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Notable Architecture

Top Rated Attractions in Zurich

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Hauptbahnhof

Though this train station is an impressive building of its own, not to mention a major thoroughfare for countless travelers every day, it may be better known for the neighborhood that has grown around it. Bahnhofstrasse is now synonymous with the high-class shopping center in this cosmopolitan city and has a lot of traffic moving through the station. As you move through Hauptbahnhof, take a minute to stop and look around. The architecture is brilliant here. A great place to orient yourself with the city, there are many tourist-information desks and kiosks that offer tours to the wandering visitors.

Grossmünster

A venerated cathedral made memorable by its imposing twin towers, Grossmünster is among the best-known landmarks in Zurich. Construction on the Romanesque-style structure began in the early 12th Century and continued for roughly 110 years. Legend reckons that the church was built as a monastery on the graves of Zurich's patron saints Felix and Regula and today proudly stands guard over the city and its spectacular landscape. Other significant architectural features apart from the towers include magnificent bronze doors, an 11th-century crypt, and grotesque-ornamented capitals that top the medieval columns of the grand south portal. Besides its architectural glory, the Grossmünster is also revered for its historical significance as the site where religious leader Huldrych Zwingli launched the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland during the 16th Century. The cathedral has since witnessed a handful of modifications, such as the stained-glass windows added in 1932 by Augusto Giacometti.

Fraumünster

Once an all-women abbey for those of aristocratic lineage, the Fraumünster Church commands dignity and a place of pride in Zurich. Perhaps one of the most striking features of this church is the troupe of magnificent, diversely colored stained glass windows crafted by renowned artists Marc Chagall and Augusto Giacometti. Another such recognizable gem of the church is its soaring tower, which was built in 1732, standing today in stark contrast to the twin towers of the nearby Grossmünster. This Gothic-Romanesque church also features an ornate nave, a Romanesque chancel, and exquisite frescoes which are but an escape into the church's storied past. Topped by a gleaming teal cap, this church proudly graces the heart of Zurich's old town.

Predigerkirche

The Predigerkirche in Zurich is a beautiful protestant church with spectacular architecture. It is was built somewhere in the 13th Century and was run by Dominican monks but was turned into a protestant church after the Zwingli Reformation. Besides the wooden church pews, the side aisle has a library and a seating area with chairs for lunch that is served every Sunday. Almost every evening the church is a venue for Christian concerts.

St. Peterskirche

Augmented by the steely waters of the Limmat River, this church is a stirring escape into history. A stone's throw from Lindenhof Hill in the old town of Zurich, this is one of the four major churches in the city. Although the current holy site was not declared sacred until 1706, an early church structure was believed to have been built by the 8th or 9th Century. The most iconic feature of St. Peterskirche is its clock tower, which plays host to the largest clock face in the country, its minute hand alone measuring 5.7 meters (18.8 feet). With a facade as legendary and imposing as this, it is no surprise that St. Peter Church lords over pristine, fawn-roofed houses which dot the charming landscape of Old Town. However, the interiors of the church are just as beautiful, its stuccoed white ceiling and carved wooden balconies illuminated by a line of chandeliers that swing overhead. While an ornate Romanesque choir stall and Baroque naves add to its magnificence, it is the now faded murals that are a true testimony to the church's long-standing history and religious repute.

Kapellbrücke

Constructed in 1333, Kapellbrücke is the oldest covered wooden bridge in all of Europe. The truss-style landmark crosses the Reuss River and features a prominent water tower, which was originally constructed as part of the fortification for the city and used later as a treasury, prison, and torture chamber. Named for nearby St. Peter's Chapel, the bridge also houses paintings dating back to the 1600s though many of its artworks have unfortunately been destroyed over time. Today, Kapellbrücke is one of the most photographed landmarks in Lucerne and makes for a supremely pleasant addition to any itinerary.

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