Green spaces in the heart of the city, parks and gardens are precious, where one can find refuge to spend a moment of relaxation, do sports, or even an ideal playground for children. Some parks are spectacular because of their luxuriant nature, while others stand out for their intimate and discreet side. Places full of history, some of which have kept the charm of yesteryear. As the heat sets in, let’s go for a walk in search of coolness, in the shade of the trees of the parks and gardens.
It is the largest park in the city, covering 12’000 m2, offering a generous nature, with its grandiose and centenary trees, its small curved paths, its spectacular viewpoints and its varied atmospheres make it a privileged place for walking. It is located between the Eaux-Vives district and the Eaux-Vives park with which it communicates through nature.
Its history would already begin in the Neolithic period, you will also find menhirs in the heights of the park, and ruins of the villa of the Roman civil servant Titus Fronto. The agricultural estate took the name of La Grange in the 18th century; it was then owned by the Lullin family who built the master villa between 1768 and 1773 and laid out a French garden. Located just outside the city and its thick walls, the villa was then a privileged place for summer stays and the reception of prestigious guests, which is still the case today, most recently with the meeting between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin.
The Favre family succeeded the Lullins, transforming the house and the park, notably by changing the French garden into a more rural one. The curved paths, the alpine pond and the rock garden were added. A monumental entrance with its enthroned lions, a romantic pergola, the orangery and the creamery. William Favre bequeathed the estate to the City of Geneva and specified in his will that the park was to be used for public purposes and that the villa was to be used for the receptions of the City’s Administrative Council as well as for the reception of honored guests.
Classified as a historical monument, the park of La Grange presents many interests such as the Villa La Grange, which has housed Guillaume Favre’s library since 1821. More than 15,000 books are available on request from the Geneva Library, which organizes occasional visits for the general public. All the adjacent buildings and outbuildings have been preserved in their original style, such as the dwelling house, the stables, the barn and the double-pool fountain.
The Grand Rose Garden is also another Geneva heritage, dating from the post-war period, it is overlooked by a lovely pergola, both of which have reported major recent renovations. Until 2015, the rose garden was the venue for the prestigious Geneva International New Rose Competition. Now named the Rose Garden, it is home to more than 180 varieties of roses and 4,400 species of plants, friends of roses, all maintained in a 100% natural way, without phytosanitary products, the pride of its gardeners.
Thanks to its numerous summer activities, the Grange Park is transformed into an enchanting place to live. For children first, with a beautiful playground, a paddling pool and green spaces designed to organize wonderful picnics, beautiful family days in perspective. For music lovers, the Théâtre de Verdure (Ella Fitzgerald stage) is hidden in the heart of the park. This stage proposes all summer long many free concerts with great musicians coming from all over the world.
A nice visit to the Grange Park!
Ville de Genève:
Quai Gustave-Ador, 1207 Geneva
November to March, from 7am to 6pm
April to May: from 7am to 9pm
June to August: from 6am to 10pm
September to October: from 7am to 9pm