ONUG - PALACE OF NATIONS
Petit Futé's opinion on ONUG - PALACE OF NATIONS
Entering the Palais des Nations is to discover the underside of an institution that works every day for world peace.
Since the Second World War, the Palais des Nations has housed the European site of the United Nations, of which it is the largest centre after the headquarters in New York. Former headquarters of the League of Nations, it was built between 1929 and 1936 in Ariana Park and expanded between 1968 and 1973. The visit allows us to take stock of the activities and mandates of the United Nations in Geneva. A presentation film and a walk through the corridors of this gigantic building with its Art Deco architecture, 2,000 offices and 34 conference rooms, show the works of art in the palace, the gifts offered to the UN, the Salle des Pas-Perdus (armillary sphere and space conquest memorial), a conference room in the new building, the new Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Hall (decorated by the artist Miquel Barcelò), the Great Hall of the Assemblies (2,000 people) and the Council Chamber, the scene of many disarmament negotiations. As a bonus, there is a breathtaking view of the lake and the Mont Blanc massif.
The Catalan painter Miquel Barcelò created a multicoloured stalactite vault for the Human Rights Hall in Geneva, symbolizing the multiplicity of viewpoints.
The Place des Nations was refurbished in 2007 and is well worth crossing: the granite floor of the esplanade is made up of large 4-metre wide blocks from countries that are members of the UN. The fountain will refresh you in summer with its 84 water jets reminding you of the number of international organisations in the neighbourhood. And of course the three-legged "Broken Chair", which stands monumentally on the square up to 12 m high, reminding you of the fate of the victims of anti-personnel mines.
Cultural path to discover "Quartier les Nations" : it is possible to download in PDF or Audio an itinerary in the Quartier des Nations to get to know the international organizations:
Four visits are organized per day in English and French. Upon request, fifteen other languages are available for visits. Guided tour (approx. 1 hour): 15 CHF, reduced rate : 13 CHF, free for children under 6 years of age. Guided tour in English and French. Theme visits also: the Ariana Park, the works of art exhibited in the palace, the history of the buildings of the Palais des Nations.
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Entrance fee 15 CHF. Presentation of an identity card required. 4 visits per day in English and French.
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