Geneva - The Ariana Museum

On my last trip to Geneva, Switzerland, I visited the lovely Ariana Museum. The museum is located right next to the Palais des Nations (United Nations of Geneva) and the Parc de L'Ariana, right across from the Red Cross Museum.

For those who have never heard of this small museum, it was Gustave Revilliod's (1817-1890) private collection of kilncrafts, donated to the city of Geneva upon his death. Today, it is considered one of the most important collections of it's type in the world containing around 20,000 historical artifacts. It is a collection that reflects the last seven centuries of glass and ceramics developments, including early Chinese and European porcelain as well as Roman, and European Glass.

The museum is housed in a splendid two floor neo-clasical mansion surrounded by lush gardens. There charge no entry fee to view the main collection and there are pre-recorded tours (highly recommended) available for a fee. Trust me, once you go through the collection while listening to the recorded tour, you will never look at a set of dishes or glasses in quite the same way again. So much human effort and intrigue went into the development of porcelain and glass around the world throughout history. It sounds more like an international spy novel with all the crucial elements like lying, stealing of secret recipes, betrayals and killings, all in an effort to protect secret recipes from other nations. Riveting stuff, I promise.

If you wish to visit the Ariana Museum, you must first walk to the main train station a few blocks away from our hotel. Right in front of the station, you will catch the #15 Tram in the direction of the airport to it's last stop in front of the Palais des Nations. This is the same square where the "Broken Chair" statue is located - a huge chair with a broken leg. Look for the signs that say "Ariana Museum" and walk a couple of blocks away from the square in the directions of the arrows. The museum will be on your right. To return to the hotel, retrace your steps and take the #15 Tram from the same stop where it dropped you off. Get off right in front of the train station where you began, about 5 stops down from where you start. Use the courtesy free Tram ticket the hotel gives you with your room key. It's good for 24 hours.

Check with the concierge before leaving the hotel for museum hours of operation. They open from 10am to 5pm and they are closed on Tuesdays. The museum also has a cute small coffee shop in it's second floor with a veranda open deck for sunny days. A great place for a coffee and a small break.

Enjoy and if you go, let me know what you think of the Ariana Museum!


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