Geneva Travel Answers

change location

Place du Bourg-de-Four

by Albertravel Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 1:31 AM

What is the meaning of Place du Bourg-de-Four? Or is it just a proper name?

Thanks for your answer!

Quote & Answer
7 Answers
  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Re: Place du Bourg-de-Four

    by Nemorino Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 1:43 AM

    Four is an oven and Bourg is a village, if that's any help. I have always assumed that this was a place where there used to be an oven for baking bread that was used by the entire neighborhood, as was the case in some villages in earlier times. But now that you ask, I don't know if there ever really was an oven here. Perhaps some local person can tell us more.
    "Clémentine" - Geneva Things to Do Tip by Nemorino?

    1 member found this helpful

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    Re: Place du Bourg-de-Four

    by davidjo Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    It means 'Spot of the Town Oven'

    1 member found this helpful

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • akkipaa's Profile Photo

    Re: Place du Bourg-de-Four

    by akkipaa Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 5:53 AM

    Are you sure guys that it's a baking oven? Wasn't the road there already on Roman times, when there was a lot of horse and wagon traffic, the blacksmiths were needed, right. If there was an ancient service station with blacksmiths and their ovens (is it furnace) (and accommodation with meat and drinks of course).

    1 member found this helpful

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    by davidjo Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    that is a good point akkipaa, could be a furnace and could be an oven for the villagers and travelers bread

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • alza's Profile Photo

    Re: Place du Bourg-de-Four

    by alza Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    I'm not a Geneva local but I lived there years ago then visited every year until recently. I'll try to remember what I learned about Place du Bourg-de-Four over time.
    The name *could* mean a common baking oven for the population but I never heard that.

    Akkipaa's comment about the place already being a major cross-road for trade is exact. There was a bridge there when Caesar was conquering the area. The local population was using it to flee invasions by Alamans (or other group, can't remember) & Caesar wanted to stop this wave moving into his already conquered territory across the bridge, & settling so freely in Roman Empire territory. He destroyed the bridge, then conquered Geneva.

    Of course, a forum was built along with a complete Roman city. Geneva at the time was more a "bourg" than a city, & the forum was built on the location of the Bourg-du-Four, just outside the remparts.

    Excavations have led specialists to think this place was the "Borgo Foris". In Roman times, the place was an important trade centre. Its name could have come from the fact that it was the forum (which the name "four" could refer to.) Also, "foris" could refer to "outside the remparts".
    I'm also thinking it could be "forus, fori" for bridge, since a bridge was destroyed on that spot.
    Major trade fairs were held there in the Middle Ages & until Louis XIV favoured Lyon for fairs, by decree.

    One thing I'm sure of, it's a lovely and lively place in la Vieille Ville (Old Geneva).

    2 members found this helpful

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    by davidjo Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    Very interesting Alza!!!

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Re: Place du Bourg-de-Four

    by Nemorino Online Now Mar 24, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    I find alza’s explanation very convincing (much more convincing than my own, LOL).

    Theoretically I must have read about this bridge in school, when we had to read Julius Caesar’s “De bello Gallico” in Latin. But I was so confused by the Latin text that I didn’t understand much.

    Now I have just looked it up and found that Caesar mentioned this bridge right near the beginning of his book: “pontem, qui erat ad Genavam, iubet rescindi” which means that a bridge which was at or near Geneva was dismantled. (This happened in the year 58 B.C. to prevent the Helvetians from migrating through Roman territory.)

    1 member found this helpful

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
Your Answer
Advanced Editor View Guidelines

Near Geneva