The city at the northern end of Lake Zurich began as a Roman settlement called Turicum. Zurich didn't become a free city until the 13th century, and shortly after that joined the newly established Swiss Confederation. The town's rise to prominence began during the era of Protestant reformer Ulrich Zwingli, who lived in Zurich from 1484 to 1531 and laid the foundation for the emergence of a Puritan-capitalistic culture. Today Zurich is one of the world's richest cities in terms of per capita income and its citizens enjoy the best quality of life in the world according to a survey conducted in 2007. Millionaires and billionaires from around the globe have established a residence in the city because of Swiss bank privacy laws and the country's low tax rate. Yet Zurich has much more to offer than secret bank accounts and low taxes: an attractive old town with chic cafés and bars, over 40 museums, and the famous Bahnhofsstrasse, one of the most elegant shopping avenues in Europe.
Famous cycle of windows by Marc Chagall
Fraumünster church is one of the four main churches of Zurich. Today it is known above all for the five large stained glass windows created by Marc Chagall in the 1970s, depicting various biblical scenes in expressive colours.
Cultures of the world
The Museum Rietberg is one of the largest art museums in Switzerland and at the same time the only one dedicated to the art of Non-European cultures. It is located in Rieterpark, in three 19th century villas, a coach house and a modern pavilion made of green glass.
The collection includes traditional as well as contemporary works of cultures from Asia, Africa, America and Oceania. The permanent exhibition, as well as various events and special exhibitions, aim to appeal to a local as well as an international audience. The main objective is to provide an insight into the diversity of artistic forms of expression and to contribute to an open dialogue between the cultures of the world.
Above the roofs of Zurich
The Uetliberg is about 870 meter high and boasts a magnificent view of the city and the lake. The Uetlibergbahn takes you up to the summit. In summer the Planet Trail, an almost two-hour hiking route, leads over the Albis ridge to the south. 1978 it was designed as a path through our solar system, which is scaled down on a scale of 1:1 billion. The hike begins at the sun, a yellow sphere with a diameter of 1.39 meters.
(01:50 hrs, 5.4 km, elevation change: 170 m)