The main feature of the Parc des Bastions is, of course, the famous Reformation Wall (full name: International Monument to the Reformation). It’s sheer size makes it difficult to cover it in a single photograph. A few numbers: the wall is 100 meters long; the statues in the main group are 5 meters tall; and the statues in the secondary groupings are three meters tall.

According to Wikipedia:

The International Monument to the Reformation (French: Monument international de la Réformation, German: Internationales Reformationsdenkmal), usually known as the Reformation Wall, is a monument in Geneva, Switzerland. It honours many of the main individuals, events, and documents of the Protestant Reformation by depicting them in statues and bas-reliefs.

The Wall is in the grounds of the University of Geneva, which was founded by John Calvin, and was built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Calvin’s birth and the 350th anniversary of the university’s establishment. It is built into the old city walls of Geneva, and the monument’s location there is designed to represent the fortifications’, and therefore the city of Geneva’s, integral importance to the Reformation.

Inaugurated in 1909, it was the culmination of a contest launched to transform that part of the park. The contest involved 71 proposals from around the world, but was won by four Swiss architects: Charles Dubois, Alphonse Laverrière, Eugène Monod, and Jean Taillens (whose other design came third). The sculptures were then created by two French sculptors: Paul Landowski and Henri Bouchard.

During the Reformation, Geneva was the centre of Calvinism, and its history and heritage since the sixteenth century has been closely linked to that of Protestantism. Due to the close connections to that theology, the individuals most prominently depicted on the Wall were Calvinists; nonetheless, key figures in other theologies are also included…

The photograph above depicts the main grouping: five “giants” (remember they are 5 meters tall) of the Reformation (and a grim looking bunch they are too). From left to right William Farel (1489–1565); John Calvin (1509–1564); Theodore Beza (1519–1605); and John Knox (c.1513–1572)

Apparently Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli have significantly less prominent (so much so that I missed them entirely) memorials at the sides of the wall as Calvin had disagreed with them on some points.

Taken with a Sony RX100 M3

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