The Relief Model of 1850 Geneva is a 30sm metallic model of the city when it was still enclosed by three rows of fortifications. The model was completed in 1896, after 18 years of study and labour, by a team of goldsmiths under the direction of the architect Auguste Magnin. It is the first historical reconstruction of an entire city in three dimensions.

In 2011, a consortium of engineers and historians working on a digital copy of the Relief Model discovered that the model’s geometric precision was exceptional for the time of its creation. Out of this discovery came the project of using the Relief Model to create a 3D digital model of 1850 Geneva, perfectly matched to the official cadastre and with textures, vegetation and landscapes of that era.

Thanks to the long, meticulous labour of 50 specialists from nine professions and to innovative digital technology, we can now visit 1850 Geneva on the Internet: (requires a desktop and Adobe Flash Player – the next version will be html 5 and responsive).

Watch the video presentation.