Reformation Wall

posted on 19th of february, 2009

The Reformation Wall in Geneva, was constructed in 1909 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin. Calvin was a principle figure in the development of an approach to Christian life that emphasizes the rule of God over all things and became known as Calvinism.

The Wall is situated in the Parc des Bastions on the grounds of the University of Geneva which was also founded by Calvin. The wall also marked the 350 years of the existence of the university.

The Wall itself is a 100 meters long. In the center are the imposing figures of Calvinism’s main proponents Theodore Beza, John Calvin, William Farel and John Knox. These statues are 5 meters in height. On either side, these figures are flanked by 3 meter statues of other prominent Protestant figures from different countries who contributed to the development of the movement at various points in its history. In effect the length of the Wall covers around 450 years in the history of Protestantism.

Beneath the central figures is engraved the Christogram ΙΗΣ, and behind them, the motto of the movement "Post Tenebras Lux" meaning “After the darkness, light”. The motto has also been adopted by the city of Geneva.

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Photo credits: Abdul Sami Haqqani.

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