This map plots the settings and references in The Unbearable Lightness of Being

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Geneva, Switzerland

After Zurich, Geneva is the second largest city in Switzerland. It is located near the far southwestern corner of the country, where the Rhône River leaves Lake Geneva on its way to France. Population is under 200,000, although 1.24 million live in the metropolitan area.

Geneva is a worldwide center for diplomacy and international relations. Many United Nations and Red Cross agencies have their headquarters here. This is where the Geneva Conventions, which govern the treatment of noncombatants and prisoners of war, were signed.


View of Geneva with Mont Blanc in the distance
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeView of Geneva with Mont Blanc in the distance


Sabina is able to visit Tomas in Zurich because a gallery in Geneva hosted a showing of her paintings. She ends up moving here from Prague and meets Franz, who is a university lecturer in Geneva.