Les Grottes



Les Grottes is a strange and a bit bizarre neighborhood. It looks like the land of the Smurfs, or maybe a re-created elf village to be populated by humans. It is perfect in its form, and so very quirky. Les Grottes is a tiny neighborhood that popped up as a social and architectural experiment. In 1930 the entire neighborhood was bought by the city with the intention of razing the area, as it was known for its poverty and danger to public health. Nothing happened (due to the Second World War) until in the late 1960s when a group of local squatters organized and decided to renovate the neighborhood themselves. People imagined how they would like to live – and the result is an enchanting neighborhood of four square blocks – at best – that counts among its charms: the friendliest alternative bike shop around, the sweetest closet-sized brunch place (with hand painted furniture in a riot of colors), the most enticing of toy shops – and all of the toys are previously owned, and some of the most delightful streets in Geneva. Born from the hard work of artisan squatters, now an immensely popular area for artists, this is one of the densest neighborhoods in the city.

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