Grossmünster Churche, Zürich
This church is one of the most famous in Zurich. Its construction started 1100 and was completed 1220, after a fire 1781 the towers were rebuilt. The Grossmuenster was the starting point of the reformation by Huldrych Zwingli who was priest there until he died 1519.
One of the towers is open for visitors, but you have to climb a few steps. Those who do will be rewarded by a magnificent view of the oldtown and the lake. (Entrance fee: 2sFr)
The Grossmünster Church is *the* landmark of Zürich. It is the main parish church of the city, famous as the place where the Swiss-German reformation began with Huldrych Zwingli preaching. The history of the building, however, goes back to the early 12th century, the history of churches at this place even to the 8th century.
What you see nowadays is a mostly late Romesque/early Gothic style church. Baroque additions were (mostly) removed in the 19th century, except for the tops of the spires, which were built in pseudo-gothic style 1781-86.
I personally like the strict, bare Romanesque/Gothic architecture a lot, others will miss the overwhelming decorations of the Baroque era. Please take your time and watch the beautiful capitals of the pillars. Also, the modern stained glass windows in the choir are well worth to watch, they're made by Augusto Giacometti in 1932/33.
A highlight is the crypt, please see my next tip for that.
Opening hours 9 am - 6 pm in summer, 10 am - 5 pm in winter.
You can climb the southern tower (I did not).
The Romanesque Grossmuenster Church with its neo-Gothic spires is the main landmark of Zurich's city centre. It played an important role during the reformation in the first half of the 16th century.
The construction of the church started at in the early 12the century and the inauguration took place in 1220. The two towers can be climbed for scenic views of Zurich.
The Grossmuenster Church overlooks the eastern bank of the river Limmat. The nearest tram stop is "Rathaus" (line 4, 15).
Address: Grossmuenster Church, Grossmuensterplatz 4, 8001 Zurich
A popular landmark to see. No admission charges. Situated at the west bank of the Limmat River between Central and Bellevue Square. Just a walking distance from the Main station and from the Main Street. A former catholic cathedral and now a protestant dating its history back in the 11th century.
During good weathers, ascending to the tower needs a small fee.
This church was founded by emperor Charles the Great. Built on the spot where the patron saints of the city – Felix, Regula and Exiperantius – were buried.
The church was completed in 1280. The original pointed tower tops were struck by lightning, caught fire, and were replaced by the present rounded tower tops in 1781. Now these two rounded tops don't have to compete for recognition with all the pointy topped churches! Good thinking rebuilders!
It's Zürich's Landmark!This church has a religious significance,namely the "burial place" of Felix and Regula,patron saints of Zürich.According to the legend, Charlamagne,( Charles the Great) founded this church after his horse stumbled over their burial site.To get a nice view of Zürich from the top of the Grossmünster Tower,you'll have to walk up 187 steps.
The towers of the Grossmunster dominate the skyline of Zurich. Sitting near the River Limmat it is a very beautiful setting. Although very beautiful on the outside the inside is very unremarkable. So although not one of the most memorable churches I have visited the Grossmunster still strikes a dominate appearance in its own setting. The church was constructed betwen 1100 and 1230.
It would be hard to miss this large statue of Burgermeister Hans Waldsman. When you leave the Grossmunster and start towards the bridge of the Limmat River this statue almost jumps out at you. I love memorials and statues and always like to take photo's of them when I travel to various cities. This one is very striking. During the rule of Burgermeister Hans Waldsman the city of Zurich acquired influence over much of the surrounding area. He was beheaded in 1489 after his political enemies seized power of the city.
The Grossmunster is Zurich's cathedral. This twin towered cathedral was founded in the 9th century, and is one of the three major churches of the city. The attractive twin towers make it a recognisable landmark of the city. The interior is tastefully decorated and there are some interesting stained glass windows that were added in 1933.
The main appeal of the Grossmunster for me is that you can climb up one of the towers. Admission is CHF 2, and there are only 187 stairs to climb to reach the viewing platform. The stairs start out in a narrow spiral staircase and then move on to wooden steps the closer you get to the top. The climb is well worth it for the views across Zurich.
At the left side of the cathedral's entrance on Zwingli Square , you will see the Chapterhouse, now a university Theological Institute. Here you will find the cloister with its Romanesque capitals, built in around 1180, re-built and restored around in the 1850s. The Romanesque arched windows and capitals are carved with an entertaining variety of gargoyles, monkeys, dragons, humans and some other mythical creatures.
Monday to Friday
9 am to 6 pm
The huge twin towers of the Romanesque Grossmuenster make it one of the most easily recognised landmarks in Zuerich. Legend has it that it was founded by Charlemagne soon after his horse dropped to its knees in this spot way back when. This legend also established the Grossmuenster as the most important church in the city. Until then, the Fraumuenster across the river had serious claims to the title.
Hukdrych Zwingli, the instigator of the 16th century reformation in Germany and Switzerland ran his operation from a pastoral office in the Grossmuenster and gradually it was stripped of many of the elements that made it Catholic e.g. Lent was abolished, the Mass was abolished as was any sort of church music (the organ was removed). The interior was stripped of all adornments including all of the statuary etc and it is still very plain today.
It is believed to still house important tombs dating back to Roman times. The patron saints of the city, Sts. Felix and Regula are said to be interred here.
The highlight of the Grossmünster Church for me personally was the Romanesque crypt, built 1100-1107. With three naves it is the largest crypt in Switzerland.
The statue of Charlemagne from the middle of the 15th century dominates the crypt. As impressive as this statue might be - don't miss the remnants of the frescos (Hans Leu T.E. from around 1500) and have a closer look at the capitals of the pillars as well.
Oh, btw, the acoustics are fantastic, too. I got the rare chance of listening to a musical performance there :-)
This impressive cathedral is executed on the plump twin towers (circa 1781) are classical caricatures of Gothic forms bordering on the comical.
The core of the structure was built in the 12th century on the site of a Carolingian church dedicated to the memory of martyrs Felix and Regula, who allegedly carried their severed heads to the spot. Charlemagne is said to have founded the church after his horse stumbled over their burial site. On the side of the south tower an enormous stone Charlemagne sits enthroned; the original statue, carved in the late 15th century, is protected in the crypt. In keeping with what the 16th-century reformer Zwingli preached from the Grossmünster's pulpit, the interior is spare, even forbidding, with all luxurious ornamentation long since stripped away.
The only artistic touches are modern: stained-glass windows by Augusto Giacometti, and ornate bronze doors in the north and south portals, dating from the late 1940s.
OPEN: Mid-Mar.-Oct., daily 9-6; Nov.-mid-Mar., daily 10-5.
The two towers of the church maintain the different style elements of the church construction.
At the base of the towers you can admire the Romanesque style, after that you can observe the Gothic style and the roofs of the towers are made in New Gothic manner.
The South Tower, called Karlsturm has a statue of Karl der Große on the top.
The 184 steps bring the visitors on the panorama terrace on the top of the building.
From here you have a fantastic view over the Lake of Zürich, over the Limmat River, and over the whole city.
Opening hours Karlsturm
Monday to Saturday – 9:15 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday 12:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Monday to Saturday – 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
Sunday – 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm
The admission price in the Karlsturm is:
2,- Swiss francs for adults
1,- Swiss franc for children (6 - 16 Years)
The first time I step in to Z?rich I woundered "how many churches are here?" There are 3 big ones right in the centrum. You cannot miss those ;D Really beautiful buildings! And It was nice to see those from inside too.
I recommed to see those. It doesn't even take a long time if you would like to do something else too.