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Geneva History, Switzerland

The history of Geneva can be traced to 3000 BC.  It was during that period that human civilization was discovered.  The higher grounds of Geneva had no people living there until 500 BC under the settlement of the Celtic Allobroges tribe. 


Geneva and its foreign settlers

Rome took over Geneva on 58 BC and Roman emperor Julius Ceasar named the place Genua.  The Roman Empire remained to be on the place until about 400 AD when it became an archdiocese of Switzerland.

In 443 AD, German settlers, the Burgundians came to the place.  However, their reign did not last long compared to that of the Romans because in 543 AD, another set of colonizers took over, the Francs.  During the period of these settlers, Geneva formed part of the Merovingian dynasty.


The Carlovingian empire was dissolved during the 11th century, which led to another German civilization.  In the year 1032, kingdoms were passed to the German Emperors, making Geneva a subject of the domain.  Geneva was ruled by the bishops who were in effect the lords of society, and their reign lasted until the Reformation Period.

The Middle Ages

The city didn’t have an international identity until the end of the Middle Ages.  This was the time when the expositions of the city reached its peak opening better opportunities for the people of Geneva. Their independence was short lived because the Savoys took hold of the place from the 13th to the 17th century. 

The colonizers did not succeed to force the town to submit to their will.  At the peak of danger, the city's sovereignty was revived through the help of the Swiss.  In 1535, the city was victorious enough during this stage and it was declared a republic.

Calvin, a known historical genius, moved to Geneva and named it Protestant Rome.  In 1550, Protestants began to explore Geneva as they were looking for salvation from persecution. Theodore de Beze worked with Calvin and made Geneva a seat for religious and intellectual manipulation.


The Escalade

In the year 1602, Charles Emmanuel planned an attack on Geneva.  The so-called 'Escalade' or scaling of the walls is considered as Geneva's prime patriotic festival which is held from December 11-12 every year.

The 17th century to the present

A second set of expatriates dwelled in the place by the end of the 17th century.   Despite all these invasions, the people of Geneva felt success soaring when the 18th century entered.  It was during this period that banking, business and other industries boomed in Geneva. 

The prosperity in the place was somehow blurred by protests.  In 1792, the Geneva revolution took place, paving the way to bring down the Aristocrat regime to proclaim political uniformity.  Geneva was seized by France in 1798 and made it the government center for the Department of Leman.

In 1813, Geneva was free again when Napoleon Bonaparte's army was defeated in battle.  It was during that period that they were considered to form part of the Swiss Confederation.  Their victory brought about more opportunities and changes to their way of living.  Up to now, the people of Geneva are enjoying the fruits of their labor.

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Geneva City Ratings

  • Rating84%
    City Rank114
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