Place du Bourg-de Four
We look at the central northern front of the Place du Bourg-de Four in Geneva (german: Genf, french: Geneve), which has an unusually irregular shape. Today, the beautiful little square is popular with tourists for its cafés, hotels, shops and the atmosphere created with trees and a fountain. Many of the buildings date back to the 16th century, with more prosperous buildings added in the 17th and 18th centuries – as does the small fountain pictured here, which dates back to the 18th century. There is a special bookshop in the square – “Jullien”. It was founded in 1839 by Elisabeth Jullien and her sons John and Jean-Louis, and also runs a publishing house that became famous for its works on Geneva history and literature, and is still family-run.
The two distinct towers rising behind the buildingsin the centre belong to Geneva’s largest church, Saint-Pierre Cathedral, which is located behind the square.
The history of the square
As early as Roman times, there was a trading area here, which also functioned as a forum. This is probably where the reference “Four” in the name comes from. The castle of Gondebaud, the king of the Burgundians who died in 516, was also located here. After Roman times, the city walls were reinforced and the square outside lost its importance. In the 12th century it was included in the extension of the city walls and by now hotels had settled here and fairs were held. The Counts of Geneva had a castle on the square. Today, at the northern end is the Lutheran church (without a bell tower) and next to it the Palace of Justice. You can find additional info about Place du Bourg-de Four in the french wikipedia.