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Chapel of the Maccabees

Gaze up at the spectacular ceiling paintings and note how the sunlight penetrates the stained-glass windows in this magnificent chapel.

The Chapel of the Maccabees is the most decorated and iconic part of the majestic Cathedral of St. Pierre. Constructed at the beginning of the 15th century as a cardinal’s tomb, the site has a rich history entwined with gunpowder, academia and music. Stroll along the quaint cobbled lanes of Geneva’s historic center to reach the entrance of this Gothic masterpiece.

Attend a concert in this spectacular setting and enjoy the unique acoustics. The chapel is available to rent for weddings and other ceremonies. Arrive on a sunny afternoon, when rays of light diffuse through the marvelous stained-glass windows, generating an enchanting ambiance.

Capture photos of the ornate ceiling, painted with angels floating on a blue sky. Marvel at the gilded pulpit adorned with eagle, winged lion and angel statues. The ornate decoration contrasts greatly with the austere Calvinist elements of the rest of the cathedral. Among the intriguing features is a Walcker organ installed in 1889 and placed atop the cardinal’s tomb.

Consider the chapel’s multifaceted past. It became a warehouse for salt and gunpowder during the Reformation period, before being used by professors of philosophy for lectures at the end of the 1600s. In the 19th century, the structure underwent a repair and redecoration process to restore its former glory.

Visit the anthropology museum beneath the church. Wander through the charming alleys of Geneva’s historic Old Town and snap photos of historic buildings. Admire the Geneva skyline from afar, with the Cathedral of St. Pierre among the most prominent visible structures.

Enter the chapel for free. It is open to the public daily year-round from morning until early evening. Exact times vary throughout the year.

The Chapel of the Maccabees is in a hidden corner of the Cathedral of St. Pierre in Geneva’s Old Town. The church is a little southeast of the central part of the city. Take a bus or tram to one of the stops near the cathedral. Visit other sights, including the Museum of Art and History, the Russian Orthodox Church of Geneva and the University of Geneva.


Guide to Exploring around Chapel of the Maccabees


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Best Lodging Options Near Chapel of the Maccabees

See all 339 Properties near Chapel of the Maccabees
Hotel N'vY ¥17,405
Hotel N'vY

Hotel N'vY

Rue de Richemont 18, Geneva, GE
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Downtown Geneva, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Park Mon Repos, Ariana Ceramics and Glass Museum, and Jet d'Eau Fountain. Saint-Pierre Cathedral and Flower Clock are also within 1 mi (2 km). Butini Tram Stop and Mole Tram Stop are within a 5-minute walk.

    Warwick Geneva ¥15,736
    Warwick Geneva

    Warwick Geneva

    14 Rue De Lausanne, Geneva, GE
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Downtown Geneva, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Notre Dame Basilica, Cité du Temps, and Rousseau Island. Paquis Baths is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) away. Cornavin Tram Stop and Geneva Station are within a 2-minute walk.

      9HOTEL PAQUIS ¥13,213
      9HOTEL PAQUIS

      9HOTEL PAQUIS

      31 Rue De Berne, Geneva, GE
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown Geneva, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of The Library In English and Flower Clock. Saint-Pierre Cathedral and Reformation Wall Monument are also within 1 mi (2 km). Cornavin Tram Stop and Geneva Station are within a 5-minute walk.

        Hotel Metropole Geneve - Preferred Hotels & Resorts ¥36,500
        Hotel Metropole Geneve - Preferred Hotels & Resorts

        Hotel Metropole Geneve - Preferred Hotels & Resorts

        34 Quai General Guisan, Geneva, GE
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in the heart of Geneva, this luxury hotel is steps from Rue du Rhone and Flower Clock. Bourg-de-Four Square and Saint-Pierre Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Rive Tram Stop is 6 minutes by foot and Molard Tram Stop is 6 minutes.

          Hôtel Longemalle ¥21,957
          Hôtel Longemalle

          Hôtel Longemalle

          Place Longemalle 13, Geneva, GE
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in the heart of Geneva, this hotel is steps from Rue du Rhone and Flower Clock. Bourg-de-Four Square and Saint-Pierre Cathedral are also within 5 minutes. Rive Tram Stop and Molard Tram Stop are within a 5-minute walk.

            Novotel Geneve Centre ¥15,842
            Novotel Geneve Centre

            Novotel Geneve Centre

            19 Rue De Zurich, Geneva, GE
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              This family-friendly Geneva hotel is located in the entertainment district, within 1 mi (2 km) of Paquis Baths, Saint-Pierre Cathedral, and Reformation Wall Monument. Jet d'Eau Fountain and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCO) are also within 1 mi (2 km). Mole Tram Stop is only a 4-minute walk and Cornavin Tram Stop is 6 minutes.

              Hôtel Les Armures ¥33,268
              Hôtel Les Armures

              Hôtel Les Armures

              1, rue Puits-St-Pierre, Geneva, GE
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Geneva Old Town, this luxury hotel is steps from Chapel of the Maccabees, Saint-Pierre Cathedral, and Bourg-de-Four Square. Reformation Wall Monument and Flower Clock are also within 10 minutes. Molard Tram Stop is only a 4-minute walk and Rive Tram Stop is 6 minutes.

                Hotel Royal ¥15,526
                Hotel Royal

                Hotel Royal

                Rue de Lausanne 41-43, Geneva
                   
                  4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Downtown Geneva, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Notre Dame Basilica, Saint-Pierre Cathedral, and Reformation Wall Monument. Bourg-de-Four Square and Jet d'Eau Fountain are also within 1 mi (2 km). Mole Tram Stop is only a 2-minute walk and Cornavin Tram Stop is 5 minutes.