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Geneve History, Switzerland

Geneva, Switzerland - History

Geneva is one of the most populous cities in Switzerland. Geneva is recognized as a city of international importance. Many major organizations of the world are headquartered in Geneva like Red Cross and United Nations. Previously, Geneva was also called Janua or Genua. The first traces of humans found on the shores of Lake Léman, date from around 3000 BC.

The name of Geneva goes back to the pre-Celtic Ligurian peoples.  It is a city of great historical importance being a border town with the Celto-Germanic Helvetii.

 In 433, the town was part of Burgundy and in 888 it became part of the Kingdom of Burgundy.

In 1033, it was taken over by the German Emperor. Archeological work and historical books indicate that Geneva was Christianized by Paracodus and Dionysius Areopagita. Later on, Paracodus became the first bishop of Geneva. Some say that St. Pierre was the first bishop of Geneva.

In 440, St. Salonius became the bishop of Geneva. The bishops of Geneva had the status of prince of the Holy Roman Empire. In the 1800s, the territory expanded with more churches. Geneva developed into an important center in the middle ages.

The city became a republic in 1535. In 1550, it earned the status of the Protestant Rome. The persecuted Protestants moved to Geneva in search of sanctuary. Calvin and Théodore de Bèze were the prominent figures of that age and gave Geneva a spiritual and religious importance.

In 1602, Charles Emmanuel launched an attack on Geneva, which is also known as scaling the walls. In the late 17th century, a wave of refugees moved to Geneva. In 18th century, the city of Geneva witnessed economical boom. Many industries like banks, agriculture, trade, construction and many other businesses flourished in this age.

In 1792, the government of Ancient Régime was brought down by a revolution. A revolution in 1846 overthrew the government and established a constitution that is still in force. In 1864, the International Committee of the Red Cross was founded in Geneva.

The International Committee of the Red Cross was established to help the people who caught up in war or in disaster.

In the 20th century, Geneva welcomed many political refugees based on the ideas of Henri Dunant. Geneva’s political role was confirmed when it was chosen as headquarters of the United Nations.

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