Zurich: Worth a visit
To go to Switzerland and not visit Zurich is an unforgivable mistake, because it is a very beautiful ancient city, the largest in the country. It is considered the banking capital of Europe, there are also many museums, theaters and concert halls.
Zurich’s main attractions and cultural events
Perhaps one of the most famous Swiss cities is Zurich. Although formally the capital of the state – Bern, Zurich by right has the honorary title of the main cultural and financial center of the country. The city ranks first in Switzerland by population, total area and the number of banks, the latter being the leading one in Europe. This is why the city is now known worldwide as the banking capital of the world.
However, it is not only because of the large number of financial institutions that the city has become so popular among tourists. The high demand for holidays in Zurich is due to the fact that the historic center of the city has a lot of medieval buildings. There are also traces of the Roman settlement of the II century Turicum, on the site of which the city later grew. There used to be a large customs post here.
The founder of the city of Zurich is considered King Louis II of Germany, who built a magnificent castle for his daughter on the site of the village. Later an abbey appeared next to it and the city wall grew. For a long time Zurich was part of Germany, but in the 18th century proclaimed its autonomy and a few decades later became part of Switzerland.
Features of the geographical location of Zurich
In 2011 Zurich was ranked second in the list of the best cities in the world according to the publication Monocle. This is largely due to its geographical location, as more than 4 square kilometers of area is occupied by the waters of Lake Zurich, and the coastal part consists of numerous floods. Two large rivers, the Limmat and the Seel, flow through the center of the city and merge with each other.
On the other side of the city Zurich is surrounded by low mountains. In addition, the city promenade offers a magnificent view of the Swiss Alps, which begin just 25 km from the city. Another advantage of the location is the excellent transport connections, as well as the airport of Zurich.
Because the highlands protect from the wind, the weather in Zurich is mild all year round and there are no severe heat waves or severe frosts. However, the proximity of the Alps makes Zurich one of the best ski resorts in Switzerland, because the slopes are reachable in less than an hour.
What places to visit in Zurich
Tourists who visit Zurich Switzerland will offer a lot of entertainment, a tour of the historical part of the city is one of them. Walking tour of the sights of Zurich is worth starting with the street Niederdorf, which preserved the spirit of the Middle Ages. Narrow winding streets, Gothic buildings and majestic cathedrals – this is what tourists who are in the old city will see.
Here you can also find many small stores, stalls, cafes and patisseries, for which Switzerland is so famous. Walking along the Niederdorf you can listen to music played by street musicians, drink a cup of strong coffee with the best Swiss chocolate or taste fine wine with fragrant cheese.
The Bahnhofstrasse, the main street, is buzzing with life around the clock. You won’t find so many banks and financial institutions here in any other city in the world.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich, Switzerland is the business and financial center of Europe. Walking down this street in Zurich, banks are not the only thing to see. There are also the most fashionable stores, boutiques, cafes and restaurants, here you can buy the famous Swiss watches and jewelry, for which the canton of Zurich is especially famous.
The main hiking trails in Zurich pass by rivers, over which graceful bridges have been thrown. For example, one of them bears a statue of Mayor Waldman, who has made a significant contribution to the development of the city. From here you have a stunning view of the surrounding area. The St. Peter’s Church, the oldest in the city, is especially visible from this point. Its main decoration is a huge clock with a diameter of more than 8.5 meters. They were installed in the 16th century.
Of course, you can’t imagine Zurich’s skyline without the graceful spires of the Grossmunster towers, the majestic Town Hall and the Fraumuenster Abbey, whose stained glass windows were made by Marc Chagall.
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Zurich, the banking capital of the world
The trip was coming to an end and we chose Zurich as the last city. I just wanted to see Switzerland. There were no plans, no marked sights, one purpose – to wander unhurriedly around the city and to feed swans on the lake Zurich. I got the general information here – http://www.myzurich.org/, the guidebook was bought on the spot and went ahead.
Hotel “Seidenhof” ***, Silhstrasse 9. Seidenhof 3 stars, but I can tell you that the Zurich three stars is very, very worthy in comparison with it Munich three stars seemed to be just a dump, but the price is the biggest of the whole trip, 207 euros per day, but perfect cleanliness, flowers, tea, coffee, chocolate ducks on pillows, apparently their symbol. Great! The hotel was chosen by the same criteria: the center, ease of movement, although the historic center is very compact, as seen in the picture – a triangle formed by the rivers Zil and Limmat. At the top of the triangle is the main station, from it south to the lake goes the main street Bahnhofstrasse, which is the Fifth Avenue or Tverskaya Zurich, studded with boutiques, watch stores and banks, of course. There is no car traffic, only streetcars and pedestrians.
I pasted together a map from Google for clarity:
Bahnhofstrasse, Sunday evening, deserted:
Augustinergasse Street. Flags of Switzerland and Zurich
What do we know about Switzerland? Banks, clocks, cheese, chocolate. Here is one of the symbols:
The second symbol:
And this chocolate boutique is a must-visit for all chocolate addicts without exception. It’s something unimaginable, the willpower of all is turned off at once. It’s probably the only place where there are so many cash registers and there’s a line for everything. “Sprungli at the corner of Bahnhofstrasse and Paraderplatz.
If you want to delve deeper into the centuries, you simply have to stroll along the left bank between the Bahnhofstrasse and the river – one of the most colorful places in Zurich. Narrow hilly streets with colorful houses and flowers on the windows, some of which date back to the 11th century. What is interesting, earlier, there were no numbers on the houses, and each house had its own name, the situation has changed with the advent of Napoleonic troops, you see, the French were difficult to remember the difficult to pronounce the German names and the houses were numbered. And along the right bank of the Limmat, from the Grossmunster cathedral northward along Niederdorfstrasse and the surrounding lanes, one could inhale the characteristic smell of fondue, especially from a mixture of old cheeses. Ooh!
I guess this opus will be more of a photo report with a little commentary. Grossmunster Cathedral . One of the two cathedrals in Zurich that rival each other for primacy and importance, it was built on the right bank of the Limmat between 1090 and 1220. The idea for its foundation is attributed to Charlemagne, whose horse knelt before the tomb of Saints Felix, Regulus and Exuperantius. According to legend, in 300 AD, during the persecution of Christianity, after execution by decapitation the saints carried their heads up a slope of 40 steps and were buried on the spot where they fell, and then a cathedral was built. And at the place of the execution, the Wasserkirche church was built by the river.
Opposite, on the left bank, across the bridge Münsterbrücke is the second cathedral – Fraumunster (convent). This ancient abbey was founded in the ninth century and during most of the Middle Ages its aristocratic abbess ruled the city. In 1970, stained glass windows by Marc Chagall were installed and it is recommended to visit the temple in the morning, when they are illuminated by the rays of the rising sun.
Next to the Fraumunster, hidden in a maze of streets and squares, is one of the oldest churches, St. Peter’s Church, built in the ninth century on the site of an ancient Celtic cult. And Petersturm or tower of St. Peter has nothing to do with the church, it was built in the XIII century as a fire observation tower, and in 1534 changed its purpose due to the lack of major fires and the installation of watches on it. Its dial is considered the largest in Europe, its diameter is 8.7 meters, and the minute hand is 4 meters. Fraumunster and Petersturm
If you wander a little more from St. Peter’s Church, you’ll come to Lindenhof. We did so, we wandered around, turned into the first lane we saw, went somewhere, took pictures, and in the evening we read in the guidebook that this is this, and this is that. So we got to know the city completely spontaneously and haphazardly. So Lindenhof. The mountain or hill on the left bank of the glacier, on which in 370 by the Roman Emperor Valentinian built a fortress, later destroyed and which served as the material for the construction of the palace of the Caroling Dynasty, also destroyed in 1220. Now there is a quiet linden park and one of the most beautiful viewing platforms on the right bank.
The Lindenhof itself, seen from the other side of the river
General view from the lake from Quai-Brucke bridge
As far as to have dinner I can recommend a couple of places we wandered into by chance. And then we read that the restaurants are very trendy and it’s better to book them in advance. The waiter in each of them was greeted with the phrase: “Do you have a reservation? After a negative answer, he ran away, looked for a place and accompanied us to the table. Probably because it was Sunday and Monday nights – we were lucky. Zeughaus-keller, on Bahnhofstrasse, almost to the left of the station, in front of the Paraderplatz.
There are sausages there, called by a long name, like Cannon Chompol, they are 70cm and over a meter long, Rosti for a side dish, and three people can easily eat it.
The second restaurant – Adler Swiss Chuchi is on Niederdorfstrasse and was chosen because of the typical sharp, not to everyone pleasant, smell of cheeses. It would be a shame to be in Switzerland and not to try fondue. We took the classical variant: mix of 4 cheeses, but there are also the old ones, the aroma is even sharper. If you don’t have experience in fondue I recommend you to take one portion, because children, like ours, probably won’t. At first I grabbed a fork, it was interesting all the same, but immediately . to put it mildly, stopped. In addition to the cheeses, there is also white wine and brandy in the mix. All in all, we had enough of a double portion. Spicy, hearty and warm. We took the leftover slices of bread with us to feed the swans. And the Swiss separately order diced ham and jacket potatoes. They serve it in beautiful canvas bags, cut it into four pieces and put it in the cheese. By the way, no one had beer on the tables, only white wine. We did not deviate from tradition. This cow is standing on the balcony above the Adler.
The main inhabitants of Lake Zurich. Feeding swans and ducks is probably the main activity of Zurich residents and tourists. We spent a few hours on it. By evening they are so full that lazy to swim to the shore.
They are not afraid of anyone, because everyone loves them.
So the boats are protected from pigeon-hunting, on almost each hangs a figure of a crow, not fixed rigidly, swaying with the boat, the complete feeling of being alive.
Almost like in “Seventeen Moments of Spring”, only the town is different and the name is different, but the analogy is obvious.
The window display, and a women’s clothing store.
Just signage, but it’s beautiful.
But the sign is historic, in the house on Spiegelgasse 14, Vladimir Ulyanov and his wife lived and went to St. Petersburg from here in 17, then everything is known:
The funicular to the Polytechnic University (ETH), the first Swiss university and one of the best in Europe, where Albert Einstein and more than twenty other Nobel laureates studied. On top near the university is a chic vantage point.
Swiss National Museum. Reminds me of an ancient castle.
And the last sight before leaving – the twelve-meter figure of “Angel” under the ceiling in the lobby of the station.