some serious strategic thinking then I offer you a chance to play life-size chess and checkers in the game area.

There is a lot more thinking that takes place on my grounds.
My park is an area for study because the first university of Geneva is standing here. That university was founded by John Calvin. What an influence that man has been for this city. Therefore he is honoured and remembered with a place on the Mur de la Reformation. That is a monument which is build in my park. His statue is standing at the centre of the Wall next to other important founders of the Reformation, like John Knox, Theodore Beza and William Farel. The monumental wall was built in 1909 to celebrate John Calvin’s 400th birthday and the 350th anniversary of the university. It is placed into the old city walls.

I always enjoy it when the university students use my park for relaxation and outdoor activities. All those ambitious young people give me a real buzz. I, at my turns, offer them a place where they can rest their busy minds. Yes I am quite a peaceful place and I hope I can keep it that way for a very long time.

Don’t forget to pay attention to my dear brothers and sisters when visiting Geneva. There is the lovely Jardin Anglais, where you can find a beautiful flower-clock, or the Parc de la Grande which is the place of the beautiful and famous rose garden. When you treasure a love for plants, you can visit my former companions, The Botanical gardens. Their place contains a huge collection of plants from all over the world.

Yes the people of Geneva love their parks and they have all the reasons to do so. We are beautiful, serene and often very special but most of all we are a place to relax and a very welcome escape from the busy city life.


Un hommage à l’humanité

I am the representative for Geneva, “the city of peace”.
Forget all the other buildings in this area because I am the real deal.
With my enormous construction I serve as the United Nations European Headquarters.

I am the second largest building in Europe after Versailles and the worlds biggest conference centre for multilateral diplomacy. It is in my chambers that peace is being discussed. Those facts make me very proud and popular. These days more than 100.000 people come to visit me each year to take guided tours, watch my treasures or read books and do research in my huge library.

As you know by now, I am the true proud of Geneva because I am a tribute to its peaceful, humanitarian history. I, at my turn, am very thankful towards people like John Calvin, for his work on the Reformation and to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, for his “Social Contract” and of course not to forget Henri Dunant, founder of the Red Cross Movement and the Geneva Conventions. They and many others created a peaceful social environment and influenced people to start having debates about society and rights. All these people are of influence to the fact that I am standing here today. O before I forget, be sure to go and watch Calvin’s chair in St Pierre’s Cathedral. That old church would surely be pleased with your visit.

Don’t forget to take a look at my treasures before you go. Many people and nations offered me presents to show their respect. For example the Russians gave me The Great Centaur by Ernst Neizvestny in 1997 and at my 50th birthday, in 1995, the Germans gave me The Spreading of the Seeds and the Gathering of Ashes by Esther Shalev-Gerz and Jochen Gerz. It was a very nice present from those friendly Germans. They have become such an excellent nation since the end of world war II. I hold no negative thoughts about them any more. I did, however, feel ashamed for a long time because of the fact that my founding fathers, of the League of Nations, failed to keep the peace and could not stop world war II from happening. Luckily the United Nations where formed immediately after the war in 1945. They continued to watch over us. I have seen a better world from that point on although recently I worry more than usual about peace on our planet. I just hope we can all take an example from the people in my palace who use diplomacy and talking as a first solution to conflicts and I hope everyone in the world takes a look at Geneva as an example of peace and hope.


Views from a cathedral

Visit me at the bottom and get a view of how things were. Visit me on the top and get a view of how things are. In the middle you find me connecting the two views. I am the Cathedral Saint Pierre.

I am a mixed blood Romanesque with some Gothic flavour and a neoclassical façade. My size is impressive but I am old and stripped from most of my beauty due to the influence of some guy named John Calvin, who left me his chair and who was the reason my catholic body was transformed into that of a protestant. Calvinism was born under my roof. Yet now this modified Protestant Cathedral is again looking out over a mostly catholic city. I don’t mind though. Often I feel more toeristian than Christian.

Use me for some exercise as it are my impressive towers who will keep you busy.
157 breathtaking steps upwards into the North Tower and then you should hope that you have some breath left as I will push the last bits out of your lungs with a breathtaking view of the city. I also offer you a view on the Geneva lake and that big arrogant fountain that tries to compete with me as the highest and most powerful symbol of the city. Jet d’eau is young and flexible however I am ripe and solid. The visitors often watch that thing from within my tower. It is my height that shows them the city and everything in it. I am the king of old town and the producer of panoramic views. If you reach the top of my towers then I will show you Geneva in all its beauty. If you come at the right times I will even play some music for you.

If you are more down to earth then you can dig into the past as beneath me there are the fallen ruins of my predecessors. It is me however who is still standing. Right on top of ancient churches, right on top of the hill in the centre of the old town. I dominate the landscape and its panoramic and Christian view.


Admirer Jet d’eau

Foto credit: Michel Bobillier

Day in day out I am in the business of moving water. I am one of the largest jet fountains in the world and I shoot my water high up in the air. Everyday, people visit me to take pictures and occasionally they get completely drenched. I am Jet déau. The famous landmark of Geneva and I play that role with pride.

Each day, from morning till evening, I shoot water into the sky and play with the color spectrum’s by using tiny drops of white water. They paint the beams of light to create magnificent rainbows.
I let you admire this beautiful show from a close distance but be aware of my friend the wind. Sometimes he likes to play with my water drops. At such moments I can suddenly surprise you with a very large and powerful shower.

I am standing at the point where the beautiful Lake Geneva empties into the Rhone River and I have been entertaining you all from that spot since the year 1951. Before that period I had a predecessor, who was set up in the 19th century to relieve excess water pressure. He was very popular and became the reason of my existence. I was created out of his image to rule permanently over the lake.

It is true, I am stronger then my predecessor and I am very proud at my great powers. You should come and see me pump 500 litres of water per second into the air with an in incredible speed of 200 km per hour. This spectacular demonstration will certainly grab your attention when you are you’re strolling through the streets of cosmopolitan Geneva.

I am the movement of many drops of water who rise and fall during a constant dance with the light and the wind. I create the celebrated phenomenon of colours and brush them through the sky like a painter who slides over his canvas. I am the proud symbol of my city. I am a rocket of the white and blue who reaches great heights. I am Jet déau. Adorez-moi.

Did you see this fountain in real life or did you ever visit Geneva?
Share your interesting (travel) story’s in the comment section below.


Foto credit: Michel Bobillier