Geneva’s St. Pierre Cathedral: The Seat of the Reformation

Oct 3


Lisa Jeeves

Lisa Jeeves

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St Pierre Cathedral, famous for John Calvin’s preaching, showcases Geneva’s great history. We’ve chosen a handful of things to see while visiting the site.


St Pierre Cathedral embodies Geneva’s impressive culture and history. Over 850 years old,Geneva’s St. Pierre Cathedral: The Seat of the Reformation Articles this architectural delight is not a landmark to be missed during your visit to the city. In the centre of the old town, a romantic walk over cobbled stones and past authentic buildings will lead you to the Cathedral on a hill overlooking the city and lake. A succession of Gothic and Ancient architecture constructs the famous place that is notorious for being the home church of John Calvin, leader of the Protestant Reformation.

History of St Pierre Cathedral

The building itself has been the subject of transformation. Built on the ruins of basilica in 1160, the cathedral was modified several times until the 18th century. The church was extended and adapted throughout the years and even destroyed in 1535 by the Genevans, who demolished all of the alters, statues and paintings in an enraged outburst. Now, the cathedral is a venue to be admired by locals and tourists from all over the world. The spacious and echoing interior is decorated with incredible chandeliers, a grand pipe organ, tombstones and many more artefacts.

The Church and Towers

Located at Place du Bourg-de-Four 24, entry is free into the church.

St Pierre Cathedral has two main towers that are accessible by a narrow Medieval spiral staircase. At the top of the North Tower, a wide wooden room introduces you to incredible views of the city. The South Tower is ideal for sunny days, with its open air balcony that offers a brilliant outlook on to the lake. At both, you can embrace the 360 degree view of Geneva from great heights! Tickets are free with a Geneva pass or CHF 5 for adults.

Dive into the Cathedral’s History at the Museum

The Archaeological site is a small museum which signifies the history of St Pierre Cathedral. You can see artefacts such as remains of basilica, mosaic paintings and flooring from the older version of the building. You can experience rooms such as the Roman Crypt, Monk’s Cells and the Allobrogian Tomb. The site is free with a Geneva pass or CHF 8 for adults.

Attend One of the Music Concerts

The cathedral regularly hosts concerts in its grand interior, which provides wondrous acoustics and sound. During Geneva’s Music Festival every June, orchestras or bands perform usually on Saturdays. Prices vary from free to CHF 15.

Observe Calvin’s Stool

Famous for John Calvin’s preaching, people are interested in coming to the cathedral to observe his triangular stool where he studied and prayed. Calvin preached in this cathedral daily for years and he was crucial to establishing Protestantism in Europe.

How To Get There

From London to Geneva, flights are quick and inexpensive. In 1 hour and 35 minutes, you can fly with British Airways, Swiss of easyJet for as little as £66. If you want to spend some relaxing time together, a seven hour train journey between London and Geneva is around £109.

About Shuttle Direct

From Geneva Airport, transfers via Shuttle Direct can bring you to the city centre in only fifteen minutes. Travel arrangements are made easy with our online system where you can book in advance. As the leading provider for airport transfers across North Africa and Europe, we can guarantee a safe, efficient and fixed low cost journey.

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