Bazar Boheme – local crafts and creators market, Saturday, December 3rd

Bazar Boheme is a local crafts and creators market that will take place on Saturday, the 3rd of December at La Potiniére Jardin Anglais (2 promenade du Lac) in the English Garden.

You will be able to find all sorts of local crafts, from jewelry to ceramics, natural cosmetics or children’s clothes. It is also a nice chance to find an original Christmas present before you fly home.

There will be free hot wine for the first 50 visitors. The event is also listed on Facebook. The event is taking place between 11 AM to 4 PM.

La Barje – Terrasse des Lavandières opens for the season

One of my favorite places in Geneva opened for the season last evening. La Barje is a bar located on the promenade des Lavandières. You can see it when walking over the Coulouvrenière bridge or walking to and from the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices or l’Usine.

I like to refer to it as the center of the world.

There are a few places to sit but people mostly sit along the Rhône (feet dangling over the water) or on the bridge leading to La Barje (see photo below).


Just be considerate of others and don’t block the way on the bridge or the promenade.

Did you know: Lavandières gets its name from the “washers” who used to do the washing along the Rhône. A photo to illustrate it all from

Program of “Festival du Film et Forum International sur les Droits Humains” is now available


FIFDH has just announced the programe for this years edition of the festival. The “Festival du Film et Forum International sur les Droits Humains” is taking place between the 4th and the 13th of March.

FIFDH will also honor Leila Alaoui as the artist of honor. The events honoring Alaoui will be held at Maison Vaudagne (16 avenue de Vaudagne, 1217 Meyrin) on Saturday the 5th of March at 19h, while a vernissage showcasing Alaoui’s work will take place at Maison des Arts du Grutli on Monday the 7th of March at 18h.

There are also performances, discussions, meet-ups, conferences, and so much more. It will be an intense event.


Bâtiment des Forces Motrices


Bâtiment des Forces Motrices, the center of the world (used to live in front of it). This concert hall and space for cultural and other events, has been around since 1886. A former hydroelectric power plant, and the place where the jet d’eau was born, today it hosts ballets, concerts, theater, dance, etc. An example of a few events that are coming up: Swan Lake, Hamlet, Carmen and Scheherazade, King Lear, and Kabuki.



Cinema Update, 11 October


Out this week:

Mon Roi (schedule | trailer)
Looks like a very intense movie.

Le Fils de Saul (schedule | trailer)

Timbuktu (trailer | schedule)

Iranien (trailer | schedule)

Une jeunesse allemande – documentary (schedule & trailer)

La Glace et le Ciel – documentary (schedule & trailer)

From last week:

Lamb (schedule | trailer)

Belle Familles (schedule | trailer)

Irrational Man (schedule | trailer)

Dheepan (schedule | trailer)

Fatima (schedule & trailer)

Mustang (schedule | trailer)

Marguerite (schedule | trailer)

Anime Nere (schedule | trailer)


Horizontes / Horizons (schedule | trailer)

“Les Nuits du Monde” music festival, 5 – 15 November


“Les Nuits du Monde” is a music festival that brings music and dance from around the world to Geneva. This year’s event will present artists from Central Asia and the silk route. This is an opportunity to discover music and dance from Azerbaijan, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan, Ürümchi (Xinjiang in Chinese), Uzbekistan, Georgia, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan.

Dancing classes are also on offer, such as Uighur dance on Sunday the 15th of November.

Festival is organized by Ateliers d’ethnomusicologie (ADEM) and till take place at Alhambra (10 rue de la Rôtisserie).

Links: [full program + tickets]

Partial Solar Eclipse, 20th of March between 10h-11h


A partial solar eclipse will be visible from Geneva on Friday, the 20th of March. The peak of the eclipse will happen at 10h30.

Warning: do not stare at the sun without protection. You will need to use special sunglasses or neat home made devices to watch the solar eclipse. It can blind you. Especially important, do not point the telescope or binoculars at the sun (unless you are using special filters).

Here is what NASA suggests:

1) Projection: The safest and most inexpensive way to watch a partial solar eclipse is by projection. Place a pinhole or small opening in a card, and hold it between the sun and a screen – giant sheet of white paper works – a few feet away. An image of the sun will be seen on the screen. Projected images of the sun’s crescent during an eclipse may even be seen on the ground in the small openings created by interlacing fingers, or in the dappled sunlight beneath a leafy tree. You can also use binoculars to project a magnified image of the sun on a white card. However, you must never look through the binoculars at the sun.

2) Filters: The sun can be viewed directly only when using filters specifically designed for this purpose. Such filters usually have a thin layer of aluminum, chromium or silver deposited on their surfaces. One of the most widely available filters for safe eclipse viewing is a #14 (or darker) welder’s glass. A welding glass that permits you to see the landscape is not safe. Aluminized mylar manufactured specifically for solar observation can also be used. Mylar can easily be cut with scissors and adapted to any kind of box or viewing device. Only use filters that you know have been approved for solar viewing. 

Unsafe filters include color film, some non-silver black and white film, medical x-ray films with images on them, smoked glass, photographic neutral density filters and polarizing filters. Solar filters designed to thread into eyepieces, which are often sold with inexpensive telescopes are also dangerous.

3) Telescopes with solar filters: There are sun-specific telescopes available for sale — or perhaps through a local astronomy club — that are also safe for viewing a partial eclipse.

Source: NASA.


Spring is officially here!


Spring has arrived in Geneva on the 13th of March. This has been announced by the official chestnut tree (“marronnier officiel”) which lives on Promenade de la Treille. The flowering of the official chestnut tree marks the beginning of spring.

This tradition, that goes back to 1808, becomes official in 1818. The current tree has been designated “the official chestnut tree” since 1929 and is the third tree since 1808 to fulfill this duty.

The tree is observed by the Sautier of Geneva, an official role held today by Maria Anna Hutter (also first woman to hold this post). It is the Sautier that announces whether the tree has flowered.

There exists also the “crazy chestnut tree”. This tree flowers at most random and un-spring like moments, like December.

Happy Spring!

Happy International Women’s Day, 8th of March


Happy International Women’s Day! Pictured above are two women that symbolise Switzerland and Geneva. Their names are Helvetia and Geneva. The sculpture, created in 1869 by Robert Dorer, is located in Jardin Anglais and represents the entry of Geneva into the Swiss Confederation on the 12th of September 1814. In real life, the two women representing Geneva and Helvetia, were from neighboring France.

The female personification of Switzerland as Helvetia appeared in the 17th century (replacing an earlier symbol, the bull). First appearances date from 1672 through paintings by Albrecht Kauw and Johann Kaspar Weissenbach. The name Helvetia originates from the Helvetii, a Celtic tribe that inhabited the Swiss plateau. The name is also used as the name of Switzerland in its Latin form, Confoederatio Helvetica. Helvetia becomes the official symbol of Switzerland in 1848, with the creation of the new Federal state and adoption of the Federal Constitution. You can find Helvetia on daily basis on the 10 cent, 20 cent, 1/2 CHF, 1 CHF and 2 CHF coins. The 5 CHF coin does not represent Helvetia, but an Alpine herdsman.

Also, don’t miss the films being shown at the “Festival du Film et Forum International sur les Droits Humains”.

L’esprit de Genève

“Cité d’immigration et de refuge, résumé des nations, Genève doit au dehors la plupart de ses qualités, mais elle les refond et les refrappe à son image. Son génie consiste à enrôler les hommes qui lui arrivent d’ailleurs pour en faire des hommes d’ici.”

Robert de Traz, “L’esprit de Genève”, 1929
(éd. L’age d’homme, 1995, p. 45)