Escalade Festival

Things to do
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L'Escalade
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©Geneva Tourism/Olivier Miche
Escalade
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©Geneva Tourism/Olivier Miche

This street party and costumed parade celebrates a failed siege of the city.

This winter festival celebrates a failed siege of the city in 1602 when the plucky townspeople held out against the army of the Duke of Savoy to retain their independence. To honour this little piece of history, every year on its December anniversary Geneva’s historical society, the Compagnie de 1602, organizes a huge torch-lit procession of folk dressed up like their 17th century ancestors, complete with horses, lances and shields. Head to the Old Town to watch it and warm your cockles on the bonfire lit in front of the cathedral. There’s a festive atmosphere in the streets, with plenty of opportunity to eat and drink while you’re there.

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