Water Fountains (Jet d'Eau)
If you’ve seen a panoramic view of Geneva you’ve most likely seen the huge lake Water Fountains, or Jet d’Eau, with its commanding position at the point where the River Rhône empties into Lake Geneva. It started life in the 19th century as a humble safety valve for a hydraulic installation, but is now the city’s foremost symbol.
With every second, some 130 gallons of water are propelled at 125 miles an hour to a maximum height of 150 yards (that's 500 liters at 200 km/h reaching 140 meters). The water shoots into the air before descending in a graceful fan shape back down to the lake, but its exact destination is determined by the strength and direction of the wind. In the warmer months, the fountain is lit during the evening until 11 o’clock.
You can get up close and personal with the Jet d’Eau on to the Jetée des Eaux Vives (off Quai Gustave Ador), though a drenching is a distinct possibility. Alternatively, the Jardin Anglais is a short stroll along the shore and offers a safer vantage point.