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Running parallel to the Limmat River, Limmatquai is a sunny street within walking distance of Zurich's main train station. It offers a mix of high-end and budget clothing and shoe stores, some of which are sheltered by shady arcades. In addition to numerous shops and Cafés, Limmatquai is also home to several beautiful guild houses as well as the city hall. From here there is a good view of Grossmünster and Fraumünster, two of Zurich's most famous churches. When the weather is fine, street musicians entertain the happy listeners who gather on the benches along the river.
Housed in a historic guild house of the same name built in the 1348 for nobility, the restaurant assumes much of the character afforded by this majestic piece of history. The dining room with its elegant wooden ceiling, stone walls and wooden windows create an exquisite ambiance for enjoying your meal. The menu concentrates on seasonal specialties crafted to perfection by the chef. In sharp contrast to the dining room is the Ruden bar with an extreme modern, but elegant interiors. Head out for a relaxing drink after your meal.
The influence of Roman culture on the city of Zurich can be viewed at Thermengasse. Roman thermal baths dating back to the 3rd century AD (they actually date way back to the 1st century, but were subsequently remodeled) were discovered here in 1983, and have since been excavated so the public can marvel at their uniquely artistic designs and structure. They can be viewed around the clock, but only through a protective iron grating.
The Fraumünster is famed for its incredibly colorful stained-glass windows designed by Marc Chagall. The church was, however, built a long time before the window was created and was a present from Ludwig des Deutschen (literally, “Ludwig of the Germans”) to his daughter, who was the first Abbess of the ladies' chapter. Not only did she rule over extensive territory, she also had a private mint; however, only the cloister and church with its romantic choir and Gothic nave were spared the wrath of the Reformation. The tower on the left-hand side of the building was erected in 1732 and presents a refreshing antithesis to the nearby twin towers of the Grossmünster.
The Grossmunster is possibly Zurich's best-known landmark. The crypt, dating from the latter part of the 11th Century, counts amongst the oldest surviving elements of the original Carolingian Münster or cathedral. The 12th Century brought the introduction of the nave and its impressive cloister, while the galleried basilica dates from a later period. The imposing twin towers displaying elements of Roman, Gothic and New Gothic styles, along with the frequently altered plans for extensions, caused a lengthy building phase. In 1762 the bell tower was destroyed by fire and following this the twin towers were given their present characteristic design. It was as a result of the reformation that the Grossmünster was transformed into the more soberly designed religious building it is today. Make sure you see the Sigmar Polke window.
This biennial medieval festival is all about fun, music, ancient culture, theatrical acts, handicrafts and more. High energy is on display in lively dances, sword fights, and acrobatic acts. Food-stalls lure visitors with aromas of fresh pastries, homemade wines, meat preparations, and other treats. Held at various venues, the medieval heritage is celebrated with gusto.