Lac Léman

Which lake is shared between Switzerland and France?

And the answer: Lake Geneva (also known as Lac Léman).  

Photo credit: Westend61 / Getty Images. 

Located on the north side of the Alps, Lake Geneva is one of the largest lakes in Western Europe, and the largest along the course of the Rhône River. The beauty of the lake and surrounding mountains has attracted people from all over the world to spend their holidays there, including Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, and Audrey Hepburn.

Lake Geneva is a sight of splendor in the Alps. A massive lake, it measures at about 224 square miles and averages about 507 feet deep. About 60% of the lake lies in Switzerland, and the other 40% in France (talk about dual citizenship!).

Lake Geneva has been a site of historical, literary, and scientific significance for centuries. Interestingly, it was the first place to test the speed of sound in fresh water in 1827. Meanwhile, its waters directly contribute to the culture of great French wine in the Côte du Rhône region. One of the major English Romantic poets, Percy B. Shelley, was so inspired by the lake, the medieval castle and the story of a Genevois monk, François Bonivard, that he wrote a narrative poem called The Prisoner of Chillon.

The lake is sometimes subject to intriguing occurrences called seiches, in which the fluid of the lake swings from one side to the other in rhythmic succession. As such, tsunamis are not an impossibility for the lake and have occurred in moments throughout history (though another occurrence is unlikely). If that wasn't enough, its depths have been scoured by several submarines.  

Check out some sights of this gorgeous, iconic lake:


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