Come learn everything there is to know about Switzerland’s famous 16th century reformation, where theologians like Martin Luther and John Calvin (a Geneva resident) broke off from the Roman Catholic church, effectively eroding the people’s faith in the Papacy and in many of the Catholic doctrines. The International Museum of the Reformation presents the history of Protestantism from its very humble beginnings right here in Geneva, explaining its conception of mankind and the world it lives in through diverse iconography and detailed chronicles, and addresses issues like polemics and various interpretations of the Bible; in fact, the museum is home to over 500 artefacts pertaining to the history of reformation in Geneva, including original scripts penned by Calvin and Luther themselves. An underground passageway even connects the IMR to the archaeological site under Saint-Pierre Cathedral next door, where the vote was taken for the Reformation in Geneva in 1536.
As the Reformation museum is located in the heart of Geneva’s most historic quarter, many city tours will at the very least whizz past it, like this Geneva City Tour or this exhilarating Segway tour of the Old Town.
Insider’s Tip: Don’t miss the Calvin and Geneva room on the main floor, which explains how 16th-century Geneva became a refuge for thousands of exiled Protestants hailing from all parts of Europe, from the Netherlands to Italy and everywhere between.
The International Museum of the Reformation is located in Old Geneva and is very well connected: it is possible to get there by car (as the museum is on a pedestrian street it is not possible to park directly on-site; parking Saint-Antoine is close by on Boulevard Emile-Jaques-Dalcroze and costs 1.- CHF for every 20 minutes), by public transit (trams 12, 14, and 18 at Place de Neuve stop) as well as on foot from most of Geneva’s main attractions. It is open Tuesdays to Sundays between 10am and 5pm.