French-Speaking Switzerland

Switzerland’s French-speaking population is located in the west, in a region that covers almost a quarter of the country’s surface area. With its charming little towns along the lakes and mountains, home to skiers and festival-goers like the famous Montreux event. The sculptures of Fribourg on its churches, squares linking the streets or bridges linking the mountains. And of course the region’s two main cities, the university town of Lausanne and Geneva, home to international institutions and meetings, banks and jewellers. But also the printing of historical philosophical texts, as well as one of the first two comic strips in history.

In fact, Geneva is more complex and mysterious than you might imagine, in ways you might not. Not least the great openness of its university, which welcomed so many Russian Jewish refugees at the turn of the 20th century, including the future president Haïm Weizmann. A university just a stone’s throw from Geneva’s beautiful historic synagogue and the Plainpalais park, where the diplomat and writer Albert Cohen used to stroll. But it was the small neighbouring town of Carouge that welcomed Jews before Geneva. The Jewish presence in Fribourg dates back even further, to the 13th century. Other towns in French-speaking Switzerland where the Jewish community grew at the turn of the 20th century were Lausanne and La Chaux-de-Fonds, each with a beautiful synagogue. Less well known and older is the community of Vevey, on the shores of Lake Geneva, at the other end of the river arc leading to Geneva.

French-Speaking Switzerland | Locations
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French-Speaking Switzerland | News
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