Jet d'eau, Geneva
The Swiss build houses, dams, and tunnels to last for centuries. It may seem curious, then, that Geneva's trademark should be something as ephemeral as a plume of water.
Still, the generically named Jet d'eau ("water jet") isn't your common garden-variety sprinkler. Electric pumps totalling some 1,300 hp keep an estimated seven tons of water in the air, and the jet is nearly three times the height of the Statue of Liberty.
The Jet d'eau made its debut in 1891 with a plume of 30 meters or 98 feet. Subsequent renovations (most recently, in 1951) increased the jet's height to its present 130 meters or 425 feet, making it Europe's tallest fountain and a dramatic symbol of Swiss engineering prowess.
Today, the Jet d'eau looks as streamlined and modern as it must have appeared in 1929, when travel writer Paul Guiton wrote:
Finding the fountain
The Jet d'eau is hard to miss. You'll get a nice (if distant) view from the Pont du Mont Blanc, the bridge that connects the city's north and south banks where the Rhône River meets the Rade de Genève or boat harbor. From the southern end of the bridge, continue along the Promenade du Lac to the Quai Gustav Ador. A breakwater, the Jetée des Eaux-Vives, leads out to a boat basin, with the Jet d'eau a short distance beyond in Lake Geneva (a.k.a. Lac Léman).
Related Web link
* Switzerland: Western and Southern, Paul Guiton, The Travel Lovers Library. Hardcover, 1929.
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