Reformation Wall

The International Monument to the Reformation (French: Monument international de la Réformation ) in Geneva is reminiscent of the international appeal of the Geneva Reformation.


The foundation stone of the monument was laid on the 400th birthday of John Calvin in 1909. The result of a competition with 70 competitors emerge victorious previous project came from four Swiss architects, which included Alphonse and Jean Laverrière Taillens, and the statues were made by the two French sculptors Paul Landowski and Henri Bouchard. The monument was completed 1917.


It consists of about 100 meters long, consciously unadorned wall sculptures held at the Parc des Bastions near the main building of the University of Geneva. The stones used in the construction date from the quarries of Pouillenay in Burgundy. Opposite the wall is a staircase made of granite from Mont Blanc, in the side walls of the name " Luther" and " Zwingli " are chiselled.

On a pedestal, which is labeled with the Greek abbreviation of Jesus' name ( ΙΗΣ ), stand in the middle of the four massive statues of Guillaume Farel, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, and John Knox. Left and right of follow -reliefs of important events of the history of the Reformation.

At each turn, relief includes a smaller statue of a standing in more or less close up connection with the event shown on the relief reformed personality ( to each the subject of the relief ):

  • Gaspard de Coligny (1517-1572): The French King Henry IV signed on April 13, 1598 the Edict of Nantes.
  • William of Nassau (1533-1584): On July 26, 1581 gathered States General of the Netherlands in The Hague proclaim the Declaration of Independence of the United Provinces.
  • Stephan Bocskai (1556-1606): On December 13, 1606 Bocskai over to the Hungarian parliament the Treaty of Vienna, where the Emperor Rudolf II to Hungary assures freedom of religion.
  • Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658): The House of Commons and the House of Lords of the British Parliament to present William of Orange and his wife Mary on October 26, 1689, the Declaration of Rights.
  • Roger Williams (1604-1685): The Pilgrim Fathers set up in 1620 aboard the Mayflower to Plymouth Colony in New England, which was later united with Massachusetts.
  • Frederick William of Brandenburg (1620-1688): The Great Elector takes after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 in its territories Huguenot exiles (see also: Edict of Potsdam)

Two other reliefs relate to Farel and Knox:

  • At a meeting in a house in the Rue Basses takes Pierre Viret, the future reformer of Vaud, in the presence of Farel and Antoine Froment on February 22, 1534 Reformed baptism for the first time in Geneva
  • John Knox preached in the church of St Giles Edinburgh before the court of Mary Stuart

Throughout the monument is the inscription POST TENEBRAS LUX draws ( " After the dark light " ) - the heraldic motto of the reformed Geneva and all Reformed, which saw a return to the light in the Protestant Reformation.

Additions in 2002

On 3 November 2002, the wall marking Reformation Festival was provided with three other names of precursors of the Reformation ( Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe and Jan Hus ), and with the first name of a woman, namely the Reformation theologian and historian Marie Dentière (ca. 1495 - 1561) from Tournai.