Île Rousseau

Île Rousseau, 1204 Geneva, Switzerland

What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” So said local philosopher and writer Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a statue of whom oversees his namesake island, a wee, romantic spot in the middle of the Rhone where it empties into Lake Geneva. The island-park may be served by two bridges, but it feels like a universe of its own and is a favorite of many visitors and locals in Geneva. The tranquil tree-lined island was once a 16th-century fortification that protected the city, then the site of a bustling shipyard before finally being transformed to a peaceful sanctuary in 1832, when the Pont des Bergues bridge was constructed. (The Pont des Bergues ends across from the 1834 Hotel des Bergues, which was the first meeting place of the United Nations and is now a Four Seasons Hotel.)

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