Hôtel de Ville (City Hall)
Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) Review
Fourteen of sixteen countries present signed the first Geneva Convention in the ground-floor Alabama Hall on August 22, 1864, making it the birthplace of the International Red Cross, and the League of Nations convened its first assembly here on November 15, 1920. The canton's executive and legislative bodies meet here; until 1958 government functionaries lived here. But the history of this elegant vaulted compound begins in 1455, when the city built a large fortified tower, the Tour Baudet, to house the State Council Chamber. Its ramp, an architectural anomaly added during the Reformation, was used by the councilors to reach the third-floor meeting hall without dismounting from their donkeys, a practice which gave name to the tower, as baudet means donkey in French.
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