The Palace of Nations in Geneva

Friday, 1 December 2017 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, House of the Month
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Palace of Nations © flickr.com - Ville Oksanen/cc-by-sa-2.0

Palace of Nations © flickr.com – Ville Oksanen/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Palace of Nations is the home of the United Nations Office at Geneva, located in Geneva, Switzerland. It was built between 1929 and 1938 to serve as the headquarters of the League of Nations. It has served as the home of the United Nations Office at Geneva since 1946 when the Secretary-General of the United Nations signed a Headquarters Agreement with the Swiss authorities, although Switzerland did not become a member of the United Nations until 2002. In 2012 alone, the Palace of Nations hosted more than 10,000 intergovernmental meetings. An architectural competition held in the 1920s to choose a design for the complex described the project as follows:

The Palace, whose construction is the object of the competition, is intended to house all the organs of the League of Nations in Geneva. It should be designed in such a way as to allow these organs to work, to preside and to hold discussions, independently and easily in the calm atmosphere which should prevail when dealing with problems of an international dimension.

The Celestial Sphere Woodrow Wilson Memorial © Koichi Shibata/cc-by-sa-3.0 Allée des Nations © flickr.com - Leandro Neumann Ciuffo/cc-by-2.0 Assembly Hall © Yann Forget/cc-by-sa-3.0 Palace of Nations © flickr.com - Ville Oksanen/cc-by-sa-2.0 Palace of Nations © Moumou82/cc-by-sa-3.0
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The Celestial Sphere Woodrow Wilson Memorial © Koichi Shibata/cc-by-sa-3.0
A jury of architects was selected to choose a final design from among three-hundred and thirty-seven entries but was unable to decide on a winner. Ultimately, the five architects behind the leading entries were chosen to collaborate on a final design: Julien Flegenheimer of Switzerland, Camille Lefèvre and Henri-Paul Nénot of France, Carlo Broggi of Italy and József Vágó of Hungary. Donations from League members were used in the interior. The Palace constituted at the time of completion (1936), volume wise, the second-largest building complex in Europe after Versailles (440,000 m3 (15,500,000 cu ft) vs. 460,000 m3 (16,200,000 cu ft) ). After its transfer to the United Nations, two extensions were added to the building, which considerably increased the size of the usable area of the building. Between 1950-1952, three floors were added to the “K” building, and the “D” building was constructed to house temporarily the World Health Organization. The “E” building (or “New” Building) was added between 1968-1973 as a conference facility (an additional eleven conference rooms and an extra volume of 380,000 m3 (13,400,000 cu ft)), with bringing the total of conference rooms to 34. With the additions, the complex is 600 metres (2,000 ft) long and holds 2,800 offices, with a total volume of 853,000 m3 (30,100,000 cu ft).

The Palace is located in Ariana Park, which was bequeathed to the City of Geneva in 1890 by Gustave de Revilliod de la Rive, on several conditions: i.a. that the park always remain accessible to the public and that he be buried in the park. The park also contains a 1668 chalet. Beneath the Palace of Nations’s foundation stone is a time capsule containing a document listing the names of the League of Nations member states, a copy of the Covenant of the League, and specimen coins of all the countries represented at the league’s Tenth Assembly. A medal showing the Palace of Nations with the Jura Mountains in the background was struck in silvered bronze. The building overlooks Lake Geneva and has a clear view of the French Alps.

Read more on United Nations Office at Geneva and Wikipedia Palace of Nations. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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