Monuments

Photo: www.site-archeologique.ch.

Archaeological site of St. Pierre Cathedral

The archaeological site of St. Pierre Cathedral in Geneva is one of the largest of its kind in Europe. The many remains and vestiges excavated are an opportunity to discover the ancient city and understand how Christianity became established in this region. Geneva (Genava) has been a Roman town since 122 BC and was inhabited by the Celtic tribe of Allobroges. As part of the Roman world, the inhabitants gradually romanised. When the city was integrated into the Roman Province Narbonenis around 20 BC, Geneva became a real Roman city near Lyon (Lugdunum) and Vienne (Colonia Julia Viennensis). As an integral part of the Roman World, Christianity found its way already in the fourth century. Roman administrative structures, the high level of literacy (Christianity is a religion of the written word) and the communication network throughout the Empire facilitated the breakthrough. Archaeologists discovered the remains of several churches under and around the current cathedral of the oldest of which dates from the 4th century. The space under the Cathedral also contains traces of pre-Christian activity, an Allobrogian tomb, and Roman and early medieval (Christian) activities. (Source and further information: www.site-archeologique.ch).