Banks, luxury watches, ONG? Things of the past! Today, Geneva awaits you with one of the most innovative neighborhoods in Europe: Baines District. Here, there is not only MAMCO – the largest contemporary art museum in Switzerland – but there are also numerous galleries, bars, and trendy cafes. If you are interested in history and art in Geneva, Baines District is the place to go!
Furthermore, Baines District is located in the southern part of Geneva and once held watch studio garages and factories for precision mechanics. In the 1990’s, young gallery owners and artists began to settle in the unused workshops.
Towards the end of the millennium, contemporary art became fashionable, and more and more people started to discover Baines District. Pierre-Henri Jaccuad, in collaboration with two gallery owners Pierrer Huber and Edward Mitterrand organized a joint vernissage, giving life to the idea of “Nuit des Baines”. Today, the “night of the baths” attracts thousands of young people who spend their evenings in museums and galleries, to finally enjoy a cocktail in one of the trendy bars on the Rue de l’Ecole-de-Medecine.
MAMCO, the museum of modern contemporary art, also opens its doors regularly in the evening: on the occasion of “Nocturnes”, numerous guides explain contemporary works to art lovers.
MAMCO – Museo d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea
Rues des Vieux-Grenadiers 10
Tel. +41 (0)22 320 61 22
Additionally, set up in an old factory, the MAMCO has respected the initial structure of the neighborhood. The industrial architecture of the 1950s made it possible to install a delicate device museum that is in constant movement. It exhibits a wide range of works that date from the early 1960s to the present day. The arrangements of videos, paintings, photographs, sculptures come from public and private collections.
Rue des Vieux-Grenadiers
Tel. +41 (0)22 807 09 10
Located in the heart of the Plainpalais district since 2001, this museum allows you to discover the origins of this accessory through the magnificent collections of watches, enamels of origin Swiss, Genevan and European from the 16th to the 20th century. There is a library fully dedicated to watchmaking documents and these historic collections are essentially made up of watches, musical automata and miniature portraits painted on enamel, as well as the prestigious creations of the Geneva-based company since its foundation in 1839. This is the perfect museum for learning about history and art in Geneva!
Fondazione Martin Bodmer – Biblioteca della Letteratura Mondiale
19-21 route du Guignard
Tel. +41 (0)22 707 44 33
Martin Bodmer, the founder of the Gottfried Keller Prize, has passionately collected books and writings throughout his life. The Martin Bodmer Foundation exhibits its 150,000 pieces in Coligny collection that are in 80 languages, spread over a period of three millennia. The oldest, almost perfectly preserved manuscript of the Gospel of John, the original of Grimm’s Tales, the only Gutenberg Bible in Switzerland, the autographs of a quintet for strings by Mozart or the precious papyri of antiquity as well as the only copy of a comedy, almost completely preserved, by the Athenian poet Menander are just some of the rarities of extensive collection of Martin Bodmer (1899-1971).
He himself called it the “Library of World Literature”, by which he meant to define the concept of “human wholeness”. Since 2003 the Bodmer collection has been housed in a new underground building, which places the contents at the center of everything, by the famous architect Mario Bang.
Rossa Avenue de la Paix 17
Tel. +41 (0)22 748 95 11
Geneva, cradle of the Red Cross, hosts the only museum dedicated to the work of Henry Dunant. Located opposite the Palais des Nations, it was inaugurated in 1988 and completely transformed in 2013.
Emotion, discovery, reflection: the museum offers a unique experience of initiation into humanitarian action. The new permanent exhibition L’Avventura humanitarian is organized in three thematic spaces conceived by architects of international renown and of different cultural horizons: Defending human dignity (Gringo Cardia, Brazil), Rebuilding the family bond (Diébédo Francis Kéré, Burkina Faso) and Limiting Natural Hazards (Shigeru Ban, Japan). A visit from live and shared with twelve witnesses of our times.
Highlights: The International Prisoners of War Agency Archive 1914-1923 inscribed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. The game « Hurricane », intended for experiencing natural disaster preparedness activities. An interactive history of 9 touch screens tells 150 years of history. The topical focus allows you to follow the operations of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent around the world.
If you are interested in Swiss culture, I would highly recommend learning about history and art in Geneva. These museums are informative and beautiful – there’s so much to explore!