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December 2000
Lisa's day in Dusseldorf, Germany
Geneva, Switzerland
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UN or UB? Switzerland
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UN or UB? Switzerland
Sunday, December 03, 2000; posted by Paris

Lisa and I visited the UN's European headquarters in Geneva on our final day. The site originally housed the League of Nations - a precursor to the UN. Following the end of WWII (and the League's inability to prevent it) the League of Nations was replaced by the UN. The UN occupied the same grounds and buildings that were originally designed and built from 1929 through 1936.

We began our tour in the new addition - a building that retains all of the oppressive "what were they thinking?!" qualities of something designed and built in the late 1960's - kind of like UB. Inside, there was a very nice store that sold all of the treaties, declarations and idealism one could ever hope to use to improve the world.

Thankfully, we left the Orwellian building for the older, more statesman-like structure. Here we visited the old halls and saw a glorious view of Mont Blanc.

This is the main conference room in the original League of Nations building. It has been updated to provide the occupants with a streamlined, Star-Trek feel. It can seat about 2000 participants.

This is one of three giant, characterless conference rooms found in the building completed in 1968.

This is one of the old conference rooms of the League of Nations. It has been used by the UN for important declarations and meetings. The impressive artwork represents the futility of warfare and was painted by Spanish artist Jose Maria Sert.

The impressive entry to the old League of Nations (the Star-Trek conference room is behind the doors on the left). Great minimalist design and furniture. Has the feeling of authority.

A beautiful marble staircase in the old League of Nations building, found in the same entry way pictured above.

This large meeting hall provides the visitor with a breathtaking view of the mountains, and Mont Blanc. Just look left.

Here is a view of the original League of Nations building that faces Mont Blanc. One of the wings contains one of the world's largest international collection of books and archives. This library was founded through the generosity of American philanthropist John D. Rockefeller.