Architecture

Typical architecture with Sardinian charm.

A new city created from scratch during the second half of the 18th century, Old Carouge displays a historical architectural harmony that differs from that of the city of Calvin and the villages of the canton of Geneva.

The town is characterised by its houses with one or two accommodation floors juxtaposing craft shops or shopping arcades. The tiled gable roofs, today converted into attics, feature dormer windows.

The proportions and regularity of these houses, embellished with small gardens on the courtyard side and aligned along orthogonal axes on the street side, constitute the charm that is so characteristic of Carouge.

Construction through the centuries

Starting in the second half of the 18th century, the architects in the service of the kingdom of Sardinia worked to design a new city, a commercial and religious crossroads whose architecture had satisfy the royal ambitions.

Between 1772 and 1783, there was a succession of no fewer than five blueprints: the checkerboard plan, the location of the Place du Marché with the church and the layout of the canals have survived until today. Crossing diagonally the regular layout of the whole plan, the Rue Ancienne and Rue Vautier are reminders of the old route linking Geneva to Chambery.

In the beginning, the city developed around the Place du Marché, then along the streets of Saint-Victor and Jacques-Dalphin. The first stage in the construction of the Catholic church, carried out by the architect G.-B. Piacenza for King Victor-Amédée III, was completed in 1778. This Italianate-style edifice with a square plan was originally open to the current Place de Sardaigne, but during extension work in 1824, the church was turned round from east to west. In 1808, the Place du Marché already contained 32 plane trees aligned in two rows. In 1867, it was embellished by four monumental fountains commissioned by the commune of Carouge from the architect Jean-Daniel Blavignac.

As a counterpart to the Place du Marché, from 1822 the Place du Temple was home to a neo-classical colonnade building destined for Protestant worship.

Carouge today

Carouge continued to develop during the 20th century, while taking care to preserve its architectural heritage. A symbol of this will to modernise was the construction of the Towers of Carouge in the 1960s, which satisfied an urgent need for accommodation for the numerous workers that flooded in from all parts.

Today, attentive to the needs of the population and aware of the constant increase in the number of inhabitants, the authorities are working on the construction of new districts as well as the development of the infrastructures that are vital for the well-being of the inhabitants.