Palace of Nations

League of Nations 400
League of Nations
Photo by: Eugene Regis, Creative Commons

The Palace of Nations is the headquarters for the League of Nations. Located in Geneva, Switzerland, built between the years 1929-1938. Since the 1950s it serves as the office for the United Nations in Geneva, though Switzerland did not become a member to the UN until 2002.

In the 1920s, an architectural competition was held for the final design of the building. A total of 377 designs were received, but there was no clear winner. Five architects were chosen to collaborate in the final design, these were: Joseph Vago, Carlo Broggi, Henri-Paul Nenot, Camille Lefevre, and Julien Flegenheimer.

When the building was transferred to the United Nations, two structures were added. In the 1950s, three floors were built into the “K” building, in addition, a new building was constructed that housed the World Health Organization. In the year 1973 the “E” block was built and in the present day, the Palace of Nations features 2800 offices and 34 conference rooms.

The Palace of Nations is in Ariana Park, which was willed to the City of Geneva by a prominent family. Peacocks roam freely on the grounds, this was condition the family imposed when it was given to the city. In the park, a wooden house built in 1668 still stands. Buried under the foundation stone of the Palace is a time capsule. The capsule contains a listing of member states of the League of nations, covenant of the league, and specimen coins that help commemorate the leagues Tenth assembly.

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