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“Great museum and beautiful grounds” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Fondation Martin Bodmer - Bibliotheque et Musee

Fondation Martin Bodmer - Bibliotheque et Musee
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Geneva Pass
Ranked #2 of 3 things to do in Cologny
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Owner description: Place of exception in Geneva and unique in Europe. The Martin Bodmer Foundation gathers a collection of originals, constituted by papyri, manuscripts, incunabula, archaeological documents, autographs, drawings. In this modern museum designed by Mario Botta, you will be the witness of the creation of the spirit, through all the ages and in all the continents.
Jonesborough, TN
Level Contributor
301 reviews
109 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
“Great museum and beautiful grounds”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2011

Martin Bodmer's former home is just gorgeous -- the grounds overlooking Geneva are wonderful. The museum has the most incredible manuscripts and originals works. Take your time, and see it all. It was a little tricky finding the right bus to take from downtown, but with some help of the locals we were able to find it. This place is under-rated and should be on everyone's list of things to do in Geneva.

Visited September 2011
1 Thank GenghisKhan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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35 reviews from our community

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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Sherborne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“A masterpiece”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2011

After walking up to the Foundation from the lake the first thing to recommend is to work out the bus routes (Bus A) as it is a long, steep trek. However we were overwhelmed by what we found.

The museum is dimly lit (presumably to preserve the texts) but that only adds to the sense of reverence that these ancient and important books command. Chatting with lowered voices all visitors seem to hover with their companions at displays much longer than they might in an ordinary museum. There is a religous feel, hardly surprising with original Guttenburg and St James' Bibles amongst many sacred (not just Christian) tomes.

But it is the written word that is worshipped here, so the original Chaucer or Shakespeare receive just as much attention, and you can pass from ancient Egypt to modern day America seemlessly.

Personally, to see an original Book of the Dead would have been amazing, however, to see TWO in one display case sums up the magnificance of this collection.

If you have ever enjoyed reading, or appreciated the value of 3000 year old artifacts, this is a MUST DO visit!

Visited August 2011
1 Thank Travowen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A genuine Geneva gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2009

We went to the Bodmer on a Saturday. It is only open from 2-6 on Tuesdays through Sundays. If you want a guide, you need to call ahead. It is wheel-chair accessible by way of a modern elevator. If you speak French, you can get a headset that will take you through.
As seniors, we only paid 10 CHF (Swiss francs) to get in. The museum is small and intimate, but we were there for 3 hours taking in all that was there. It has a wonderful collection of rare books and writings from the ancient world to the modern.
We saw the oldest extant copy of the Book of John (2nd century), along with an Egyptian Book of the Dead, Shakespeare first folios, Milton, Chaucer, Asian writings, Greek writings, and even a Gutenberg Bible!
To preserve the papyrus and precious documents, the rooms are dimly lit with a wee little light illuminating (barely) each work. Obviously, no flash is allowed, but you are allowed to take pictures.
It's a little out of the way, but not much and is not too far from Pont Mont Blanc, the middle of the city. We highly recommend it.

3 Thank ElderDoyle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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