The symbol of the “world’s smallest metropolis” is the “Jet d’eau” – a fountain with a 140-metre-high water jet at the periphery of Lake Geneva. Five hundred litres (132 gallons) of water per second are jetted to an altitude of 140 metres (459 feet) by two 500 kW pumps, operating at 2,400 V, consuming over one megawatt of electricity. Unsuspecting visitors to the fountain—which can be reached via a stone jetty from the left bank of the lake—may be surprised to find themselves drenched after a slight change in wind direction.
The north tower of the three-naved basilica in the old town of Geneva offers up a unique vista over the city and lake. The area beneath the Cathedral has recently been excavated extensively, revealing a rich history of the site dating back to the time of the Roman Empire. Currently, every summer a German Protestant minister is present, making it possible to hold bilingual services and meetings of both German and French Protestant worshippers.
On passing through the paled gate of the Palace of the UNO, visitors enter international territory. It is a monumental structure worthy of the European home of the United Nations, the international organization’s most important seat outside of New York. These days it hosts major global conferences as well as numerous smaller meetings at which diplomats work at the coalface of day-to-day international relations.
Photo by Matthieu Riegler
Mont Blanc, meaning “White Mountain”, is the highest mountain in the Alps, Western Europe, and the European Union. It rises 4,810.45 m (15,782 ft) above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence.