The Place du Temple is smaller, and less busy than the Place du Marche and I tend to prefer it as a place to hang out. Most places are closed on Sunday in Geneva, and when we lived there we would often pick up a newspaper and go somewhere to sit, have breakfast and watch the world go by. This is exactly what we did during our recent visit. I took a book and we were able to find a newsagents open where we picked up a copy of the London Times. We then went to Wolfisberg and ordered coffee and sandwiches.

The Place has a lovely, Gothic looking fountain (See: Geneva – Carouge, Basilisk Fountain for a close up) and a bust of one of Geneva’s luminaries: Adolphe Fontanel.

According to the Republic and Canton of Geneva website (translated from the original French):

The Fontanel family is of Savoy origin. It is mentioned as early as 1420 in the registers of the State of Geneva.

Two doctors in particular stand out: Doctor Adolphe Fontanel and Doctor Johannes Fontanel, son of the former.

Adolphe Fontanel (1818 – 1879) was born in Carouge, third of a family of seven children. He is the son of Pierre-Marie, notary, and Mélanie Plagnat. After studying at the Collège communal and the Academy, he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Lyon. On the advice of Carouge doctor, Louis-Appollonie de Montfalcon, his father sent him to pursue his medical studies in Paris, where he gained his doctorate in 1846.

He then opened his office at the Rue Saint-Victor, but at the same time this convinced liberal developed a passion for political reform. James Fazy solicited his invaluable support to the rising radicalism of the time. Adolphe Fontanel was elected a member of the Provisional Government of 1846.

He was elected to the Grand Council, where he served 16 years, assuming the presidency of the legislature in 1870 and 1871. He was elected Geneva State Counselor in the 1855-57-59 and 1861 elections, and became Federal States Counselor in 1853. Mayor of Carouge five times between 1847 and 1875, this active and indefatigable fellow citizen remained a medical doctor in a battalion of militia, a founding member of the Geneva National Institute, a member of the Geneva medical society and numerous Geneva and Carouge companies, including the carabinieri society.

A Freemason, who maintained the most cordial relations with the Catholic parish priest Gaspard Greffier and Pastor Henry, Adolphe Fontanel was an example of an eminent man entirely devoted to the service of his neighbor.

He was a fazist activist who actively participated in the unrest of August 22, 1864, following the electoral defeat of James Fazy.

He was arrested by federal investigators and then acquitted with the other defendants at the Federal Assizes in December 1864.

My wife sitting with our internationally travelling dog, Harley outside Wolfisberg on the Place du Temple. Harley’s somewhat strange posture is because he’d just spotted another dog across the plaza.

Taken with my Son-in-Law’s Nikon, D80 and Sigma 18-200mm f3.5-f6.3 lens.




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