Also called Lake Léman, the crescent-shaped body of water at the southwest edge of the Swiss Plateau between the Alps and the Jura mountains covers an area of 600 square km (230 square miles). The matchless beauty of the lake has always made it a magnet for people form all over the world, including celebrities such as Lord Byron, Charlie Chaplin, Audrey Hepburn and Phil Collins. Numerous picturesque villages, vineyards and castles dot the banks of the lake that serves as a temporary reservoir for the River Rhone, which enters at the north-west tip and exits at Geneva. Visitors should be sure to spend an evening in one of the numerous “Caveaux des Vignerons”: In each village a wine cellar is open almost every evening where the local products can be sampled in an unforgettable atmosphere.
French lifestyle and international culture on Lake Geneva
French lifestyle, international culture and an unsurpassed beautiful location on the lake with the same name makes Geneva one of the most livable cities in Switzerland – but also one of the most expensive! World history was written in Geneva during the Reformation, when the reformer Calvin introduced a harsh and strict church discipline in the city. While dancing, drinking and singing were banned, Calvin allowed an interest-based economy, which was forbidden to Christians in Catholic surroundings at that time. As a result Geneva became an important trade- and banking center. Today, 200 international organizations have their headquarters in Geneva. More than 40% of the inhabitants are foreign nationals. Landmarks in Geneva are the lakefront and the Rhone, on whose bank the three-towered cathedral is located.