Savoyard Attack on Geneva, 1602

In the night of December 21st (Gregorian Calendar; dec. 11th Julian Calendar) Savoyard troops (2,000 men, commanded by the Seigneur d'Albigny), in a surprise attack moved towards Geneva undetected; a number of the soldiers scaled the city walls of Geneva. Genevan night guard Jacques (or Isaac) Mercier raised the alarm, church bells were rung to rally the Genevans; the burghers' militia prevented the invaders from opening the city gates; Duke Charles Emmanuel of Savoy-Piemont's attempt to take Geneva by surprise failed. The Genevans lost 18 men in the event; the enemy suffered 54 fatalities, 13 invaders had been taken prisoner. They were hanged the next day.
King Henri IV. of France, several Swiss Cantons and other European dignitaries pressed Savoy-Piemont to conclude peace; this was done in the Treaty of St. Julien, July 12th 1603. Savoy-Piemont had been supported by Spain and the Pope.
Genevans still today celebrate the anniversary of the event with a parade.

Geneva, Escalade, from ceotraveler
Fete de l'Escalade, from Cosmopolis, in English
Escalada la Geneva, from Pele-Mele, in Romanian
Histoire d'Escalade, from Compagnie de 1602, in French
La Journee d'Escalade, 12 Dec. 1602, from Herodote, in French
Escalade of Geneva 1602, from E. Armstrong, Tuscany and Savoy (in the later half of the 16th Century), posted by MATEO

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on March 15th 2004, last revised on November 19th 2004

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