I popped into the Wasserkirche on my first afternoon (grey, wet and very chilly). A concert had just finished and I didn't realise the church was closing for the day until I nearly got locked in!
The Wasserkirche is a bit fascinating in itself. It's name (the water church) comes from the fact that for centuries it actually sat on a tiny island in the river Limmat for centuries. The river channel was changed in 1839 when the Limmatquai was constructed and now only one side of the Waserkirche is 'in the water'...but you can still see its pointed eastern end which functioned as a breakwater.
There has been a church on site since at least the 10th century (the tiny island is said to be where Zurich's patron saints, Felix and Regula, were executed by the Romans), although the building which is visible now (above ground) dates from the late 1400s. During Zurich's 'reformation' period it became (in 1634) the city's first public library and remained as such, also being used for grain storage, until the 1940s when it again came into use as a place of worship.
The Helmhaus, built to the northern end of the church, originally started out as a wooden Medieval building first mentioned in 1253 as a courthouse. The present stone building dates from the 1700s.
The modern church interior is plain and calming, with a rather lovely arched roof and a stained-glass window by Augusto Giacometti.
But the highlight of my visit was the crypt, where the results of the archaeological excavations which took place in 1940-41 can be seen. There are some lovely pieces of very early carved stonework, the pointed 'breakwater' of the earliest church and a sense of real antiquity even though the signage has no English. It is worth visiting the Wasserkirche just to get a feel for what lies beneath the pristine, pretty and fully-restored Altstadt of modern Zurich.
There are regular services but you can visit the crypt (and church) on Tuesday 0800-1200, Wednesday to Friday 1400-1700 Saturday 1200-1700. I was very lucky to be able to explore on a Sunday afternoon! :-)
This is possibly the oldest church in Zurich, although you would never guess from its exterior (or its interior). It dates from 1270, and was built by the Augustinian monks near the western wall of the Medieval city.
During the Reformation it first became a wine storage facility and later became the home and workshop a a coin-maker.
in 1841 it once again became a Catholic church and is now the Christkatholischekirche. INot being a Roman Catholic myself I cannot explain the differences between this church and other Roman Catholic churches.
Whilst having a particularly calm and pleasant atmosphere, the interior gives little hint of the extreme age of the building. There is a wall painting of St Christopher dating from the 1400s, but this was discovered in a nearby house in the 1950s and removed for display in the church. apart from that, I saw noting of any antiquity. I believe there are the remains of some Medieval frescoes in the sacristy, but I did not find them,
There is some lovely modern stained glass above the organ (possibly from the 1960s and created by August Wanner, but I'm not sure if his work is only the Stations of the Cross depicted in stained glass around the sides of the church) : make sure you turn away from the altar to see it. I also very much liked the way the Christ-crucified created a shadow on the wall behind the altar (see second photo): very cleverly done.
If you are in the area it's worth going into the church just to see the Medieval St Christopher.
The Roman-Catholic Liebfrauen Church was built in the style of an early Christian basilica with a tower looking like a roman campanile.
The church was completed in 1893. At this time it was located outside of the city centre, as only reformed churches were allowed in the city centre.
Especially the inside of the Liebfrauen Church is well worth seeing.
The Liebfrauen Church can be found at the Zehnderweg 6 in the Unterstrass district of Zurich. It is located about 5 minutes on foot north east of the main railway station. The nearest tram stop is "Haldenegg" (lines 6, 7 and 10).
Address:: Liebfrauen Church, Zehnderweg 9, 8006 Zurich
What does a city do when the cold weather arrives and tourists no longer want to take boat tours on the lake? Easy – hook up all the boats on the harbor and fill them with more than 170 wine vendors from around Switzerland, France, Italy, and other countries!
We recently went to the 59th annual Wine Expo in Zürich, held at the harbor on 11 ships. In addition there was a tent on land that hosted educational wine forums. The 2012 Wine Expo runs from November 1-15, but it is an annual event so check out the website below for later dates.
Admission was CHF 20 per person and that got us onto the ships. The many vendors were there to share their wines and knowledge with you through tastings and answering any questions you might have.
Interestingly, you could not purchase the wines there to take home. If you were interested in buying wine, you could order it from the vendor and it would be delivered to your home later. Of course, this comes with delivery charges unless you are willing to purchase around 30 cases or spend CHF 500 on wine, at which time some vendors will deliver for free.
We were hungry upon our arrival so we headed to one of the restaurant boats that were there along with the wine vessels. There were four of us and we decided to try the Fondue boat where we had some wonderful cheese fondue for lunch. After we were sufficiently full, we set out to taste the wines.
Upon entry, be sure to pick up one of the thick guides that have complete listings of all the vendors and the wines they are showcasing. Each of the stalls had a sign that would direct you to the right page in the guide, giving you the opportunity to take any notes you may want for later reference. After our first stop and seven wines later, trust me – you need to keep track if you want to refer back later!
It was a dreary Sunday afternoon when we were there – rainy and gray. But this apparently kept some people from venturing out for the day. So it really turned to our favor since the ships were not as crowded as they might be on a nicer day. However, we were warm and dry inside the ships, which connected to each other so the only time we really had to venture out in the rain was for the several steps between ships.
We spent several hours at the expo and had a great time. It was well worth the CHF 20 entry fee, which covered all the wine you could taste (the fondue was extra!). I would definitely enjoy going to this event again!
Münsterhof is a square in old town district of Zürich. Münsterhof is surrounded by Fraumünster church and medieval buildings, some guilds among them. In 9 century wooden houses were built there. After the reformation of Switzerland the square was used as pig market. In 1676 square were renewed with cobblestones.
The most prominent buildings on Münsterhof are Zunfthaus zur Meisen and Fraumünster church.
If you have a layover in Zurich you can hop on the train and walk along the Limmat River and get back easily. Put your carry on bags in the locker, buy the round trip tickets right there get on the train and take in the beauty of Zurich before the next flight.
1. In the museum
2. A birch bark canoe
3. A kayak
4. The museum from the outside
This museum used to be called the "Zurich Indian Museum", but in 2003 it was re-named because they decided the label "Indian" was an over-simplification. On their website they explain:
If we use the blanket term “Indian” to describe all the different tribes, groups, bands, and nations of America, it is just about as unrepresentative and misleading as if we were to exclusively apply the term “European” to denote our own background. In reality, North American cultures display an immense range of cultural diversity, just as Europe does. Or, do you wish to claim that there is no difference between, let’s say, Swedes and Spaniards?
The permanent exhibition at the North America Native Museum is divided into six large regions of the United States and Canada, namely the Great Plains and the Prairie, the Northeastern Woodlands, the Sub-arctic Region, the Arctic, the Northwest Coast and the Southwestern Desert.
The accompanying text panels are well-researched and very informative, but they are in German only.
And eco-friendly city tours, 100% guaranteed by Butler Beat. Operating until October to a first class insider tips on art, culture, dining, nightlife in the city and more. Just contact the opertor and this cozy bike will deliver you to our destintion relaxed and without stress. You have a private butler.
Here are your choices:
Tour 1: Short City tour/30 mins/39 CHF
The Mainstreet, Münsterhof, City Hall, right bank of the Lake of Zurich, the churches of St augustine, Fraumünster,Grossmünster and Wasserkiche, then to the boat treminal at Bürkliplatz, Limmatquai, Helmhauss and a glimpse to many courtyards and squares.
Tour 2:Sunnyside of Lake Zurich/30 mins/39 CHF
Passing along the banks of the beautiful promenades of Zurich, Jacob's(coffee) museum, museum Bellerive, Limmatquai, Sechseläuten Square, Wasserkirche, Helmhaus, Grosmünster, Münsterhof, Fraumünster, Mainstreet(Bahnhofstrasse)
Tour 3:long tour along the banks of the lake Zurich/60 mins/79 CHF
Tour4: 30 mins/ 39 cHF/Zurich West and Prime Tower( tallest building in Switzerland)
Tour 5: 60 mins/ 79 CHF/
Zurich West, Prime Tower, same as tour 4 plus Schiffbau, Im Viadukt (Market Hall and shopping mile)
Tour 6 and 7: Rickshaw for special moments
Romantic tours in a specially heart-designed rickshaw..
Tour 7, is a long romantic tour according to your wishes
For an unforgetable wedding special, there's a pimped up bike for a unique and super cool photo shoot. To newly in love or still in love...take the romantic tour to Zurich's most charming ttractions.
30 mins/79 CHF
60 mins/119 CHF
Just arrange with Butler Beat...he, personally gave me the infos....enjoy
Built between 1883-1900, Stadthaus is the City Hall of Zurich. It was the work of the architect Gustav Gull, who also designed the Swiss National Museum. He became of the official city architect and helped to define the signature style of the city, a mix of neo-Gothic and castle architecture. Stadthaus also holds art exhibitions that are open to the public. It is located on the banks of the Limmat River, next to Fraumünster.
Every morning at 11.00am or 11.30am (can't rightly remember which) there is a wonderful day trip which leaves from the Bahnhofquai right behind the main train station. The tour takes you on a quick trip around Zuerich and then heads for Rapperswil. After lunch and a walkaround Rapperswil, you head off to Maienfeld to Heidiland and then on to Vaduz in Liechenstein for a couple of free hours before going back to Zuerich.
I booked the tour through traveltoe.com and it was really good value for money. The commentary in English was excellent and the driver and tour guide were good entertainers and very helpful as well. This was a great way to fit three activities into one day and at no time did I feel hurried at all.
Well worth investigating. Please check out my individual pages for Rapperswil, Maienfeld and Liechtenstein.
Street art in many different forms can be found in most cities and towns in Europe and Zuerich is no exception. This particular offering is probably the most unusual statue I have ever seen anywhere and not because of what it is, but because of where it is. There it stands straddling a balcony railing of a private apartment in the Old Town. Eyecatching indeed!
The best place to view the lake and people watch whilst enjoying a refreshing ale is Restaurant Zum Stochen in the central square on the lake front.
We came back here a couple of times.
The Tonhalle, which simply means "Sound Hall" if you translate it literally, is one of Zürich's main venues for classical music concerts. It is the home of the oldest symphony orchestra in Switzerland, the Tonhalle Orchestra, which was established in 1868.
They give nearly 100 concerts per season, with about fifty different programs.
One of the many traditional guilds of Zürich, Zunfthaus zur Haue is distinguishable by its Flemish architectural influence, its blue and white shutters, and the deer statue on its rooftop. The building was built in the 14th-15th century and is located on Limmatquai in the heart of the old town. It is the guildhall of Zunft zum Kämbel, the food and wine merchants. It is thus no surprise that nowadays the building houses a restaurant.
Built in 1348, Zunfthaus zum Rüden is one of the older guildhalls of Zürich. Its name translates to "house of the hound" but it is also known as the Guild of the Nobles. One of its most famous features is the curved wooden ceiling in its Gothic hall, which now functions as a restaurant. This house overlooks the Limmat, just below Grossmünster.
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