English Garden, Geneva
On a straight left coming from the Pont du Mont-Blanc is the English Garden, spread over more than 25,000 square meters, this plot of land was built in 1854 following the model of English landscape gardens.
Home to several busts, the Monument National and the world-famous Flower Clock, the English Garden is an absolute must see for tourists who happen to take a stroll down the famous left bank boardwalk of Quai Gustave Ador.
Geneva is recognised all around the world for it's watch making tradition, being the mother of high-end watchmaking. To pay tribute to this honour, Geneva created the biggest clock in the world, made from flowers. Geneva Flower Clock, named L'horloge fleurie in French, created in 1955, soon became world famous, one of the main attraction of the city.
Interestingly, the clock always look different as it is made of various flowers which bloom in different times in the year.
Busts and statues
You will find three busts in the Garden, celebrating the great Swiss painters Alexandre Calame and François Diday as well as sculptor Auguste Rodo de Niederhausen; more importantly, the Monument National, inaugurated on September 7th 1869 to commemorate the incorporation of Geneva into the Swiss Confederation.
The bronze “fontaine des Quatre-Saisons” (Four Seasons Fountain), sculpted by Alexis Andre, is yet another landmark of the English Gardens.
While the cafe La Potinière seems a great place to relax at the heart of the Garden and, as its name suggests, exchange a couple of “potins” (gossips), the real deal is the Bateau Genève. This boat was made famous when, on September 10th 1898, the Empress Sissi, after being stabbed in the heart by an Italian anarchist, ran to catch it and collapsed on the deck, she would die in the hour. The boat is now a welfare association, offering counselling and free meals for the people in need but tourists can also hop on for lunch or dinner.
From mid-July to mid-August, the English Garden serves as one of the main sites of the Fêtes de Genève.
- Dogs are admitted, provided they are kept on a leash.
- Free wifi hotspot
- 2 restaurants
- Drinking water
- Benches, grass for pique-nique, trees for a shade
- Free toilets