This is a "short guide", area by area, for who wishes to know a little bit more about noticeable places for art/architecture in Geneva.
Please refer to the Guide for addresses, pictures, opening hours.... and if you wish some extra infos about places I haven't mentioned (since it is a selection... it can't be thorough), pm me ;)
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Warning : Schyzophrenic interminable thread... don't loose your mind on the way !
Oh I see that our group becomes bigger and bigger… Nice !!
Well, this is captain Celine speaking, welcome on board of this Flight to Suburban Geneva. For your safety, please make sure your seatbelt is fasten and will remain fasten during the flight. In case of emergency, such as a foreigner talking to you, trying to sneakily find out where you come from or even smiling at you, please really keep your seatbelt fasten !!!
Hey we are talking about the suburbs of Geneva, don’t you realise what it means ?? people can be dangerously humans there :) After our two tours in the heart of the Matrix, you might be shocked by the gap....
Back on earth. Unless you really want to wait for Feb.24th for TPG to be free, and unless you really want to spend a couple of… days for doing this tour, choose your way of travelling : car, bicycle, horse, train, feet….
As far as I am concerned, I’m gonna be using my SL avatar.
Yep. You can’t guess how it’s practical to fly and teleport ! - Plus Switzerland and lag… same fight ;)- So let me introduce you to my mini-me, Clementine Baxter. She’s quite accurate in architecture (I’ve taught her everything she knows), which will be our main topic today With food, wine, wine, wine. And food.
"Folks, nice to meet you !
Mhhh now we have the choice to go wherever we want. So.. let’s say we’ll start by a place completely matching with the forum : the Musée des Suisses de l’Etranger, located in the Château de Penthes.
I know you were expecting another type of suburban architecture. Be patient… I keep the best for the end. Always. That museum is crowded with very interesting things, for example : those costumes. Don’t tell me you’ve never dreamt of wearing those blue-yellow striped costumes of the Swiss pontifical guards ?
No, you don’t need to.
But here you will find everything you can imagine linked to Switzerland abroad : from costumes to paintings, furniture, books…. Coins…. Other coins…. Some more coins…. –Switzerland out of Switzerland remains Switzerland -.
What about cheese, chocolate ? that's a pertinent question.
Well… if you want some chocolate… we can easily flight to Versoix ? yeah, you want to ? So let’s go !!!
Why Versoix ? because there you have the Favarger Factory. It smells good all around, it’s fun to visit during the Festival du Chocolat (8 march Protected content , and their Chocolat Fondue is the best I’ve ever eaten !! I know I’m an avatar, but I can be sensitive too you know !! –especially to black chocolate. Don’t you say in your world « if you go black, you never come back » ? :-* -
Just beware of the crowd that day : imagine a bulk of greedy chocolate addicts, all lead by their stomach, fighting for accessing either the factory or the several booths hold by famous chocolate-makers… Play your Charlie (I told you this was quite a schyzophrenic thread !), and edge your way into the people stuck in front of each booth if you want to see, grab and taste !
But be short, because if you don’t mind we have to move to our next destination. Jump in the plane, and don’t forget you have a paper bag in the front seat if needed (or anyway…. try to avoid me, thanks in advance).
Now we can go as you wish, either to some nice villages in the countryard, or to some block buildings from the Protected content quick choice, I understand.
So let’s go to Dardagny, Russin, Bourdigny-Choully, Peissy : we are now following the « Route du vignoble », which creates an opportunity to finally talk a little bit about our central interest : architecture. It’s pretty and romantic here, isn’t it ? you can see some typical vineyard villages : big houses with massive roofs, enormous carriage entrances, old stone walls with wine running on them, small narrow streets winding between….. wines all around in the countryard……..and oooooooooops BLOODY tractors totally ignoring basic rules for driving !!!! don’t you ever dare crossing my road again !!!
Sorry, told ya you had to keep your seatbelt fastened (rolling eyes- that’s especially for you Gustavo ;-)).
I don’t know if you enjoyed the architecture, but be aware that Dardagny has received the Wakker Prize in Protected content its remarkable preservation ; what’s offered to your sight is indeed a typical village of the XVIIIth C. Impressive, isn’t it ?
Oh, little quizz about the area by the way : can you guess N°1 public enemy of wine growers here around ? Genevan politicians ? no…. French wine growers ? uh that’s clever…but no… Feldschlossen special secret agents ? (does it exist ??) no… Sylvie Fleury ? Hell noooooo !! not because I already asked you about her last time that she has to be the answer to all my tricky questions !!! No… the answer is… wild boars.
Yep, they are well know here to be quite feroce and sneaky… and suicidals as well. Never heard of the ones that jumped on a car from the walls of Dardagny's cemetery ?
That’s not a joke…so guess what they can do to vines…. I just hope the car wasn’t belonging to a wine grower.. that guy can start moving abroad otherwise (one more expat do you think that boars are working for Internations… ? nahhh forget it : Protected content
But can you imagine, being chased by a savage hord of wild boars ? Hitchcock should have thought about it : « The Wild Boars » featuring Grace Kelly.....Tadaaaaah… no, doesn’t really work, I admit… don’t know why :-/
You might be thirsty after all this chocolated stuff you’ve had in Versoix ? hey hey I see you comin’…. It’s a pity the « Caves Ouvertes » is hold on May, 24 here. We could have moved from one domain to another, trying out plenty of red, white local wines, eating Malakoffs and cheese…. Mmmm sounds good he… yes, but it’s all closed right now. Plus it’s time for lunch.
And that’s gonna be a nice lunch, because guess what : we are now in Satigny, so… really, really close to Chateauvieux. What a pity, that’s the only restaurant open…. Oops and it’s a 2 Michelin Stars…Gault Millau 19/20…– I guess I can crack an enormous ;-) here -.
Oh well, fine by me, I’m not picky ;O (and Internations offers the meal ;O) Let’s…. hey where are you all ??? already inside of course…
3 hours after. We had a very nice lunch, for sure. I mean, we’ve eaten, drunk, eaten, drunk…. Eaten…. And I think now we should come back to our main topic no ???? you’re here to read about art and architecture, right ????
We’ll now enter the Z-zone of the day : the real suburbs of Geneva. As previously told, I kept the best for the end. It’s like a -second- dessert, a big creamy mille-feuilles after a delightful « biscuit soufflé aux amandes, poires pochées et clémentines au poivre de Tasmanie, glace yaourt »… or a delicate « mousse au chocolat au lait et ganache aux fruits de la passion, crème brûlée au thé Earl-Grey et sorbet au citron vert ».. or a… you didn’t see that dessert on the Menu? no ? none ? oh. I guess we have to go back then... let’s go… Sorry readers, that’s a high emergency :D
Mmmm pfew. I think we’ve tried all of them now. Don’t ever go to Chateauvieux, they’ll be running out of desserts for the next decade – Note to my puppeter : Celine you didn’t warn me about those guys being so greedy !!!!- ***
For digesting, nothing better than a little walk to Meyrin. That’s far away ? yes I know. And ?
We can now stop by Forumeyrin, the one and only interesting cultural place of this area. Maybe we’ll find an interesting exhibition, a good dance show, a nice play, even a great concert. Some famous artists went there, you know… but let’s move on, it's too early in the afternoon and we have some impressive buildings to see now, in Vernier.
Do you see that long, very long building running there ? that’s the Lignon. Of course you can see it…
Some say that it's even visible from outer space (although unless being an Alien keen on architecture, I don’t really understand the point !). Yeah, like the Great China Wall and the Ceaucescu Palace. All nice reference places for freedom, peace and love…. :-// so let’s forget about the comparison.
That place is actually a Cité, and Vernier has several remarkable ones. We start by this Cité Lignon because it’s the most impressive. See : a building 1.5 km long (the longuest one of Europe), inhabited by Protected content sharing Protected content , and hold by 20 real estate agents. Makes a lot of rents at the end of the month !
The Cité has its own supermarket, school, churches, swimming pool, bridge on the Rhône (don’t go there right now, this will be included in a next tour) and … a McDonalds ! (isn’t it top luxury ???).
This is the first « cité » we’ll see today ; but know that right after WWII, Geneva met some very high needs of expansion. As the center was crowded (already… I’m not gonna be able to change of flat tomorrow, I tell you….), some outer towns absorbed the population boom with the building of such complexes.
The second one we’ll visit is close to the Lignon, and it’s called Avanchets. There please refasten your belts and don’t forget to keep your arms inside the plane, lock the doors and don’t breathe. I’m kidding... but isn’t it ok to see the buildings from here ? (Clementine is such a coward !! tssssssss). Plus it’s just like the previous one. Same period, same aim, different style – and ugly colours, I must say-.
Then back in time, we arrive to two Cités that are on the red list of « Schweizer Heimatschutz » : understand some brave ones are fighting against real estate agents to save the local heritage.
Cité-Vieillesse, Vieusseux : built in the 30s, the Cité was initially made of four buildings devoted to lonely senior citizens. The architecture itself, quite unique in Switzerland with its outdoor distributing galleries, makes it belong to Modern Mouvement (simple ways and means to build). Today there is only one building out of the four left, and it might be destroyed because… guess… the owner wants to erect some higher buildings. More flats, more rents. That makes sense.
Same problem for Cité-Jardins, Aïre : ca.same period ( Protected content ), this architecture was developped following cooperative principles of that time : one house, one garden = the possibility for workers to be in town but with some fresh green grass around. As a local witness that One day it’s been possible for workers to live into individual houses in Geneva ( ;-)) that sounds nearly incredible today), Schweizer Heimatschutz is once again fighting for preserving the 8 remaining houses from destruction.
I think our tour can end here, I’m running out of energy and Linden is going to close the area anyway. I give you back to Celine. See you… "
Thanks Clementine. I anyway see you all being exhausted. Too much wine, chocolate, food, social architecture ? Not enough art ?
We could also go partying at Moa if you want....
OK, next time I’ll see what I can do for you. Carouge, Left bank of Geneva canton, Vieille-Ville…
Hmmm let me a couple of weeks to think about it. In the meantime you can unlock your seatbelts, relax and beware of the luggages that might fall from the compartments. I hope you had a pleasant flight and wish you a nice stay in Vernier.
Thanks for flying with me :)
(for escaping, follow the signs « Geneve-Centre »).
*** Hey why do you think I didn’t want to lead this tour ???? I don’t wish to be on diet for the next month.. you’re virtual, you can eat whatever you want so don’t complain !!-