L'Escalade commemorates the attempt by Savois troups to invade and take over the city state of Geneva in 1602 by scaling the city walls. The night watchman, having discovered the attempt to scale the walls, raised the alarm and the church bells were sounded - with the result that the Genevois populace fought alongside the City's militia producing a defeat for the 2,000-strong Savois army. As a result, the Duke of Savoy was obliged to accept a lasting peace which was finalised in the Treaty of St Julien on 12th of July 1603.
Each year at the L'Escalade, the victory over the Savois is commerated on the weekend closest to the 12th of December. This picture is from Sundays parade at the Proclamation. Troops, dressed in the medieval style and including this mounted knight, parade through the city and, at 6 points, stops for the Proclamations and to sing 4 stanzas of the "national anthem" Cé qu'è l'ainô which tells the story of the L'Escalade.
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Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook