Ariana Museum - The Largest Swiss Collection of Porcelain in a Beautiful Museum
Updated: Sep 21
Come with us to one of the most beautiful museum buildings in Geneva to visit the largest Swiss collection of porcelain.
The Ariana Museum is a great place to see the collections of ceramics and glass of the City of Geneva. Being the only one of its kind in Switzerland and one of the few Europe, focusing entirely on kilncraft, Ariana has close to 30,000 objects from the last 1,200 years illustrating seven centuries of ceramics in Europe and the East representing all the main techniques: pottery, stoneware, earthenware, porcelain, and china.
An interesting feature is the islamic collection and a great series of oriental porcelain for export. These testify about the contacts between the East and the West which is a fundamental part in the history of ceramics. The museum also features some more recent pieces from the 20th century.
The museum building features some very interesting neoclassical and neobaroque elements. It is situated next to the United Nations European Headquarters at the Palais des Nations and the Red Cross museum - combine the three and have the best day in Geneva!
The museum was originally built to house the private collection of the Swiss art collector Gustave Revillod who named it after his mother, Ariane de la Rive. Since 1934 the museum has been part of Geneva's association of art and history museums. The construction took over ten years and the ideas of several artist but resulted in an exceptionally beautiful building that is worth a visit even without checking the collections. The symmetry of the building, the elliptical dome, the double marble colonnade and the starry vault are just gorgeous!
The Swiss part of the collection include earthenware pans and crockery from Winterthur, terracotta pots and rösti dishes from the Bernese countryside, enamelled glass bottles from Flühli, porcelain services from Nyon and plates in fine earthenware from Carouge in Geneva.
There is a beautiful park around the museum. There is a concrete path along the access road for motorized vehicles that leads to a goods lift (on the right of the building) equipped with a handicap bell. The level access leads to the basement of the building. A member of staff will guide visitors to the public areas.
The museum has a lovely café in the first floor although at the time of our visit in 2022, it was closed and there was a small self-service coffee corner next to the entrance. Check their web for news!
There is a lift that takes you to the upper floors and to the basement where there are good loos also for those in a wheelchair.
There is no real museum shop but the entrance desk has an interesting collection of books for your coffee table and some T-shirts on sale. The museum is free and only the temporary exhibitions require a ticket.
Ariana, musée suisse de la céramique et du verre
Avenue de la Paix 10, 1202 Geneva