Zurich old town is well really old I started at its oldest place Lindenhof hill, site of the former Roman castle and temple of Jupitor in the roman town in Raetia and this was no remote outpost either it was connected to Rome across the Alps over the Reschen Pass, by the Via Claudia Augusta the superhighway of its time. This all even further back to the Bronze Age 4500 BC I learned in the national museum.
Cobble stone streets with miles of small shops, antiques old books mixed with the trendy global stores
This historic centre of Zürich is known as Altstadt, or "old town". It lies at the tip of the Lake and is split in two by the River Limmat. The right bank is referred to as Rathaus, after the City Hall building, while the left bank is Lindenhof. The latter is the site of the oldest settlement from pre-Roman times and it is also where the Roman castrum once stood. The whole of Altstadt is very charming, with Mediaeval, Gothic and Germanic architecture is interspersed along narrow winding alleys paved with cobblestones. It is also the area where the city's best shopping and restaurants are found, and thus it is where a visitor would spend most of his time. Attached are a few photos.
For more photos, take a look at the Travelogue: "Scenes from Altstadt".
Towering above Altstadt (the old town), Lindenhof is a pleasant park with panoramic views of the city. It is the site of the Roman castrum of Turicum, the name of Zürich in Roman times. The castrum was probably built by the 2nd century AD, but was replaced in mediaeval times by a Carolingian imperial residence for Ludwig der Deutsche (Louis the German). By the 13th century, the ruins were used as a quarry for other construction. Lindenhof gave its name to the western half of Old Zurich.
The Schipfe is part of the Limmathof district of the Altstadt west of Zurich and is the oldest core of Zurich - traces of Roman settlement have been unearthed. It is also the site of the Carolingian castle.
Schipfe is derived from the German 'where boats land' and today it a cluster of delightful buildings on the banks of the Limmat opposite Limmatquai housing specialist shops, restaurants and private homes.
On the hill above Schipfe is the Lindenhof, site of the castle which fell into disrepair and became a quarry for the stone that was used for the wealthier burgers of the town. Today it is an open space park providing views across the Limmat to Limmatquai.
Schipfe is just below Lindenhof and part of medieval Zurich, there are some nice Art shops and one Restaurant with an interesting menu. Walk through the ancient arched walkway - past Teehaus Wuehre - very interesting Tea selection and arts and crafts and porcelain - to Rudolf Brun Bruecke and Hotel Storchen at the Limmat
Lindenhof, on a hill on the left bank of the Limmat just above Schipfe (an ancient covered walkway with arches beside the river) previously there was an ancient roman fortress .
Relax under the shade of fragrant lime blossom trees, enjoy the view of the Old Town across the Limmat and watch people play chess.
There is a beautiful fountain in the middle of the square with a statue on it.
Considered as the most beautiful park in Zurich. A peaceful area where wonderful views to the Limmat River could be enjoyed. A meeting place for Chess gamers and nice area for pincis or just to relax.
The Lindenhof is a quaint square on a little hill in the heart of Zurich's old town. It offers magnificient views of the eastern bank of the river Limmat and the surrounding hills.
As well as that, remains of a Roman castle from a time when Zurich was called Turicum can be found here.
The Lindenhof is situated at the western bank of the river Limmat. The nearest tram stop is "Rennweg" (line 6, 7, 11, 13).
Lindenhof is a quiet square that, due to it's elevated position, provides some great views of the city.
Besides the views, it's also a quiet place to rest and enjoy the feeling of the City.
Don't miss out, beneath the square some Roman Ruins (customs post and fortress). They are some what hidden, but not that difficult to find.
The so called Lindenhof is a square at elevated position above the old town. Many lime-trees (thus the name, lime-tree=Linde) make it a very pleasant, quiet spot in the old town, perfect for a break from sightseeing or shopping. The views of the river, the city and the Zürichberg are very beautiful.
That aside it is also a place with an interesting history. The Romans built a custom station here about 15 B.C. which is considered the founding of the city. There is also a fountain (from 1912) that reminds of the women of Zürich who defended the city against the Habsburg/Austrian troops in 1292.
The Roman tombstone from around 200 A.D. was found in the Lindenhof area. The inscription contains the oldest known mentioning of Turicum, the Latin version of the name Zürich.
The original stone is in the Landesmuseum but a copy has been put up at Lindenhof.
The stone was set for a little boy named Lucius Aelius Urbicus who died at the age of 1 year, 5 months and 5 days. Unio and Aelia Secundina, the parents, dedicated it to "their sweetest little son."
The Free Masonry Lodge Modestia cum Libertate (M.c.L.) bought a private house on the Southern side of Lindenhof hill in 1851. They rearranged it for their purposes and added the stepped gable and neo-gothic ornaments.
The Hedwig fountain on Lindenhof recalls a historical event (the truth of which is not entirely proved) from the year 1292. While all the men of Zürich were away at war against Winterthur, Duke Albrecht von Habsburg attacked the unprotected city with his troops. The brave women of Zürich, however, put on armours and grabbed lances and positioned themselves on top of the walls of Lindenhof. The Austrian army then left.
The leader of the women, Hedwig ab Burghalden, is depicted in the helmeted figure on top of the fountain, which has been erected in 1668.
A modern fresco on a house downhill in Strehlgasse (photo 2) also recalls this event.
Lindenhof, the hill in the old town above the Limmat, is where Zürich's history began. The city was founded by the ancient Romans who erected a fortified camp right here. The first mentioning of the name "Turicum" dates from the 2nd century AD.
In the middle ages the counts of Lenzburg built their castle up here. After their successors, the Dukes of Zähringen, died out in 1262 Zürich became a free imperial city. The citizens destroyed the castle of the hated rulers and turned the hilltop into a public festival ground. The chronic tells that in 1474 linden trees were planted.
The hilltop offers a splendid view of Limmat river and the Eastern half of the city on the slopes of Zürichberg.
The hill is surrounded by narrow old-town lanes with pretty houses and small gardens. The flat hilltop invites for a rest on the many benches in the shade of the trees. For children, there is a playground here. The back corner has some garden chess fields.
The Lindenhof is a surprising oasis in the heart of Zurich. This small hill was originally the site of a Roman castle. This became derelict by the 9th century, and since then it has been home to a residence, a quarry, and then a place for civil meetings.
These days this leafy terrace offers a welcoming respite from the streets below, and a great place to get an overview of the city. Take some time out to enjoy the views, eat your sandwich, and watch the locals play boules, or chess on those giant chess boards.