7 facts you didn’t know about Geneva

The city of watches has several lesser-known facts that may surprise you.

Neil Churchill August 6, 2014

Famed for being the world’s most expensive city – and home to the planet’s priciest club sandwich – over the years Geneva has become synonymous with a number of globally important interests.

It is the birthplace of the World Wide Web, guardian of world-renowned CERN and houses the UN’s head office. It is the city of choice for meetings between world leaders and heads of industry, and of course it is synonymous with the most respected watch houses and jewellery brands.

But like all old cities, Geneva has several lesser-known facts that are every bit as interesting. One of the city’s leading hotels, InterContinental Geneve, has put together these interesting facts on things you didn’t know about Geneva:


The most expensive bottle of wine ever sold at auction was at Christie’s in Geneva. Michael Ganne paid $304,375 – AED 1.1 million – for a 1947 French Chateau Cheval Blanc in 2010.

Villa Diodati

The city’s billionaires district houses Villa Diodati, where authors Lord Byron and Mary Shelley challenged each other to a writing competition, the end result producing the classic novel Frankenstein.


The most expensive diamond ever sold was at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva for $83 million. The Pink Star was a 59.60-carat oval cut pink diamond. The largest diamond in the world was also sold at Sotheby’s Geneva. The 100.09 carat Graff Vivid Yellow fetched a record $16.3 million. pinkdiamond


The most number of roses in Geneva can be found in ‘La Roserarie’ in the Parc de la Grange on the south side of Lake Geneva. It holds over 10,000 roses.

St Peter’s Cathedral

Not only is it the city’s oldest monument – completed in 1289 – St Peter’s Cathedral is also next to Geneva’s secret passageway, which opens only once a year. saintpeters

Eating out

After visiting the city's 30 museums and galleries, you're probably going to be a bit peckish. Geneva has an incredible 13 Mitchelin-starred restaurants - if you can't find something you want to eat in this city, you're not human.


The world’s largest seconds hands are found on the Flower Clock, measuring more than 2.5 metres. They are a symbol of Geneva, changing colour each season. flowerclock Details: visit intercontinental-geneva.ch