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2-Hour Zurich City Walking Tour
"During this downtown tour you'll stroll along the most famous street of Zurich the Bahnhofstrasse designed in the 19th century by the engineer Arnold Bürkli as luxury shopping street after Parisian model. You will enjoy the Lindenhof a unique city park the Grossmünster the Fraumünster with its Chagall's windows and the St. Peter's Church with the biggest clock face in Europe. After enjoying the walk along the river and the sights from the Lake Zurich
From $26.00
The Great Tour of Zurich
"This tour shows you the most interesting sights of Zurich and its surroundings! Start with a guided city tour of Zurich which shows you the commercial center a section of the Old Town Fraumuenster Church with its famous Chagall windows historical Limmatquai and the university district. Drive along the Hoehenstrasse which offers spectacular views into the Alps we then drive to Rapperswil which is named the 'City of Roses'. The charming little town of Rapperswil offers unique attractions for visitors - the Rose Gardens the Castle the deer park on the Lindenhof and the picturesque Old Town.After a guided orientation tour and some time at leisure in Rapperswil
From CHF53.00
Engelberg - The Great Mountain Village
"An excursion to the ever popular summer and winter resort in the heart of Central Switzerland. Engelberg (Angel Mountain) was originally founded by the Benedictines and the imposing monastery dominates the center of the village. The Baroque style monastery church which houses the largest organ in Switzerland is open for visits to the public. Enjoy a 2 - 3 hour independent stay in this lovely mountain village to relax or stroll. Return by coach via Lucerne (some time at leisure) back to Zurich.""""Travel by deluxe coach to the resort town of Engelberg (Angel Mountain). You'll have time to wander around this pretty mountain village make sure you don't miss the Baroque-style monastery that houses the largest organ in Switzerland."
From CHF72.00

Grossmünster Churche Tips (62)

Gross Munster

Gross Munster known for its distinctive two towers , which can be climbed. , for the view.The Gross Munster is near the Rathaus., in the centre of Zurich. I thought the front door detail was marvelous. There is a crypt. The church is near the banks of the river Limmat. Building started in 1100 and inaugurated in 1220. Was a monastory church. It is in romanesque style and is a protestant church. The Groos Munster is one of four major churches in Zurich.

alectrevor's Profile Photo
Mar 26, 2016

Grossmünster Church

The beautiful Grossmünsterchurch at the Zwingliplatz - an iconic view of Zürich - has two main attractions. The church as we know it now was built in the romanic style between the 12th and 13th century. Its main draw are the modern stained-glass windows of artist Sigmar Polke, some of them abstract, others with a biblical theme.

There is a viewing platform among the twin towers of the Grossmünster, which has impressive panoramic views of Zürich oldtown (admitted, it can be crowded, but worth the effort).

MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo
Oct 21, 2014

A glimpse of the ancient....

Like all Zurich's older churches, the Grossmuenster had its interior pretty much stripped bare of its Medieval decoration during Switzerland's Reformation (I cannot bring myself to approve of this, although I understand why the actions were taken).

But you can still, if you look closely, see snippets of what the Grossmuenster looked like in its original form. This was a sacred site for many centuries before the existing church was built (between 1100 and 1230). It stands on a Roman cemetery and by the 9th century (800s) there was a Christian place of worship on the spot.

The first version of the building you see today had a northern tower which was taller than the southern, because it held the bells. The south tower was brought up to matching height in the mid-1500s and topped with a statue of Charlemagne which is now housed in the crypt. It is much battered, blackened and worn by time and the elements but is still impressive. Neither tower is today in its Medieval form; a fire in the 1700s destroyed both and what you see now are the rebuilt versions.

The Northern portal, on Zwingliplatz, is the way you go in...and it has a most wonderfully carved doorway. Take the time to look closely at the Medieval stonework: there are birds and beasts and foliage, some wonderful examples of 'ordinary' clothes of the time and...on the left-hand capital, a man playing a fiddle (perhaps to calm the breasts of the savage beasts on either side of him?).

There are a few Romanesque column capitals still visible inside the church (no photography allowed) but it is the wonderful stained glass which really catches the eye. Some was created by Augusto Giacometti in the 1930s but, for me, the very recent (2006) windows by Sigmar Polke were the church interior's highlight. Some are made from slices of the most beautiful agates, incredibly beautiful and colourful in the most natural way. I simply could not resist sneaking a photo.

You will, of course, visit the Grossmuenster. Make sure you go down into the crypt to visit poor, battered Charlemagne, make sure you closely examine the northern portal...and just relish those Polke windows!

You can also, for a small fee, go up one of the towers. But I didn't.

leics's Profile Photo
Jun 15, 2013

Visit the cloisters.

It would be very easy indeed to miss the Grossmuenster cloisters. The access is to the left of the entrance to the Gorssmuenter, up a short flight of steps and looking just like any ordinary wooden door in church buildings. But do try not to miss the cloisters out of your visit.

Admittedly, much of what you can see is restoration and re-creation but it is still worth seeing. The Grossmuenster was originally a monastery church (the present building was begun in the 1100s and cloisters....covered walks which have open 'windows' onto a central courtyard.... were a normal part of any monastery or convent structure, created for moments of calm contemplation.

The Grossmuenster cloisters were built in around 1180. They were rebuilt (or restored, or re-created..I'm not sure which) in 1850 and further restored in the 1960s. The wonderfully-intricate column capitals are Romanesque in style, beasts mythical and realistic, birds, foliage and humans intertwined. How many of them are original and how many are re-creations I cannot say but certainly some are original and you can definitely see a self-portrait sculpture of the original carver on the highest arch to the left as you enter.

Whether original or not, it is worth a visit just to see these magnificent examples of early Medieval stonework.

The cloisters are open from 10am to 5pm every day. Entrance is free.

There is also a museum about the Reformation accessed form within the cloister, although I did not visit.

leics's Profile Photo
Jun 12, 2013
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As what their name say - Grossmünster (meaning great minster) is very big and dominate in Zurich. Architectonic design is Romanesque-style and this is a Protestant church. This church is one of the three major churches in the city (with the Fraumünster and St. Peters kirche).
The church was build near the banks of the Limmat River. Construction of the present structure commenced around 1100 and it was inaugurated around 1220.

Odiseya's Profile Photo
Dec 15, 2012

Grossmünster church

The Grossmünster is the most prominent church in Zürich. It is Romansque style temple that was created between years 1100 and 1220. Towers were erected in 1490's.
Significant thing from history is that the church Reformation in Switzerland started in Zürich Grossmünster and was initiated by Huldrych Zwingli.

Two twin towers of temple make Zürich old town skyline special.
Today Grossmünster is a Protestant church like a whole Zürich region is Protestant. Becouse of that church has simple interior without rich paintings and frescos.

sihi's Profile Photo
Jul 03, 2012

The Grossmünster

The Grossmunster lies in the middle of Zurich's old town. With it's twin towers, it is the most dominating building in the city. The Grossmunster was built between the 11th and 13th centuries in the Romanesque style of architecture. The two towers were added in the late 15th century which is why they seem out of place with the rest of structure. It is possible to climb up one of the towers to take in views of Zurich and the Alps off in the distances. I recommend this only for the fit for it is quite a climb. The stain glass was created by the great Swiss artist Augusto Giacometti. Otherwise the church interior is rather plain.
The Grossmunster is open from 9am to 6pm daily from May to October and from 10am to 4pm from November to April.

Paul2001's Profile Photo
Jun 15, 2012


Dominating the Zürich skyline, the twin towers of Grossmünster are the most prominent landmark in the city. It is the city's largest church (hence the name), built between 1090 AD and 1220 AD, in a Romanesque style, as a replacement to an older church. The previous church had been built by Charlemagne, supposedly over the tombs of the patron saints of the city, Felix and Regula, to whom Grossmünster is dedicated. In the 16th century, Grossmünster led the Swiss-German Reformation movement and it was converted from Catholicism to Protestantism, losing in the process most of its images, icons and other rich ornamentation, in accordance with the strict rules of the Reformation. Nevertheless, some fine Romanesque details still decorate both the exterior and the interior (where photography is not permitted). Its two towers, were added in the 15th century, originally topped with wooden structures, but a fire in 1781 caused partial destruction. The subsequent restoration saw the addition of the Baroque-style domed upper sections whose architecture differs from the rest of the church, but makes them so unique. Grossmünster also has some beautiful stained glass windows, many of which are quite modern.

MM212's Profile Photo
Apr 15, 2012
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"Welcome to Zürich - my hometown"
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"My Züri Page"
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"Zurich - Metropolis between lakes and mountains"
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"The world's capital of understatement"
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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.

Maryimelda's Profile Photo
Mar 21, 2012

Grossmünster - Cloister

Adjacent to Grossmünster is the chapterhouse, which contains the Romanesque cloister. Although the building seems to be of a more recent construction, the cloister itself is much older, completed in 1180 AD. The arched courtyard contains some beautiful Romanesque details, as in the attached photo. The chapterhouse is now used by the Department of Theology of the University of Zürich.

MM212's Profile Photo
Oct 15, 2011

Karlsturm Tower

187 steps (no lift) to the top - approximately half follow the narrow, spiral staircase until a welcome opening on the first floor (a few relics on display) and from there on in more contemporary wooden stairs.

But once on the top, it is all worth while with more or less 360 degree views of the city of Zurich laid out before you from the four corner vantage points (you cannot take it all in at once).

Open 10am - 5pm (Mon-Sat) - ie one hour after the church opens (closes one hour earlier, Nov-Mar): 12.30pm-4.30pm (Sun). Entrance 2 Swiss Francs.

leffe3's Profile Photo
Jul 27, 2011

Zurich's largest

A Romanesque-style church, the Grossmunster is the largest of the three main churches in the Altstadt. Although construction started in 1100 and inaugurated in 1220, legend has it that the Grossmunster was originally commissioned by Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Emperor, in the 9th century, making it older than the Fraumunster on the opposite bank of the Limmat.

It is of particular historical significance as, with Zwingli the pastor of the church, it is seen as the birthplace of the Swiss-German reformation of the church against the excesses and corruption of the Roman Catholic church.

As such, as with the Fraumunster, it is extremely austere inside and no photos are allowed.

The towers were not added until the 15th century, and fire gutted the original wooden tops in the late 18th century, being replaced by a completely different style of architecture to the Romanesque of the main body of the church. But it this that makes them so distinctive, contributing to the most iconic Zurich landmark.

Access to the Karlstower (fee payable) is through the main body of the church (see separate tip).

leffe3's Profile Photo
Jul 27, 2011

Things to Do Near Zürich

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