To me, while Zurich symbolizes the act of taking advantage of neutrality for material purposes, Geneva seems to take advantage of that same neutrality for moral purposes.
This photo of the Broken Chair Monument in Geneva has been taken from our car while stopping at a red light.
The Broken Chair is nothing else than a giant wooden chair with a broken leg located a few yards away from the entrance of the Palace of Nations.
The broken leg is dedicated to people who lost their limbs due to mines, and it was meant to attract attention of visiting politicians from around the world towards the sufferings faced by civilians who were so unlucky to pay a price to war with their own body parts.
The Chair, the Palace of Nations, and other international organizations venues like the WHO (which is located a few blocks away) shaped Geneva in my mind as the city of peace.
Not hard to believe, since this is Switzerland. The country of peace.
However, I do live in Zurich, another Swiss city, and I don’t have the same feeling there. To me Zurich is more the city of neutrality, which is what Switzerland, from an international affairs point of view, ultimately is.
When I walk on Zurich’s Paradeplatz, I know that I’m walking over tons of gold and money, and I don’t mean figuratively. Bank vaults are located under street level. The huge amount of valuables accumulated in Switzerland is the result of international neutrality, secrecy, and economic stability.
Now, those things are vastly present in Geneva as well, but Geneva has an appearance of being more sensitive to world issues. To me, while Zurich symbolizes the act of taking advantage of neutrality for material purposes, Geneva seems to take advantage of that same neutrality for moral purposes.
I know this is totally simplistic and personal. And don’t get me wrong: I love Zurich. All this delusion of mine is far from being a value judgment.
But one thing I would like to know is whether some of you, residents of Switzerland or just people who visited once one of the two cities, or both, share the same feelings about these two different areas of Switzerland.
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