The Republic and Canton of Geneva is a Swiss canton located to the west of Lake Geneva, close to France and the departments of Ain and Haute-Savoie.
History of Geneva
A brief history of the canton and republic of Geneva in Switzerland.
Before the formation of the Republic of Geneva, the region was under the governance of the bishop. The influence of Protestantism in the 16th century, particularly with the arrival of Jean Calvin, marked a turning point in Geneva’s history.
The Republic of Geneva (1534-1798)
The Republic of Geneva was founded in 1534, marking its independence from episcopal power. During this period, Geneva experienced significant economic and intellectual growth.
Annexation by France (1798-1813)
In 1798, following the French Revolution, Geneva was annexed by France and became the capital of the département of Lake Geneva.
Independence and integration into the Swiss Confederation (1813-1815)
After the collapse of the First French Empire in 1813, Geneva regained its independence and joined the Swiss Confederation in 1815. It became the 22nd canton to be ratified by the Federal Pact.
Geography of the canton of Geneva
Geneva lies in western Switzerland, between the Jura mountains and the Alps. The city is bordered by Lake Geneva and crossed by the River Rhône.
To the east, it borders the canton of Vaud, the only canton with which it has an administrative boundary on the Swiss side.
The canton of Geneva has a modest surface area of 282 km2 and a large population of around 507,000, with a density of 1,792 inhabitants per square kilometre.
Borders and relations with neighbouring countries
Surrounded on three sides by France, Geneva maintains close links with that country, notably via the Léman Express (LEX*) rail network. It works closely with the Swiss canton of Vaud and collaborates actively with the other members of the Swiss Confederation.
Communes and administrative regions
The canton of Geneva is made up of 45 communes, including the city of Geneva, which is the capital as well as the political and economic centre. The official language is French.
Geneva’s economy and tourism
The financial sector
Geneva is a major financial centre, home to international banks, insurance companies and investment firms.
The presence of numerous international organisations such as the UN, WHO and CERN* contributes to Geneva’s worldwide reputation.
Tourism, attractions and festivals
Geneva is a popular tourist destination thanks to its lake, historic sites, cultural heritage and proximity to the Alps.
Numerous festivals and events are also held in Geneva every year, including the Fête de la Musique, the Film Festival, the International Forum on Human Rights and the Fêtes de Genève.
Geneva’s cuisine offers a mix of local and international flavours. Local specialities include Lake Geneva perch fillets, cheese fondue and Swiss chocolates.
Languages and dialects
French is the official language of Geneva, but English and other languages are also spoken due to the city’s international stature and its location within the Swiss confederation.
Local and international politics
Environment and sustainability
Geneva is actively committed to protecting the environment, in particular through environmental policies aimed at reducing air pollution and promoting renewable energies.
The city supports innovative sustainable development projects, such as the Geneva 2030* programme, which aims to promote a circular and responsible economy.
Elections in the canton of Geneva
Cantonal elections are held every four years to elect the members of the Council of State, the canton’s executive body.
Major construction projects
Recent projects include the renovation of the Cornavin railway station and the expansion of Geneva International Airport.
Geneva plays a central role in world diplomacy thanks to its traditional neutrality and the Geneva headquarters of many international organisations.
The Republic and Canton of Geneva boasts a remarkable wealth of historical, cultural, economic and environmental treasures.
Geneva on the web
From administrative procedures to political organisation, from job offers to residence applications, the official website of the Republic and Canton is the digital gateway to the territory:
Geneva Tourist Office
Whether you’re passing through or staying in Geneva, the tourism website has all the information you need to eat, sleep, go out, see, do and organise your conferences:
- The wonders of Lake Geneva
- Maps of Geneva
- LEX train network , Léman Express (French)
- CERN, official website
- Geneva 2030, SDG Community
- The Canton of Geneva, wikipedia