Découvrez les musées municipaux
Toute l'offre culturelle


  • L'herbier des Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques et ses quelque six millions d’échantillons est un des plus importants au monde. Quant au jardin, il abrite de magnifiques collections de plantes vivantes.
  • Site internet du Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques


  • Le FMAC a pour missions de développer la présence de l’art dans l’espace public et de soutenir les artistes actifs et actives à Genève. Le FMAC gère la Médiathèque, un espace de consultation et de diffusion d’une collection dédiée à l'art vidéo. Le FMAC Mobile, par ses actions de médiation, favorise l’intérêt et la compréhension des publics pour le domaine de l’art contemporain.
  • Page web du Fonds municipal d’art contemporain


  • Avec une collection riche de 25'000 objets illustrant douze siècles de culture céramique, le Musée Ariana compte parmi les grands musées européens spécialisés dans les arts du feu.
  • Site internet du Musée Ariana


  • Les Musées d’art et d’histoire forment le plus grand ensemble muséal de Suisse, avec ses cinq musées et leurs 700'000 objets, sa bibliothèque et ses ateliers de restauration.
  • Site internet des Musées d'art et d'histoire


  • Haut lieu de la réflexion sur les sociétés humaines, le Musée d'ethnographie de Genève, dont les bâtiments se trouvent au boulevard Carl-Vogt propose au travers de ses expositions une variété de lectures anthropologiques des phénomènes sociaux et culturels qui traversent le monde actuel.
  • Site internet du Musée d'ethnographie


  • Le Muséum d’histoire naturelle accueille plus de 250'000 visiteurs chaque année à la découverte des millions de spécimens exceptionnels appartenant au patrimoine naturel qu'il conserve. Unique en son genre en Suisse, le Musée d'histoire des sciences - affilié au Muséum - abrite une collection d'instruments scientifiques anciens issus des cabinets des savants genevois du 17e au 19e siècle.
  • Site internet du Muséum d'histoire naturelle
    Site internet du Musée d'histoire des sciences

The Building

The history of an astonishing construction

In the late 19th century, Gustave Revilliod decided to build a museum to display his vast collections, housed until then in his mansion in Geneva’s Old Town. In 1876, he acquired a huge estate at Varembé, which stretched from the present-day Avenue de la Paix right down to the lakeside. The Musée Ariana, named in honour of his late mother Ariane de la Rive (1791-1876), was the second purpose-built museum in Geneva after the Rath Museum (1826). It was, on the other hand, the city’s first encyclopaedic museum, since the Museum of Art and History did not open until 1910.
 For his project, Revilliod first called on the services of a less experienced architect, Émile Grobéty. After an educational journey to France and Italy, the latter designed a structure in an eclectic Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Baroque style, dominated by the influence of Italian palatial architecture.
Construction began in 1877. Grobéty was soon overwhelmed by the scale of the project and was replaced by the architect Jacques-Élysée Goss (1839-1921), to whom we owe such noteworthy buildings in Geneva as the Grand-Théâtre (1875-1879) and the Hôtel National that became the Palais Wilson (1875-1876). In 1884, structural work was complete and the museum opened its doors to the public, but costs had almost doubled. Due to a lack of additional funds, some elements originally included in the plans never saw the light of day, in particular the monumental staircase and some decorative features.

The building has two symmetrical wings, set either side of a hall surrounded by a majestic two level colonnade and crowned by a remarkable elliptical dome.
The iconography of the painted ceilings, by the Genevan artist Frédéric Dufaux (1852-1943), includes mythological and allegorical subjects of Italian inspiration. Stained glass was also incorporated into the structure. The sculptures for the roof and the oval niches were made by the Italian Luigi Guglielmi (1834-1907) and in 1898, the sculptor Émile Leysalle (1847-1912) completed the missing busts. The two sphinxes guarding the main entrance on the lake side are the work of Emile-Dominique Fasanino (1851-1910).
With its majestic and unusual palatial appearance, the Ariana is an important monument to late 19th century eclecticism. Its architecture distinguishes it from other constructions of the period and breaks with the austerity of Protestant Geneva. This building is often associated with the personal glorification of its creator, a philanthropist with an educational mission.

Virtual visit created by Ollivier Joureaud in February 2017

Click on the picture to start the visit