ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Geneva, Switzerland and its Mont Blanc Bridge: panorama point and coming together

Updated on October 12, 2011
Flag of Switzerland
Flag of Switzerland | Source
The Mont Blanc Bridge at Geneva, and a flag display: Swiss and Genevan flags alternate
The Mont Blanc Bridge at Geneva, and a flag display: Swiss and Genevan flags alternate | Source
Unusual view of the water jet on Lake Geneva, from the pedestrian path under the Mont Blanc bridge
Unusual view of the water jet on Lake Geneva, from the pedestrian path under the Mont Blanc bridge | Source
Map location of Geneva, Switzerland
Map location of Geneva, Switzerland | Source

A focal point at an historic city

There is an old Welsh saying, Byd ben, byd bont : If you want to lead, be a bridge. Metaphorically, the rôle of Genevans as quiet and efficient, international mediators is certainly comparable to building bridges.

But even from a physical point of view, the bridges of Geneva (French: Genève ) are a very important part of its essential locale.

Views of the water jet

The biggest of these bridges, the Mont Blanc Bridge (Pont du Mont-Blanc ), is remarkable from a number of perspectives. It is an ideal point from which to view the famous water jet (French: Jet d'eau ) on Lake Geneva, known in French as le lac Léman , which, near the Mont Blanc Bridge, narrows into the Rhone River (le Rhône ). This water jet has become one of the most famous sights of the city, and even of Switzerland as a whole.

Originally the water jet at Geneva was created in about 1886. With its citizens being eminently practical people, the original water jet at Geneva was at a different location and served a practical purpose, as a hydraulic safety valve.

1891 was the 600th anniversary of the Swiss Confederation (but bear in mind that Geneva joined Switzerland only in 1815). In 1891, to mark this event, the water jet was moved to its present location and began to be regarded as a landscape enhancement.

Canadians will doubtless wonder if the similar water jet at Peterborough, Ontario, was built with the Geneva water jet in mind.

Flag displays on the bridge

Geneva's Mont-Blanc bridge is also well known for its flag displays: whether that of the canton of Geneva, or the national Swiss flag, or other other cantons, or maybe of some other entity which has come to temporary prominence. Swiss people are great vexicololgists, and this bridge acts as a kind of tribune where local and national loyalties are asserted in this most colourful manner.

By way of metaphorical application, it may be asserted that Swiss people have long been adept at internal bridge-building in their country. Americans, with their Federal system of government, and Canadians, with Confederation, will readily appreciate the balanced manner in which such displays simultaneously celebrate both the Cantonal and Federal flags of the Swiss Confederation.

Among the many things for which Geneva is justly memorable, the Mont Blanc bridge is truly a spot which will be retained in the visitor's memory for a long time to come. (So may also the mountain for which it is named. Look up, and you may see it!)

Also worth seeing

The cultural sites and treasures of Geneva (and beyond) are too numerous to mention here, but a few of these include:

The Old Town , with St Peter's parish church (Paroisse de Saint-Pierre , distance: approx. 2.7 kilometres), often referred to as the Cathedral (la Cathédrale ), and memories of John Calvin (1509-1564), is an architectural gem containing numerous historic buildings.

The Promemade des bastions in the Parc des Bastions (distance: approx. 2.6 kilometres) contains the International Monument of the Reformation (Monument international de la Réformation ). As well as the sculpted figures of Farel , Calvin , Beza and Knox , in the centre of the monument, North Americans may be interested to see a stone relief of Roger Williams , founder of Rhode Island, counted at the Monument among noted, Protestant, historical figures. Opposite the monument area is the University of Geneva, which, amidst its many faculties, has a specialism in the study of Protestant and religious history. The monument was inaugurated in 1909, which marked the 350th anniversary of the founding of the Academy of Geneva, in which the university has its origins.

The Palace of Nations (French: Palais des nations ; distance: approx. 3.1 kilometres), home of the United Nations Office at Geneva, and previously, headquarters of the League of Nations. This huge building in classical style was built in 1929-1938, and is situated in Ariana park (Parc de l'Ariana ), where peacocks may be seen to roam. In front of the Palace of Nations is the Celestial (or Armillary) Square (La sphère armillaire ) memorial to Woodrow Wilson, presented by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. This monument is the creation of American sculptor Paul Manship (1885-1966). Ariana Park also contains the Swiss Museum of Ceramics and Glass (Musée suisse de la céramique et du verre ). Originally the park was a gift to the City of Geneva by a wealthy citizen, Gustave Revilliod (1817-1890). The purpose to which the Palace of Nations is put may thus be described as bridge-building par excellence (see above)! Or so runs the narrative.

Ferney-Voltaire , France (distance: 7.9 kilometres) contains the castle in which the philosopher Voltaire (François Marie Arouet, 1694-1778) lived, which may be visited, but early bookings are advised.


How to get there: Continental Airlines flies from New York, Newark to Geneva International Airport (Aéroport International de Genève ) at Grand-Saconnex, where car rental is available. The Swiss railroad company CFF maintains a service between Geneva Airport and the Downtown station of Genève-Cornavin . Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, the following items may be of interest


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • MJFenn profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thank-you. Yes, flying into Cointrin brings some superb views.

    • freecampingaussie profile image


      10 years ago from Southern Spain

      Loved flying into Geneva ( born in Wales ) the view is amazing !found you while hub hopping!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)