Sunday, 3 May 2009

CH is not cheap - Switzerland May 09


I have decided that CH stands for not just Commune Helvitia.  but more like Chocolate and Cheese: Fondue and Raclette,
 Emmentaler and Edammer, Gauda and  Gruyère, Appenzell and Sprinz.  And famous Swiss chocolate names Lindt,  Nestle,  Suchard. And of course Toblerone. There is a richness about Switzerland that has nothing to do with banking

And CH for church. Whilst I was attending board meetings, my wife accompanied me, mixing business and pleasure. We decided to explore some Protestant roots 


Visited  old City Parc with Granite statues of reformers. Huge, austere, almost Stalinist.  Not people you would naturally warm to.  when you see the full size image of the refromation wall  they are even more menacing.  Tall. larger-than-life, solid, granite, stern.  Some one had put red paint on the head of Calvin  So much blood has been spilt in Europe ‘in the name of the Father’ 

The Calvinist cathedral of Geneva

St Paul’s Cathedral, cold granite and polished wood and chandeliers  I was left wondering where do the Gargoyles fit in to the scheme of things in this austere interior. A lighter or even darker mood.  Stained glass the only colour. The Bell towers offered splendid views of the city and good cardiac exercise.  

No wonder Geneve is known as the “Protestant Rome” 

Near the cathedral is the International Museum of the Reformation   

PERHAPS THE MOST REMARKABLE THING about Geneva's new International Museum of the Reformation is that it has taken so long: in 1959, on the 400th anniversary of the publication of Calvin's Institutes, the idea was first floated that a museum should be founded in Geneva, the Rome of Protestantism. In April the museum finally opened its doors, with an impressive array of objects relating to Calvin and the Reformation in Geneva and its expansion throughout the world.
an article from History Today (Aug 2005).  

The website offers a virtual tour   And it is a fascinating insight into the causes and context of the reformation 

We took a trip on a bateau 'the Grebe' run by Swiss Boats to see the views of Lac Leman (or Lake Geneve).   The Lake is a massive 50 miles (80km) long and the tour included many rich houses some dramatic chateaux. 

See full size image

One thing we decided  CH does definately does NOT stand for is cheap!

1509-2009 Calvin Jubilee

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