Sights of Zurich. Mount Utliberg

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Mount Utliberg , located in the vicinity of Zurich , is one of the most beautiful places in this region of Switzerland . Magnificent natural landscapes are combined here with the purest mountain air, and a good location relative to the city, makes it easy to get to the fans of outdoor activities. In winter, the mountain is a great success for fans of sleighs and mountain skis, and in the summer months paragliders and connoisseurs of hiking tours in the highlands come here. At any time of the year, with Utleburg, you can admire the magnificent views of the surrounding countryside, which allows you to get a complete picture of the beauties of Switzerland. For this purpose also serves as an observation tower, equipped at the top of the mountain.

Utliberg enjoys the greatest popularity in the summer, offering a lot of interesting cycling and hiking trails. One of them is called “Planet” and provides for the presence along the road of breadboard models of the planets of the solar system, made on a scale and provided with explanatory inscriptions, what object and what it means. The route is available to all comers from March to November, appearing extremely busy and interesting. In the winter months, the sleigh track, whose length is 3 kilometers, is especially attractive. If desired, you can ride it even at night, because at this time there is artificial lighting.

In addition to its natural advantages, Utliberg can offer its guests all sorts of amenities, including a cozy high-altitude restaurant, which gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy delicious Swiss cuisine, and a small comfortable hotel for those who prefer exclusive rest without regard to financial costs. In different parts of the hill there are good places for picnics. You can reach the mountain by commuter train, by car or by taxi. The distance from Zurich is quite small and the trip is not tiresome. Utliberg is great for a pleasant holiday amidst nature and is definitely worth a bit of time away from the city noise.


Sights of Zurich. Kunsthaus Museum of Fine Arts

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The Kunsthaus Museum of Fine Arts , located on Heimplatz Square in Zurich , is widely known in Europe for its magnificent art gallery, which includes the works of the greatest masters from around the world. The main collections belong to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, although there are earlier works of painting among the expositions. Opened in the Victorian era, the museum moved the global reconstruction of 1976, becoming even more spacious and convenient for visitors. Outwardly, he is unlikely to make a strong impression, given the simplicity of the exterior appearance of the building, but the collections exhibited in his interior entice even the experienced connoisseurs of painting.

Among the collections of the Kunsthaus Museum of Fine Arts, there are works by such outstanding masters as Van Gogh, Gauguin, Alberto Giacometti, Munch, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Kandinsky and other geniuses of world art. In addition, here you can see photo-works of Cartier-Bresson and Stieglitz. On the pediment of the building draws attention to the sculptural composition of the bronze door “The Gates of Hell,” by Auguste Rodin. To create this seven-meter masterpiece, the French sculptor was inspired by the divine comedy of Dante, which was reflected in the extraordinary realism of the figures of people and animals, displaying sincere emotions.

In addition to the main expositions, the museum periodically organizes temporary exhibitions dedicated to certain thematic areas. On a regular basis, educational programs are conducted for children and adults. Kunsthaus is the embodiment of the cultural and educational life of the city, annually hosting hundreds of thousands of visitors. For the convenience of guests inside the building there is a cafeteria and a restaurant where you can enjoy the exquisite taste of Swiss cuisine or just have a cup of coffee. At the exit, art lovers can purchase souvenirs. The cost of a visit to the Kunsthaus Museum of Fine Arts is relatively low, and on Wednesdays in general entry is free. There is a museum in the central part of Zurich  and is easily accessible from any district of the city.


Sights of Zurich. Town Hall

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The town hall is one of the main historical buildings of Zurich . This building was built on the banks of the Limmat River, at the very end of the 17th century, becoming a model of the classic baroque. Despite the fact that more than 300 years have passed since then, the structure has been perfectly preserved and today it is considered one of the symbols of the city. Formerly, the authorities of the Republic of Zurich met here, and then representatives of the cantonal assembly. Now here is the council of the community and pass all sorts of solemn receptions. The building is lined with stone and has 3 floors, perfectly visible from the waterfront. It fits the image of the Old City in the best way, as if filling it with the spirit of the past, while, thanks to its solemn appearance, it is more like a royal palace than an administrative institution.

The town hall is gracefully decorated with numerous arcades and reliefs, and massive solid doors, comparable to the gates of the castle, attract attention at the entrance. The interior is distinguished by luxurious finishes, including stucco and high-ceilinged ceilings painted with golden-red color, on which hang expensive crystal and forged chandeliers. The elegantly decorated ceramic oven flaunts in the meeting room. At first glance, it seems as if the Town Hall grows right out of the water, like one of the numerous houses for a decade of sinking Venice. However, this feeling is completely justified, considering that the foundation of the structure is formed from massive beams that go deep into Limmat, really embodying the technology of town planning of the famous city on the water.

For a long time already, the Town Hall is not only an administrative institution, but also a historical heritage site. Today, here are documents reflecting events relating to the emergence of Zurich  and its further development. In addition, the halls of the palace preserved rare furniture made of unique types of wood, old handmade carpets and other interior elements. Nowadays, the City Hall enjoys great attention, especially among tourists who walk around the Old Town seldom pass by, especially making stops to be photographed against the background of an outstanding historical structure.


Sights of Zurich. Banhofstrasse Street

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The street Bahnhofstrasse , stretching for almost 1.5 km in the center of Zurich , is the main commercial center of this Swiss city. This name, found in different languages ​​in dozens of European cities, translates as “station street”, which only to a small extent reflects its essence. Out of a hundred analogues, only this one got world fame. For a long time, the best Swiss banks, famous for their reliability, are located here, the signboards of stylish boutiques and fashion designers salon shine in the twilight, and the chic hotels hospitably meet new guests. The street is considered pedestrian, because of all the urban transport, only trams can travel through it.

Many years ago, on the territory of the present Bahnhofstrasse, fortified defensive structures towered along which a broad moat with water, called by the local inhabitants of the Froggy, ran. According to legend, the frogs inhabiting the water, as if at a command, stopped croaking when enemy troops approached the city walls. Thus, they warned the defenders about the beginning of another attack. The laying of the street began here in 1864 and soon became one of the central in Zurich. Now it connects the city railway station and the Lake of Zurich, running along the embankment of the Limmat river and dividing the city into a modern and historical part.

Initially not too wide, Bahnhofstrasse has several sites broken into squares, as a result of which, the space increases noticeably. Architecture here is the most diverse and sometimes classical buildings intertwine with very unusual constructions, impressive their originality. Despite the apparent simplicity, this street is considered one of the richest in Europe. There is a huge abundance of prestigious clothing stores, jewelry shops, pawnshops and beauty salons with world brands. Hundreds of wealthy people from all over the world come here to spend their impressive financial resources or vice versa, to put in one of the local banks, for the benefit of problems with their absence on the Bahnhofstrasse is not observed.

Even renting a small room in a building located on this truly “golden” street is worth a lot of money, and those people who live here in separate apartments belong exclusively to the highest social level. However, walk on the Bahnhofstrasse, taking pictures against the backdrop of authoritative banks, expensive cars and prestigious shops, anyone can do, especially since  there is no problem with security for tourists in Zurich . The people here are many only on weekends, so you can enjoy walking at any time of the day.


Sights of Zurich. Funicular Polyban

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Funicular Polyban is the oldest lift in Zurich . Initially called Zurichbergbach, it was launched in 1889 to make life easier for students at the University of Zurich, who before the vehicle was established, had to overcome the hilly slope that stretched from the city embankment directly to the school. Funicular faithfully served the citizens until the 70-ies of the last century, while the company serving him Zurichbergbahn was not in danger of financial collapse. The United Swiss bank saved the situation by allocating the necessary funds, and in 1998, after its renaming to UBS AG, the elevator also changed its name to UBS Polyban.

Now the funicular works using an electric drive, although the first 8 years moved on the water used as a ballast. She was filled with an impressive tank at the top station, and below it was empty. In the mid-nineties the mechanism of descent and lifting was radically changed and almost completely automated, while the served 3-rd line was replaced by a much more modern one, with two rails. At the same time, the trailer itself remained the same, preserving its historical surroundings. It is painted in a bright red color and has a capacity of about 50 people.

The lower station of Polibana is now located in an old residential building, in the embankment area, the entrance to which is near the coffee shop called “Starbucks”. The upper one is located in a similar structure reminiscent of the classical rural houses of provincial Switzerland, near the University of Zurich. The distance between them is about 175 meters and the journey takes about 2 minutes. At the moment, the city has a few more funiculars, but Polyban is perhaps the most romantic of them.

Since last century the funicular transported the inhabitants of Zurich and has not lost its popularity so far. Today it not only fulfills its basic functions, but also is a kind of tourist attraction, regularly enjoying success among the guests and residents of the city. It is unlikely that a fleeting trip will allow you to fully enjoy the city landscapes, but to experience the unique sensations and experience the romantic aura of this unusual vehicle will definitely give. In the process of studying Zurich , the Polyban cable car is undoubtedly worthy of a more concrete acquaintance, especially since the fare in the old red car is purely symbolic.


Sights of Zurich. Grossmunster Church

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The Grossmunster church , which adorns the urban landscapes of Zurich , is one of its main religious buildings. It was built along the banks of the Limmat River back in the middle ages, at the site of the former Carolingian temple. Previously, the monastery was a monastery, according to legend, the founder of which was Charles the Great, whose horse, kneeling before the grave of Saints Felix and Regula, indicated the place for future construction. The largest in Zurich Cathedral was built from 1090 to 1492, embodying several architectural styles, later becoming an important cultural and historical heritage of the city.

With a detailed study of the Grossmunster church, most visitors to the temple recognize it as a real work of art. In the facade of the facade there is a copy of the statue of King Charlemagne, made in 1935 from the original, transferred to the crypt of the church for security reasons and best preservation of appearance. The ruler is pictured here sitting on the podium with a sword in his hands and a crown on his head. The spectacular composition of this composition is attached to the gilded sword hilt and in the same color the main head element, dressed on the royal person, is made. On both sides of the building surround the massive towers, which are easy to navigate near the center of Zurich.

Significant changes in the appearance of the Grossmunster church occurred after the fire of the incident in 1763, as a result of which new architectural elements appeared outside and inside the monastery. However, almost all of them were dismantled in the XX century and the temple returned to its former appearance typical for the XIII-XV centuries. On one of the outer walls today you can see the statue of Henry Bullinger – a famous church reformer for a long time past. Not far from Grossmünster stands a monument to one more servant of the faith – Ulrich Zwingli, famous for his ascetic views on the improvement and decoration of religious buildings.

In many ways, thanks to Tsvinley, the church does not have a luxurious interior and looks very modest. However, this defect is somewhat leveled by the presence of a magnificent bronze front door, with a whole scattering of skilful bas-reliefs on biblical themes created by Otto Munk in the 30s and 50s of the last century. Particular attention is also attached to the stained glass windows, over which several prominent German artists worked. The symbol of our days is also a virtuoso decorated with gold organ. If desired, guests of the cathedral have the opportunity, for a small fee to climb a narrow spiral staircase to one of the twin towers of Grossmünster, so as to admire the views of the city. For those who love history, the Reformation Museum works in the building. The church deservedly is one of the central attractions of Zurich and is definitely worth it.


Sights of Zurich. Church of St. Peter

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St. Peter’s Church is the oldest in Zurich , and it is known for its giant tower clock, whose dial diameter is just under 9 meters. The minute hand is 4 meters long. The present building of the temple was built in the very beginning of the XVIII century, in the era of Protestantism, although the first monastery originated on this place more than a thousand years ago. In 1230, it was replaced by a late Roman building, partially preserved until our days. The main tower until 1911 served as a signal platform used during a fire. Now it is under the jurisdiction of the city authorities, and the nave of the church refers to the arrival of St. Peter’s Swiss Reformed Church.

Among the cult values ​​of the monastery of St. Peter, the font of the end of the 16th century, personifying the magnificent art of carving on wood, wonderful crystal chandeliers that have become an ornament of the interior, and a beautifully decorated department and a wonderful church organ, which regularly hosts organ music concerts, are clearly distinguished. Outwardly, the temple is a classical presbytery, which has strict features and is executed in a rectangular shape with semicircular windows framed in bizarre frames. Curiously, unlike the much larger and more representative Grossmünster, the interior of the church is much more luxurious and rich, not yielding to the design of many palaces.

In different years the church of St. Peter became a place of work of famous people and talented personalities. Thus, Loe Jude, who participated in the translation of the Holy Scripture, served as pastor here, and the famous writer and theologian Johann Caspar Lewater, so won the love of the parishioners that people recorded their Sunday mass in advance. I was honored to be buried in these walls the first independent mayor of Switzerland – Rudolf Brun.

St. Peter’s Church is on the opposite side of the Limmat River from Grossmünster and is beautifully seen from afar thanks to its tall pointed tower with a clock protruding on the roofs of Zurich. It was not for nothing that she once acted as a fire tower. Today, St. Peter’s Church occupies a worthy place among the iconic sights of the city and undoubtedly deserves to be visited.


Sights of Zurich. Zurich Zoo

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The Zurich Zoo was founded in 1929 and since then is one of the favorite places of leisure for residents of Zurich and the numerous tourists who come to this region of Switzerland. It is completely different from the usual zoos in Moscow or St. Petersburg, acting as a real guide to the world of wildlife. Not being in the zone of an ideal climatic zone, nevertheless, the Zurich Zoo places on its territory representatives of the animal world from all corners of the planet, for which the most comfortable conditions of existence were created. Visitors are guaranteed an exciting pastime and absolute safety. Largely due to such an excellent organization of business, today the Zurich Zoo deservedly has a reputation almost the best on the European continent.

In total, in this unique natural complex there are about 2 thousand animals. Among them are monkeys of various species, royal penguins, snakes, crocodiles, bears, lions, hippos, exotic birds, as well as rare specimens of giant sea turtles brought here from the Galapagos Islands. The entire territory of the zoo is divided into certain zones corresponding to this or that part of the globe. One of the brightest and most interesting is the “Masoala Tropical Forest”, occupying an area of ​​10 thousand square meters. m, where the leaping cries of lemurs come from the jungle, the sound of a waterfall is heard among the greenery, and the winding paths seem to call for adventurers to go to explore the most mysterious corners of Madagascar.

Cells in the Zurich Zoo are replaced by moats and clear glass, so the feeling of walking through the real forest is extremely realistic. Specially designated stands indicate the time of feeding animals. The picture of the terrarium and several aquariums are best complemented. Families with young children should definitely visit the farm Zoolino, where our younger brothers can not only pat and hold on their hands, but also take a picture with them. For guests of the park throughout its territory are equipped with places for recreation and directional signs. Despite the impressive size, it is almost impossible to get lost here. At the entrance there are cafes and souvenir shops. The Zurich Zoo attracts guests of different age categories every day and is undoubtedly one of the main entertainment attractions in the city.


Sights of Zurich. Swiss National Museum

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The Swiss National Museum , located near the Central Station ofZurich , is not only the pride of this city, but also the cultural and historical heritage of all of Switzerland . The museum building was built in 1898, with the participation of the architect Gustav Hullom, who decided to perform the construction in the style of eclecticism. In its form it resembles the classic French Renaissance château. The museum stands out with dozens of small towers, pretty courtyards and is complemented by a picturesque park on a small island stretching between the rivers Zil and Limmat. This peculiar appearance gives the building a fair amount of charm and makes it even more attractive.

The permanent exhibition of the Swiss National Museum invites visitors to explore the culture, traditions and history of the country, from the prehistoric stage to our days. The museum is located on four floors. On the first one there are prehistoric monuments of very early times, on the second there is a gallery dedicated to the main events that took place in the process of the most important stages of state development; on the third and fourth floors there are exhibits characterizing the way of life and human characteristics of the Swiss nation, as well as a collection of various coats of arms, many of them which originate in the early Middle Ages.

Among the rich and rich collections of the Swiss National Museum, special attention should be paid to the collection of Gothic art, objects of knightly culture, and wooden sculptures of the early Christian period. In addition, here you can see handicrafts from various materials, china, historical cold and firearms displayed in the Armory, antique furniture, Swiss coins of the XIV-XVI centuries and much more. Quite curious is the exhibition, dedicated to the progress of Swiss watchmaking.

The Swiss National Museum is of great value for the whole country, for many years preserving its historical and cultural heritage. It is well equipped and convenient for visitors, which only contributes to its popularity, which is constantly growing from year to year.