Fête de l’Escalade 2022

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Date(s) - December 9, 2022 - December 11, 2022
All Day


Price (CHF): Free


Between costumes, games and chocolate cauldrons, come and celebrate the Escalade. In addition to the grand historical parade and the festivities organized by the Compagnie 1602, several visits and activities will take place to celebrate these two special days.

Climbing Festival, a linving tradition
44th Escalation Race
children on a table eating marzipan vegetables©
At the beginning of December, Geneva comes to life to celebrate one of the days of the year young people most look forward to: the Fête de l'Escalade.

Custom dictates that children and secondary school pupils dress up and parade through the streets.

In addition to the large-scale historical parade and the festivities organized in the old town by the Compagnie 1602, several popular events will also be held. Here is a brief overview:

To recreate the atmosphere
people in costume holding torches ©
Grand parade and historical scenes in the old town
From 9 to 11 December, old town
From 9 to 11 December in the old town, the Compagnie 1602 recreates daily life in Geneva at the end of the 16th century. Halberdiers, arquebusiers, horsemen and historical characters parade through the streets in medieval costume. Demonstrations of musket fire, cannon fire and handling a halberd are also organised.

From 5 pm on Sunday 11 December, don't miss the grand historical parade of l'Escalade, involving some 800 costumed volunteers both on foot and on horseback, leaving from Parc des Bastions. The full program is available on the Compagnie 1602 website.

person in costume in a gallery, lit by the light of a torch©
Visit to the secret Passage de Monetier
10 and 11 December, rue du Perron 19
Take advantage of the unique opportunity offered by the celebration of the Escalade to discover the Passage de Monetier, which is closed by a gate every other day of the year. The vestige of a path that led under the walls at the end of the 5th century, it is one of the more or less secret pathways that allowed the City's defenders to reach their combat positions quickly. Entrance to rue du Perron 19, Saturday 10 (from 10 am to 10 pm) and Sunday 11 (from 10 am to 5 pm).

person in armor©
In the shoes of a soldier at the time of Escalade
15 November to 23 December, MAH
Plunge into the atmosphere of the Escalade in the famous Tavel House (Maison Tavel), with explanatory modules which even offer you the chance to try on a helmet or wield a sword.

people fighting and woman leaning out of her window©
Relive the night of the Escalade in images
28 November to 7 January 2023, BGE
To enjoy a forestaste or prolong the festivities a little, visit the Couloir des coups d'œil at the BGE library to see the most striking images of the famous night of 11-12 December 1602 through the illustrations of Edouard Elzingre, who shaped the imagery of this event at the beginning of the last century. Guided visits at 12.30 pm from 6 to 10 December

city standby night view with lanterns©
candlelit walk
3 and 11 December, old town
Relive l'Escalade by candlelight, just as the people of Geneva experienced it, in the company of the heritage guide, Catherine Hubert-Girod. At the end of the walk, the participants will break the famous chocolate cauldron together!

The Escalade told by those who lived through it
What better means of plunging into the history of the event than hearing it told by those who lived through it? With a light and slightly offbeat tone, a mini video series gives you the chance to hear the thoughts of Charles Emmanuel I, Simon Goulart and the inescapable Mère Royaume.

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