Even though it was some distance I’d decided to walk home and leaving the Old Town I passed through “La Treille” (the Arbor), a pleasant, leafy tree covered “promenade” (i.e. walking area) overlooking the Parc des Bastions. Walking through I came across this statue of Charles Pictet de Rochemont.

Britannia.com describes him as follows:

Charles Pictet de Rochemont, (born Sept. 21, 1755, Geneva, Switz.—died Dec. 28, 1824, Lancy), statesman and diplomat who prepared the declaration of Switzerland’s permanent neutrality ratified by the great powers in 1815.

After serving in the French army, Pictet settled in Geneva in 1789 and reorganized the militia. He was arrested during the Reign of Terror (1794) in Geneva following the French Revolution and subsequently was imprisoned. With the reestablishment of the Republic of Geneva after the retreat of Napoleon’s armies (1813), he resumed political activity, taking part in the provisional government created in December 1813.

In January 1814 Pictet argued on behalf of Geneva’s independence and union with the Swiss Confederation before the allied sovereigns at Basel and later obtained recognition of his canton’s independence in the Treaty of Paris (May 1814). In October 1814 he was delegated to the Congress of Vienna, where he helped secure Geneva’s attachment to the reconstructed Swiss Confederation; and at the Paris peace conference (August–November 1815) that followed Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, he served as representative of the whole confederation. He personally redrafted the act that was accepted as the basis of permanent Swiss neutrality by the powers on March 20, 1815. His last diplomatic mission—to Turin (January–March 1816)—secured a rectification of the Swiss-Sardinian frontier (Treaty of Turin, March 1816).

Wikipedia provides additional information.

In the background you can just make out a bench. But this is not just any bench. It’s arguably the longest wooden bench in the world. According to Atlas Obscura:

Behind Geneva’s city hall is La Treille Park, a lovely and sunny square, whose perimeter is lined by (debatably) the longest wooden bench in the world. Built in 1767, the bench is 413 feet long, and made of 180 wooden boards.

The title for the world’s longest bench is evidently a prize highly sought. Many countries claim to have the longest bench of some sort – Spain says its Gaudi-inspired art-piece bench in Barcelona is the longest, Russia claimed to have had the longest painted bench, before it was broken into 100 different sections and spread throughout Moscow, and France claims to have the longest concrete bench which overlooks the sea in the city of Marseille.

No matter where the title truly lies, there is no question that this Swiss bench is the perfect spot to relax and take in the view of the Salève and Jura mountains under the shade of chestnut trees. It’s said that the chestnut’s first bloom announces the arrival of spring in Geneva.

Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3

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