At the the Auditoire de Calvin in Geneva, the Scottish reformer John Knox preached from 1556 to 1559 and the French-born reformer John Calvin founded a Christian academy in 1559.
History of Calvin's Oratory
The Auditoire is a simple but elegant 13th-century Gothic chapel built over a 5th-century church. At the Swiss Reformation it became a Protestant lecture hall, where Knox preached and Calvin taught missionaries his doctrines. He also encouraged Protestant refugees from around Europe to hold services at the chapel in their native English, Italian, Spanish, German, and Dutch.
What to See at Calvin's Oratory
Located right next door to the Geneva Cathedral, it couldn't be more convenient to stop by the Oratory, and it is worth a look. The Gothic chapel is an attractive small space, with a sense of openness due to its single nave.
The side chapels have informative placards and collages commemorating John Calvin and showing the spread and impact of the Reformation movement in Geneva.
The Auditoire is still used by the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian), the Dutch Reformed Community, and the Waldensian Church of Italy. English-speakers may wish to join the Church of Scotland's Sunday service at 11am.
Fundraising is currently underway to replace the organ in the Auditoire de Calvin; see the association's website for more information.
Quick Facts on Calvin's Oratory
|Names:||Auditoire de Calvin · Calvin's Oratory · John Knox Chapel|
|Categories:||churches; historical sites; oratories|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||46.200816° N, 6.148417° E|
|Address:||1 pl. de la Taconnerie|
|Hours:||Mon-Sat 10-noon and 2-5|
|Lodging:||View hotels near Calvin's Oratory|
- Personal visit (December 2006).
- Fodor's Switzerland 2005.
- Photos of Calvin's Oratory - here on Sacred Destinations
Map of Calvin's Oratory, Geneva
Below is a location map and aerial view of Calvin's Oratory. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.