Cromwell & the Vandals at Geneva’s Wall

This blog often catalogues some of the places I visit, including some fairly mundane ones. There are some places about the world, however, which I’d very much like to see. One is the Reformation Wall in Geneva, Switzerland. Built into the old city walls at the university is a collection of statues and inscriptions. Naturally, it only includes good Calvinists so there’s no Luther, Zwingli or Cranmer, but Oliver Cromwell made the grade.


Historically, Cromwell was not a reformer but a puritan, the third generation after it all began. Yet he completed the reformation started by the Tudor monarchs and did so much for our nation. Although his authoritarian style and war record in Ireland attract no defence here, the good he achieved blessed Englishmen for generations. A close-by panel depicts his legacy:

“The British Parliament presenting the Bill of Rights, an act declaring the rights and liberties of the subjects, also the settling the succession of the crown, to William and Mary, Prince and Princess of Orange in 1689.”

Last July, angry members of the LGBT brigade attacked the monument, daubing it in coloured paint. The previous March, militant feminists graffitied it with their own slogans. 

These angry vandals resent the Swiss’ Christian past and despise what little survives the secularists’ attriting war. The freedom of speech and action these miscreants enjoy are these great figures’ legacy; their delinquency’s irony is lost on them. Yet they are really quite right- these monuments stand for a golden age of theology and philosophy which their carnal ideologies cannot suffer. Eventually, some Islamist group will blow up the wall or anxious liberals will have it deconstructed to prevent offence to minorities. Perhaps I’ll get to see it before this happens. 


As the old landmarks are torn down and the boundary stones removed, as the clean white stone of godly heritage is splashed in cheap, garish colour-schemes, so we Christians look and feel increasingly out of place. While the nations pay court to Baal and Molech, remember the Lord has reserved for Himself many more than Elijah’s 7000.

Pictures: courtesy of R & M Johnson.