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(jənē`və), Fr. Genève, canton (1990 pop. 373,019), 109 sq mi (282 sq km), SW Switzerland, surrounding the southwest tip of the Lake of Geneva. One of the smallest cantons, Geneva is in the plain between the Jura and the Alps. It borders on Vaud canton for 3.5 mi (5.6 km) in the north, but otherwise it is almost entirely surrounded by French territory. The population is primarily French-speaking. The rural areas produce fruit, vegetables, cereals, and wine; industry and population are centered in the city of Geneva (1990 pop. 171,042), the capital of the canton. Situated on the Lake of Geneva and divided by the Rhône River, which emerges from the lake, it is a picturesque city joined by numerous bridges. Geneva is a cultural, financial, and administrative center. Its major industries are trade, banking, insurance, and the manufacture of precision machinery, watches, jewelry, chemicals, and food. Among its historic buildings are the Cathedral of St. Pierre (12th–14th cent.), where John Calvin preached, the 16th-century town hall, and the 18th-century palace of justice. The Univ. of Geneva (1473; founded as an academy by Calvin in 1559) faces the noted Reformation monument (1917). The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art opened in 1994. A very high fountain on the south shore of the lake has become a symbol of the city.


Geneva was an ancient settlement of the Celtic Allobroges and was later included in Roman Gaul. An episcopal see under the Roman Empire, Geneva passed successively to the Burgundians (5th cent.), the Franks (6th cent.), Transjurane Burgundy (9th–11th cent.), and the Holy Roman Empire. The bishops of Geneva gradually absorbed the powers of the feudal counts of Geneva and in 1124 became rulers of the city. The rising merchant class soon grew antagonistic to episcopal authority.

In 1285, the citizens of Geneva placed themselves under the protection of the counts (later dukes) of SavoySavoy, house of,
dynasty of Western Europe that ruled Savoy and Piedmont from the 11th cent., the kingdom of Sicily from 1714 to 1718, the kingdom of Sardinia from 1720 to 1861, and the kingdom of Italy from 1861 to 1946.
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, and by 1387 they had won extensive rights of self-rule. However, by gradually transforming the bishops into their tools, the dukes nearly succeeded in mastering the city by the beginning of the 16th cent. Incensed, the citizens allied themselves with two Swiss cantons—Fribourg and Bern—expelled the bishop (1533), and accepted (1535) the Reformation preached by Guillaume FarelFarel, Guillaume
, 1489–1565, French religious reformer, associate of John Calvin. In 1520, Farel joined Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples at Meaux to aid in church reform and to establish an evangelical school for students and preachers.
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The arrival (1536) of John CalvinCalvin, John,
1509–64, French Protestant theologian of the Reformation, b. Noyon, Picardy. Early Life

Calvin early prepared for an ecclesiastical career; from 1523 to 1528 he studied in Paris.
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 thrust upon Geneva a role of European importance as the focal point of the ReformationReformation,
religious revolution that took place in Western Europe in the 16th cent. It arose from objections to doctrines and practices in the medieval church (see Roman Catholic Church) and ultimately led to the freedom of dissent (see Protestantism).
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. With its population swelled by Protestant refugees, notably HuguenotsHuguenots
, French Protestants, followers of John Calvin. The term is derived from the German Eidgenossen, meaning sworn companions or confederates. Origins

Prior to Calvin's publication in 1536 of his Institutes of the Christian Religion,
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, Geneva became a cosmopolitan intellectual center. During the 18th cent., when the stern theocracy of Calvin had mellowed into patrician rule, the city's intellectual life reached its zenith. Voltaire settled there; J. J. Rousseau, H. B. de Saussure, Jacques Necker, Albert Gallatin, and P. E. Dumont were among the famous sons of Geneva in the 18th cent.

The city, annexed to France from 1798 to 1813, joined Switzerland as a canton in 1815—the last canton to join the Confederation. It is the headquarters of many public and private international organizations. In 1864, Geneva was made the seat of the International Red Cross; it was also the seat of the League of Nations (1920–46). Geneva is headquarters for the International Labor Organization, the World Health Organization, and other international bodies. In 1945 it became the European headquarters of the United Nations. Geneva has been the scene of the Geneva ConferencesGeneva Conference,
any of various international meetings held at Geneva, Switzerland. Some of the more important ones are discussed here. 1 International conference held Apr.–July, 1954, to restore peace in Korea and Indochina.
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 and other high-level international meetings.


city (1990 pop. 14,143), Ontario co., W central N.Y., in the Finger Lakes region; inc. as a city 1897. Located in a farm area, Geneva's manufactures include cans and canning machinery, paper containers, metal and optical products, and water purification systems. There are also printing plants. Hobart and William Smith Colleges and a state agricultural experiment station are in the city.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(French, Geneve; German, Genf), the third largest city in Switzerland. Administrative center of Geneva Canton. Situated in a picturesque, hilly place at an elevation of 372 m on the southwestern shore of Lake Geneva, the city is built on both banks of the Rhone River, at its outlet from the lake. The climate is mild (average January temperature, 0.6°C; average July temperature, 20.3°C; annual precipitation, 999 mm). In 1970 the population of Geneva was 171,900 and the population of its urban agglomeration, 314,900, including foreigners who are permanent residents (about 25 percent of the population).

Geneva (Latin, Genava) was first mentioned in the first century B.C. by Julius Caesar. In the Middle Ages, Geneva’s inhabitants struggled against the bishop, who was the seigneur of the city, and the counts of Savoy to win self-government and other privileges, which were recognized and expanded in 1387 by the bishop. In the 14th and especially the first half of the 15th century, Geneva was famous for its fairs, and it later became a center of credit and banking operations. In the 16th century the city joined the Swiss Confederation as an “allied land.” (Its status was confirmed in ac-cords with Freiburg in 1519 and with Bern in 1526.) The bishop was banished from Geneva in 1533, and in 1536 the Zwinglian reformation was carried out by G. Farel. Later, the Calvinist reformation, led by J. Calvin, reached Geneva. During Calvin’s rule Geneva became the European center of Calvinism—the Protestant Rome. In 1584 the city concluded an eternal alliance with Bern and Zurich. In the 16th and 17th centuries the influx of Protestant emigrants from Catholic countries (especially France) promoted the development of industry, particularly the production of clocks.

From 1798 to 1814 Geneva was part of France—the chief city of the department of Leman. In 1815 the city and terri-tory joined to it from France and Savoy became the 22nd Swiss canton. In the 19th and early 20th centuries Geneva was a major center for revolutionary emigres. The First Congress of the First International was held there in 1866, the Russian section of the First International was established there in March 1870, and the Emancipation of Labor group was organized there in 1883. Lenin lived in Geneva in 1895, 1900, 1903-05, and 1907-08.

Geneva has been tne traditional site for international conferences and international organizations, including the main bodies of the League of Nations, the International Red Cross and, after World War II, various UN institutions. It is also a center for foreign tourism.

A transportation hub with a lake port and a large airport, Geneva is an important commercial and financial center. Industry in the city employs primarily skilled labor. Major industries include jewelry-making, precision mechanics (watches and clocks, geodesic and other instruments, and precision equipment), machine tools, electrotechnical machine building, engines, Pharmaceuticals, perfumes, tex-tiles, and foodstuffs. Vineyards, the basis of the wine-making industry, are located on the outskirts of the city.

The Rhône River divides the city into two parts. The main architectural monuments, a university (founded as a Protestant academy in 1559 and reorganized as a university in 1872), and other educational institutions and theaters are concentrated on the left bank in the historical center of Geneva (the old city). The new city is on the right bank.

Geneva’s appearance, with its regular layout, is dominated by 19th- and 20th-century buildings, squares, and quays. Located in the old city is the Cathedral of St. Pierre. (Begun in the 12th century in the Romanesque style, it was built in the 13th through the 15th century in the Gothic style.) Its classical facade dates to 1752-56. Also part of the old city are the Church of St. Marie-Madeleine (14th-15th centuries), the Gothic city hall (15th century; expanded in the 16th and early 17th century), Gothic, Renaissance, and classical dwellings, and the Eynard Palace (1817-21). The new part of Geneva on the right bank of the Rhone includes an old section with the Church of St. Gervais (15th century). The Cornavin railroad station (1928) is located in the new city, as well as the Clarte House (1930-32; architect, Le Corbusier) and the Palais des Nations (1937). Tall apartment buildings were constructed in the 1960’s (architect, J. M. Lamaniere), and there is a city swimming pool and a covered stadium (both designed by architect P. Maurice). The International Trade Union Center (G. Dome and P. Maurice, architects) and an air terminal (J. Camoletti and J. M. Ellenberger, architects) are located on the right bank of the Rhone. New residential neighbor-hoods are being built, such as the satellite town of Le Ligon, 1962-70, designed by the architectural firm of Addor et Juil-lard. There is a museum of art and history in Geneva.


Houlet, G. Geneve et ses environs. Paris, 1950. [9-483-l]



(also Leman; German, Genfersee; French, Lac de Geneve or Lac Léman), a lake in Switzerland and France, the largest Alpine lake. Area, 582 sq km; length, 72 km; maximum width, 14 km; maximum depth, 309 m (according to other data, 330 m); water volume, more than 89 cu km; altitude, 372 m.

Lake Geneva is located at the bottom of an intermontane depression between the Savoy and Bernese Alps in the south and east and the Jara Mountains in the northwest. It originally was a terminal basin of an arm of the former Rhone Glacier. Its western shores are approached by rolling foot-hills; rocky mountains leave only a narrow shoreline in the east. The Rhone River flows through Lake Geneva; its flow is regulated by a dam as it leaves the lake. The rivers of the Lake Geneva basin have an Alpine regime and are fed primarily by snow and glacier melt. Consequently, the lake’s summer water level is higher than the winter level by an average of 1 m. In the summer the temperature of the surface water is from 19° to 24°C and in the winter, from 4° to 5°C. The lake does not freeze. Twenty-six species offish, including six species acclimatized by man, inhabit Lake Geneva. The lake is very picturesque. Its shores have a mild and warm climate and are densely populated. Major cities and resorts are located primarily on the Swiss shore; these include Geneva, Lausanne, Vevey, and Montreux. Lake Geneva is navigable, and highways and railroads run along the shores.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


site of peace conferences (1955, 1960); seat of League of Nations (1920–1946). [Swiss Hist.: NCE, 1058]
See: Peace
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. a city in SW Switzerland, in the Rh?ne valley on Lake Geneva: centre of Calvinism; headquarters of the International Red Cross (1864), the International Labour Office (1925), the League of Nations (1929--46), the World Health Organization, and the European office of the United Nations; banking centre. Pop.: 177 500 (2002 est.)
2. a canton in SW Switzerland. Capital: Geneva. Pop.: 419 300 (2002 est.). Area: 282 sq. km (109 sq. miles)
3. Lake. a lake between SW Switzerland and E France: fed and drained by the River Rh?ne, it is the largest of the Alpine lakes; the surface is subject to considerable changes of level. Area: 580 sq. km (224 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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