Zürich or Zurich (/ˈzjʊərɪk/ ZEWR-ik) is the largest city in
Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zürich. It is located in
north-central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zürich.
The municipality has approximately 400,028 inhabitants, the urban
agglomeration 1.315 million and the
Zürich metropolitan area
Zürich metropolitan area 1.83
Zürich is a hub for railways, roads, and air traffic.
Zürich Airport and railway station are the largest and busiest
in the country.
Permanently settled for over 2000 years,
Zürich was founded by the
Romans, who, in 15 BC, called it Turicum. However, early settlements
have been found dating back more than 6400 years ago. During the
Zürich gained the independent and privileged status of
imperial immediacy and, in 1519, became a primary centre of the
Protestant Reformation in Europe under the leadership of Huldrych
The official language of
Zürich is German,[a] but the main spoken
language is the local variant of the Alemannic
Swiss German dialect.
Many museums and art galleries can be found in the city, including the
Swiss National Museum
Swiss National Museum and the Kunsthaus.
Schauspielhaus Zürich is
one of the most important theatres in the German-speaking world.
Zürich is a leading global city and among the world's largest
financial centres despite having a relatively small population.
The city is home to a large number of financial institutions and
banking companies. Most of Switzerland's research and development
centres are concentrated in
Zürich and the low tax rates attract
overseas companies to set up their headquarters there.
Monocle's 2012 "Quality of Life Survey" ranked
Zürich first on a list
of the top 25 cities in the world "to make a base within".
According to several surveys from 2006 to 2008,
Zürich was named the
city with the best quality of life in the world as well as the
wealthiest city in Europe in terms of GDP per capita. The
Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Ranking sees
Zürich rank among the top ten most liveable cities in the world.
2.1 Early history
2.3 Modern history
2.4 Coat of arms
3.4.1 National Council
3.5 International relations
3.5.1 Twin towns and sister cities
4.3 Climate protection
4.4 Urban area
5.1 Public transport
5.2 Zurich Airport
5.3 Road traffic
5.4 Bicycle transport
7 Main sites
7.3 Parks and nature
7.5 World heritage sites
8.1 Contributory factors to economic strength
Swiss stock exchange
9 Education and research
9.1 State universities by size in Canton Zürich
10.1 Television and radio
10.2 Print media
11.1 Opera, ballet and theaters
11.3 Nightlife and clubbing
13 Notable people
14 Further reading
15 See also
16 Notes and references
17 External links
In Standard German, the city name is written Zürich, and pronounced
[ˈtsyːrɪç] ( listen). In the local dialect of Swiss
German, the name is pronounced without the final consonant, as Züri
[ˈtsyri], although the adjective remains Zürcher(in) [ˈtsyrxər].
The city is called Zurich [zyʁik] in French, Zurigo [dzuˈriːɡo] in
Italian, and Turitg [tuˈritɕ] in Romansh.
In English, the name used to be written as Zurich, without the umlaut.
Even so, standard English practice for German calques is to either
preserve the umlaut or replace it with the base letter followed by e
(i.e. Zuerich). It is pronounced /ˈzjʊərɪk/ (ZEWR-ik); more
recently sometimes also with /ts/ as in German.
The earliest known form of the city's name is Turicum, attested on a
tombstone of the late 2nd century AD in the form STA(tio) TURICEN(sis)
Turicum tax post"). The name is interpreted as a derivation from a
given name, possibly
Gaulish personal name Tūros, for a reconstructed
native form of the toponym of *Turīcon. The Latin stress on the
long vowel of the
Gaulish name, [tuˈriːkon], was lost in German
[ˈtsyːrɪç] but is preserved in Italian Zurigo [dzuˈriːɡo] and
in Romansh Turitg [tuˈritɕ]. The first development towards its
later, Germanic form is attested as early as the 6th century with the
form Ziurichi. From the 9th century onward, the name is established in
Old High German
Old High German form Zuri(c)h (857 in villa Zurih, 924 in Zurich
Zürich Stadt). In the early modern period, the name
became associated with the name of the Tigurini, and the name Tigurum
rather than the historical
Turicum is sometimes encountered in Modern
History of Zürich
History of Zürich and Timeline of Zürich
Johann Balthasar Bullinger's imagining of
Zürich in Roman times
Settlements of the
Bronze Age were found around Lake
Zürich. Traces of pre-Roman Celtic, La Tène settlements were
discovered near the
Lindenhof hill. In Roman times,
Turicum was a
tax-collecting point at the border of
Gallia Belgica (from AD 90
Germania Superior) and
Raetia for goods trafficked on the river
Limmat. After Emperor Constantine's reforms in AD 318, the border
Italy (two of the four praetorian prefectures of the
Roman Empire) was located east of Turicum, crossing the river Linth
Lake Walen and Lake Zürich, where a castle and garrison
looked over Turicum's safety. The earliest written record of the town
dates from the 2nd century, with a tombstone referring to it as to the
Statio Turicensis Quadragesima Galliarum ("
Zürich post for collecting
the 2.5% value tax of the Galliae"), discovered at the Lindenhof.
In the 5th century, the Germanic
Alemanni tribe settled in the Swiss
Plateau. The Roman castle remained standing until the 7th century. A
Carolingian castle, built on the site of the Roman castle by the
grandson of Charlemagne, Louis the German, is mentioned in 835 (in
castro Turicino iuxta fluvium Lindemaci). Louis also founded the
Fraumünster abbey in 853 for his daughter Hildegard. He endowed the
Benedictine convent with the lands of Zürich, Uri, and the Albis
forest, and granted the convent immunity, placing it under his direct
authority. In 1045, King Henry III granted the convent the right to
hold markets, collect tolls, and mint coins, and thus effectively made
the abbess the ruler of the city.
Imperial immediacy (Reichsunmittelbar, becoming an
Imperial free city) in 1218 with the extinction of the main line of
the Zähringer family and attained a status comparable to statehood.
During the 1230s, a city wall was built, enclosing 38 hectares, when
the earliest stone houses on the Rennweg were built as well. The
Carolingian castle was used as a quarry, as it had started to fall
Emperor Frederick II promoted the abbess of the
Fraumünster to the
rank of a duchess in 1234. The abbess nominated the mayor, and she
frequently delegated the minting of coins to citizens of the city. The
political power of the convent slowly waned in the 14th century,
beginning with the establishment of the Zunftordnung (guild laws) in
1336 by Rudolf Brun, who also became the first independent mayor, i.e.
not nominated by the abbess.
An important event in the early 14th century was the completion of the
Manesse Codex, a key source of medieval German poetry. The famous
illuminated manuscript – described as "the most beautifully
illumined German manuscript in centuries;" – was commissioned by
the Manesse family of Zürich, copied and illustrated in the city at
some time between 1304 and 1340. Producing such a work was a highly
expensive prestige project, requiring several years work by highly
skilled scribes and miniature painters, and it clearly testifies
to the increasing wealth and pride of
Zürich citizens in this period.
A scene depicting the
Old Zürich War
Old Zürich War in 1443 (1514, illustration in
Federal Chronicle by Werner Schodoler)
On 1 May 1351, the citizens of
Zürich had to swear allegiance before
representatives of the cantons of Lucerne, Schwyz, Uri and
Unterwalden, the other members of the
Swiss Confederacy. Thus, Zürich
became the fifth member of the Confederacy, which was at that time a
loose confederation of de facto independent states.
Zürich was the
presiding canton of the Diet from 1468 to 1519. This authority was the
executive council and lawmaking body of the confederacy, from the
Middle Ages until the establishment of the
Swiss federal state in
Zürich was temporarily expelled from the confederacy in 1440
due to a war with the other member states over the territory of
Toggenburg (the Old
Zürich War). Neither side had attained
significant victory when peace was agreed upon in 1446, and Zürich
was readmitted to the confederation in 1450.
Murerplan of 1576
Zwingli started the
Swiss Reformation at the time when he was the main
preacher in the 1520s, at the Grossmünster. He lived there from 1484
until his death in 1531. The
Zürich Bible, based on that of Zwingli,
was issued in 1531. The Reformation resulted in major changes in state
matters and civil life in Zürich, spreading also to a number of other
cantons. Several cantons remained Catholic and became the basis of
serious conflicts that eventually led to the outbreak of the Wars of
During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Council of
Zürich adopted an
isolationist attitude, resulting in a second ring of imposing
fortifications built in 1624. The
Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War which raged across
Europe motivated the city to build these walls. The fortifications
required a lot of resources, which were taken from subject territories
without reaching any agreement. The following revolts were crushed
brutally. In 1648,
Zürich proclaimed itself a republic, shedding its
former status of a free imperial city. In this time the political
Zürich was an oligarchy (Patriziat): the dominant families
of the city were the following ones: Bonstetten, Brun, Bürkli, Escher
vom Glas, Escher vom Luchs, Hirzel, Jori (or von Jori), Kilchsperger,
Landenberg, Manesse, Meiss, Meyer von Knonau, Mülner, von Orelli.
Fighting on the
Paradeplatz during the Züriputsch
The Helvetic Revolution of 1798 saw the fall of the Ancien Régime.
Zürich lost control of the land and its economic privileges, and the
city and the canton separated their possessions between 1803–05. In
1839, the city had to yield to the demands of its urban subjects,
Züriputsch of 6 September. Most of the ramparts built
in the 17th century were torn down, without ever having been besieged,
to allay rural concerns over the city's hegemony. The Treaty of
Zürich between Austria, France, and Sardinia was signed in 1859.
Bahnhofplatz in 1900
Zürich was the Federal capital for 1839–40, and consequently, the
victory of the Conservative party there in 1839 caused a great stir
throughout Switzerland. But when in 1845 the Radicals regained power
at Zürich, which was again the Federal capital for 1845–46, Zürich
took the lead in opposing the
Sonderbund cantons. Following the
Sonderbund war and the formation of the
Swiss Federal State, Zürich
voted in favour of the Federal constitutions of 1848 and of 1874. The
enormous immigration from the country districts into the town from the
1830s onwards created an industrial class which, though "settled" in
the town, did not possess the privileges of burghership, and
consequently had no share in the municipal government. First of all in
1860 the town schools, hitherto open to "settlers" only on paying high
fees, were made accessible to all, next in 1875 ten years' residence
ipso facto conferred the right of burghership, and in 1893 the eleven
outlying districts were incorporated within the town proper.
Extensive developments took place during the 19th century. From 1847,
the Spanisch-Brötli-Bahn, the first railway on
Zürich with Baden, putting the
Zürich Hauptbahnhof at the
origin of the
Swiss rail network. The present building of the
Hauptbahnhof (the main railway station) dates to 1871. Zürich's
Bahnhofstrasse (Station Street) was laid out in 1867, and the Zürich
Stock Exchange was founded in 1877.
Industrialisation led to migration
into the cities and to rapid population growth, particularly in the
suburbs of Zürich.
The Quaianlagen are an important milestone in the development of the
modern city of Zürich, as the construction of the new lake front
Zürich from a small medieval town on the rivers Limmat
Sihl to an attractive modern city on the Zürichsee shore, under
the guidance of the city engineer Arnold Bürkli.
In 1893, the twelve outlying districts were incorporated into Zürich,
including Aussersihl, the workman's quarter on the left bank of the
Sihl, and additional land was reclaimed from Lake Zürich.
In 1934, eight additional districts in the north and west of Zürich
Zürich was accidentally bombed during World War II.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms on the Town Hall
The blue and white coat of arms of
Zürich is attested from 1389 and
was derived from banners with blue and white stripes in use since
1315. The first certain testimony of banners with the same design is
from 1434. The coat of arms is flanked by two lions. The red Schwenkel
on top of the banner had varying interpretations: For the people of
Zürich, it was a mark of honour, granted by Rudolph I. Zürich's
neighbours mocked it as a sign of shame, commemorating the loss of the
Winterthur in 1292. Today, the
Canton of Zürich
Canton of Zürich uses the
same coat of arms as the city.[unreliable source]
Main article: Subdivisions of Zürich
Zürich's twelve municipal districts
The previous boundaries of the city of
Zürich (before 1893) were more
or less synonymous with the location of the old town. Two large
expansions of the city limits occurred in 1893 and in 1934 when the
Zürich merged with many surrounding municipalities, that had
been growing increasingly together since the 19th century. Today, the
city is divided into twelve districts (known as Kreis in German),
numbered 1 to 12, each one of which contains between one and four
Kreis 1, known as Altstadt, contains the old town, both to the east
and west of the start of the Limmat. District 1 contains the
neighbourhoods of Hochschulen, Rathaus, Lindenhof, and City.
Kreis 2 lies along the west side of Lake Zürich, and contains the
neighbourhoods of Enge, Wollishofen and Leimbach.
Kreis 3, known as
Wiedikon is between the
Sihl and the Uetliberg, and
contains the neighbourhoods of Alt-Wiedikon, Sihlfeld and Friesenberg.
Kreis 4, known as
Aussersihl lies between the
Sihl and the train
Zürich Hauptbahnhof, and contains the neighbourhoods
of Werd, Langstrasse, and Hard.
Kreis 5, known as Industriequartier, is between the
Limmat and the
train tracks leaving
Zürich Hauptbahnhof, it contains the former
industrial area of
Zürich which has gone under a large-scale rezoning
to create upscale modern housing, retail and commercial real estate.
It contains the neighborhoods of Gewerbeschule, and Escher-Wyss.
Kreis 6 is on the edge of the Zürichberg, a hill overlooking the
eastern part of the city. District 6 contains the neighbourhoods of
Oberstrass and Unterstrass.
Kreis 7 is on the edge of the
Adlisberg hill as well as the
Zürichberg, on the eastern side of the city. District 7 contains the
neighbourhoods of Fluntern, Hottingen, and Hirslanden. These
neighbourhoods are home to Zürich's wealthiest and more prominent
residents. The neighbourhood
Witikon also belongs to district 7.
Kreis 8, officially called Riesbach, but colloquially known as
Seefeld, lies on the eastern side of Lake Zürich. District 8 consists
of the neighbourhoods of Seefeld, Mühlebach, and Weinegg.
Kreis 9 is between the
Limmat to the north and the
Uetliberg to the
south. It contains the neighbourhoods Altstetten and Albisrieden.
Kreis 10 is to the east of the
Limmat and to the south of the
Käferberg hills. District 10 contains the
Höngg and Wipkingen.
Kreis 11 is in the area north of the Hönggerberg and
Glatt Valley and the
Katzensee (Cats Lake). It contains
the neighbourhoods of Affoltern, Oerlikon and Seebach.
Kreis 12, known as Schwamendingen, is located in the Glattal (Glatt
valley) on the northern side of the Zürichberg. District 12 contains
the neighbourhoods of Saatlen, Schwamendigen Mitte, and Hirzenbach.
Most of the district boundaries are fairly similar to the original
boundaries of the previously existing municipalities before they were
incorporated into the city of Zürich.
See also: List of mayors of Zürich
City Council (Stadtrat) constitutes the executive government of
Zürich and operates as a collegiate authority. It is
composed of nine councilors, each presiding over a department.
Departmental tasks, coordination measures and implementation of laws
decreed by the Municipal Council are carried out by the
The regular election of the
City Council by any inhabitant valid to
vote is held every four years. The mayor (German: Stadtpräsident(in))
is elected as such by a public election by a system of Majorz while
the heads of the other departments are assigned by the collegiate. Any
resident of Zurich allowed to vote can be elected as a member of the
City Council. In the mandate period 2014–2018 (Legislatur) the City
Council is presided by mayor Corine Mauch. The executive body holds
its meetings in the
City Hall (German: Stadthaus), on the left bank of
the Limmat. The building was built in 1883 in Renaissance style.
As of 2014[update], the
City Council is made up of four
representatives of the SP (Social Democratic Party, one of whom is the
mayor), two members of the FDP (Free Democratic Party) and one member
each of Green Party, CVP (Christian Democratic Party) and AL
Alternative Left Party), giving the left parties a combined six out
of nine seats. The last regular election was held on 4 March 2018.
The Stadtrat of Zurich
City Councilor (Stadtrat / Stadträtin)
Head of Office (Departement, since) of
Corine Mauch[SR 1]
Mayor's Office (Präsidialdepartement, 2009)
Finance (Finanzdepartement, 2013)
Police (Polizeidepartement, 2013)
Health and Environment (Gesundheits- und Umweltdepartement, 2010)
Civil Engineering and Waste Management (Tiefbau- und
Structural Engineering (Hochbaudepartement, 2010)
Andres Türler[SR 2]
Industrial Facilities (Departement der Industriellen Betriebe, 2002)
Gerold Lauper[SR 3]
Education and Sports (Schul- und Sportdepartement, 2006)
Social Services (Sozialdepartement, 2014)
^ Mayor (Stadtpräsidentin)
^ 2nd Vice President (II. Vizepräsident)
^ 1st Vice President (I. Vizepräsident)
Claudia Cuche-Curti is Town Chronicler (Stadtschreiberin) since 2012,
and Peter Saile is Legal Counsel (Rechtskonsulent) since 2000 for the
The Gemeinderat of
Zürich for the mandate period of 2014–2018
The Municipal Council (Gemeinderat) holds the legislative power. It is
made up of 125 members (Gemeindrat / Gemeinderätin), with elections
held every four years. The Municipal Council decrees regulations and
by-laws that are executed by the
City Council and the administration.
The sessions of the Municipal Council are held in public. Unlike those
City Council, the members of the Municipal Council are not
politicians by profession but are paid a fee based on their
attendance. Any resident of
Zürich allowed to vote can be elected as
a member of the Municipal Council. The legislative body holds its
meetings in the town hall (Rathaus), on the right bank of the Limmat
opposite to the
City Hall (Stadthaus).
The last election of the Municipal Council was held on 9 February 2014
for the mandate period of 2014–2018. Currently, the Municipal
Council consist of 39 members of the Social Democratic Party (SP), 22
members of the
Swiss People's Party
Swiss People's Party (SVP), 21 The Liberals (FDP), 14
Green Party (GPS), 13 Green Liberal Party (GLP), 9 Alternative List
(AL), 6 Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP), and 1 member
without any association to a party.
In the 2015 election for the
Swiss National Council the most popular
party was the SPS which received 31.3% of the vote. The next four most
popular parties were the SVP (18.1%), the FDP (14.2%), the GPS
(10.7%), the GLP (9.2%). In the federal election, a total of 114,377
voters were cast, and the voter turnout was 46.2%.
Twin towns and sister cities
Zürich is partnered with two sister cities:
Kunming and San
Limmat in Zürich
The city stretches on both sides of the Limmat, which flows out of
Lake Zürich. The
Alps can be seen from the city center, background to
Zürich is situated at 408 m (1,339 ft) above sea level on
the lower (northern) end of
Lake Zürich (Zürichsee) about 30
kilometers (19 mi) north of the Alps, nestling between the wooded
hills on the west and east side. The Old Town stretches on both sides
of the Limmat, which flows from the lake, running northwards at first
and then gradually turning into a curve to the west. The geographic
(and historic) centre of the city is the Lindenhof, a small natural
hill on the west bank of the Limmat, about 700 m (2,300 ft)
north of where the river issues from Lake Zürich. Today the
incorporated city stretches somewhat beyond the natural confines of
the hills and includes some districts to the northeast in the Glatt
Valley (Glattal) and to the north in the
Limmat Valley (Limmattal).
The boundaries of the older city are easy to recognize by the
Schanzengraben canal. This artificial watercourse has been used for
the construction of the third fortress in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The municipality of
Zürich has an area of 91.88 km2
(35.48 sq mi), of which 4.1 km2 (1.6 sq mi)
is made up of Lake Zürich. The area includes a section of the
Swiss Plateau. The banks of the
Limmat constitute the densest
part of the city. The river is oriented in the southeast-northwest
direction, with the flat valley floor having a width of two to two to
three kilometres (1.2 to 1.9 miles). The partially channeled and
Limmat does not flow in the central part of the valley,
but always along its right (northeastern) side. The
Sihl meets with
Limmat at the end of Platzspitz, which borders the
Limmat reaches the lowest point of the municipality in
Oberengstringen at 392 m (1,286 ft) above sea level.
Topographic map of
Zürich and surroundings
Felsenegg from Lake Zürich
Zürich from Waidberg
On its west side, the
Limmat valley is flanked by the wooded heights
Albis chain, which runs along the western border. The Uetliberg
is, with 869 m (2,851 ft) above sea level, the highest
elevation of the surrounding area. Its summit can be reached easily by
the Uetlibergbahn. From the platform of the observation tower on the
summit, an impressive panorama of the city, the lake, and the
The northeast side of the
Limmat valley includes a range of hills,
which marks the watershed between the
Limmat and the Glatt. From the
northwest to the southeast, the height of the mostly wooded knolls
generally increases: the Gubrist (615 m or 2,018 ft), the
Hönggerberg (541 m or 1,775 ft), the
Käferberg (571 m
or 1,873 ft), the
Zürichberg (676 m or 2,218 ft), the
Adlisberg (701 m or 2,300 ft) and the
Öschbrig (696 m
or 2,283 ft). Between the
Käferberg and the
located the saddle of the Milchbuck (about 470 m or
1,540 ft), an important passage from the
Limmat valley to the
The northernmost part of the municipality extends to the plain of the
Glatt valley and to the saddle which makes the connection between the
Glattal and Furttal. Also, a part of the
Katzensee (nature reserve)
and the Büsisee, both of which are drained by the Katzenbach to
Glatt, belong to the city.
Zürich has, depending on the definition used, an oceanic climate
(Köppen Cfb) with four distinct seasons. Decisive for the climate of
Zürich are both the winds from westerly directions, which often
result in precipitation and, on the other hand, the
Bise (east or
north-east wind), which is usually associated with high-pressure
situations, but cooler weather phases with temperatures lower than the
average. The Foehn wind, which plays an important role in the northern
alpine valleys also has some impact on Zürich.
The annual mean temperature at the measuring station of the Federal
Office of Meteorology and Climatology in Zürich-Fluntern
(556 m[1,824 ft] above sea level on the slope of the
Zürichberg, 150 m[490 ft] above the level of the city
centre) is 9.3 °C (48.7 °F). The lowest monthly mean of
daily minimum temperature are measured in January with −2.0 °C
(28.4 °F) and the highest monthly mean of daily maximum
temperature are measured in July with 24.0 °C (75.2 °F).
On average there are 74.9 days in which the minimum temperature is
below 0 °C (32 °F) (so-called frost days), and 23.7 days
in which the maximum temperature is below 0 °C (32 °F)
(so-called ice days). There are on average of 30 so-called summer days
(maximum temperature equal to or above 25 °C [77 °F])
throughout the year, while so-called heat days (with maximum
temperature equal to or above 30 °C [86 °F]) are 5.8
The average high temperature in July is 24.0 °C (75.2 °F)
and average low temperature is 14 °C (57.2 °F). The
highest recorded temperature in
Zürich was 37.7 °C
(100 °F), recorded on July 1947, and typically the warmest day
reaches an average of 32.2 °C (90.0 °F).
Spring and autumn are generally cool to mild, but sometimes with large
differences between warm and cold days even during the same year. The
highest temperature of the month March in 2014 was on the 20th at
20.6 °C (69.1 °F) during a sunny afternoon and the lowest
temperature was on the 25th at −0.4 °C (31.3 °F) during
the night/early morning. Record low of average daily temperatures
in March since 1864 is −12 °C (10 °F) and record high of
average daily temperatures in March is 16 °C (61 °F).
Record low of average daily temperatures in October is −16 °C
(3 °F) and record high of average daily temperatures in October
is 20 °C (68 °F).
Zürich has an average of 1,544 hours of sunshine per year and shines
on 38% of its potential time throughout the year. During the months
April until September the sun shines between 150 and 215 hours per
month. The 1,134 millimetres (44.6 in) rainfall spread on 133.9
days with precipitation throughout the year. Roughly about every third
day you will encounter at least some precipitation, which is very much
Swiss average. During the warmer half of the year and especially
during the three summer months, the strength of rainfall is higher
than those measured in winter, but the days with precipitation stays
about the same throughout the year (in average 9.9–12.7 days per
month). October has the lowest number (9.9) of days with some
precipitation. There is an average of 59.5 so-called bright days
(number of days with sunshine duration greater than 80%) through the
year, the most in July and August (7.4, 7.7 days), and the least in
January and December (2.7, 1.8 days). The average number of days with
sunshine duration less than 20%, so-called cloudy days, is 158.4 days,
while the most cloudy days are in November (17.8 days), December (21.7
days), and January with 19 days.
Climate data for Zürich-Fluntern, elevation: 556 m or
1,824 ft, 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1901–present
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average snowfall cm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average snowy days (≥ 1.0 cm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Percent possible sunshine
Source #1: MeteoSwiss
Source #2: KNMI
The city of
Zürich is among the world-leaders in protecting the
climate by following a manifold approach. In November 2008 the
Zürich voted in a public referendum to write into law the
quantifiable and fixed deadline of one tonne of CO2 per person per
annum by 2050. This forces any decision of the executive to support
this goal, even if the costs are higher in all dimensions. Some
examples are the new disinfection section of the public city hospital
in Triemli (Minergie-P quality – passive house)[clarification
needed], the continued optimisation and creation of public
transportation, enlargement of the bicycle-only network, research and
projects for renewable energy and enclosure of
The areas surrounding the
Limmat are almost completely developed with
residential, industrial, and commercial zones. The sunny and desirable
residential areas in the hills overlooking Zürich, Waidberg and
Zürichberg, and the bottom part of the slope on the western side of
the valley on the Uetliberg, are also densely built.
The "green lungs" of the city include the vast forest areas of
Adlisberg, Zürichberg, Käferberg, Hönggerberg and Uetliberg. Major
parks are also located along the lakeshore (Zürichhorn and Enge),
while smaller parks dot the city. Larger contiguous agricultural lands
are located near Affoltern and Seebach. Of the total area of the
Zürich (in 1996, without the lake), 45.4% is
residential, industrial and commercial, 15.5% is transportation
infrastructure, 26.5% is forest, 11%: is agriculture and 1.2% is
Lake Zürich from the Uetliberg
Main articles: Verkehrsbetriebe Zürich, Trams in Zürich,
Trolleybuses in Zürich, and
A paddle steamer on Lake Zürich
Public transport is extremely popular in Zürich, and its inhabitants
use public transport in large numbers. About 70% of the visitors to
the city use the tram or bus, and about half of the journeys within
the municipality take place on public transport. Within Zürich
and throughout the canton of Zürich, the
ZVV network of public
transport has traffic density ratings among the highest worldwide.
When adding frequency, which in
Zürich can be as often as seven
minutes, it does become the densest across all dimensions.[citation
needed] Three means of mass-transit exist: the S-Bahn (local trains),
trams, and buses (both diesel and electric, also called trolley
buses). In addition, the public transport network includes boats on
the lake and river, funicular railways and even the Luftseilbahn
Felsenegg (LAF), a cable car between
Adliswil and Felsenegg.
Tickets purchased for a trip are valid on all means of public
transportation (train, tram, bus, boat). The
Zürichsee-Schifffahrtsgesellschaft (commonly abbreviated to ZSG)
operates passenger vessels on the
Limmat and the Lake Zürich,
connecting surrounding towns between
Zürich and Rapperswil.
The busy Hauptbahnhof main hall
Zürich is a mixed hub for railways, roads, and air traffic. Zürich
Zürich HB) is the largest and busiest station in
Switzerland and is an important railway hub in Europe. There are
between 350,000 and 500,000 commuters daily making use of this central
network node – a significant figure in comparison to Zürich's
population. With regard to the number of trains daily entering and
leaving a single railway station,
Zürich HB is the world's most
frequently served railway station, with 2915 trains every
day. Among the 16 railway stations (and 10 additional
train stops) within Zürich's city borders, there are five other major
passenger railway stations. Three of them belong to the ten most
frequented railway stations in Switzerland: Stadelhofen, Oerlikon,
Altstetten, Hardbrücke, and Enge. The railway network is mainly
operated by the
Swiss Federal Railways
Swiss Federal Railways (SBB CFF FFS), but
Zürich is also served by major
EuroCity trains from the neighbouring
countries and is a destination for both French/
Swiss (TGV Lyria) and
German (ICE) high-speed trains, as well as by Austrian RailJet.
Zürich Airport is located less than 10 kilometers (6.2 mi)
northeast of the city in Kloten.
Zürich Airport has its own railway
station, which is located underground. It is directly connected to
Zürich and most of the major
Zürich airport is served
by more than 60 passenger airlines from around the world. It is also
served by one cargo airline and is a hub for
Swiss International Air
Lines. There is also an airfield in Dübendorf.
The A1, A3 and A4 motorways pass close to Zürich. The A1 heads west
Geneva and eastwards towards St. Gallen; the A4 leads
Schaffhausen and southwards to Altdorf connecting with
the A2 towards Chiasso; and the A3 heads northwest towards
Lake Zürich and
Lake Walen towards Sargans.
In 2012, the city council launched a program to improve the city's
attractiveness for bicycle traffic. The so-called "Masterplan
Velo" is part of the superordinate framework Stadtverkehr 2025
which shapes the future of the different means of transport. Research
revealed that infrastructure and the social environment are essential
factors in improving a city's appeal to bicycle traffic. Three
main goals are specified: First, the modal share of bicycle traffic
should be enhanced to twice the value of 2011 by 2015. Second,
cyclists' safety should be improved to lower the overall accident
risk. Third, cycling should be established as an everyday means of
transport with a special focus on children and young people.
In terms of infrastructure, the city aims to build up a network of
distinctive bicycle routes in order to achieve these objectives. At a
final stage, the network will consist of main routes (Hauptrouten) for
everyday use and comfort routes (Komfortrouten), with the latter
focussing on leisure cycling. Additional measures such as special
Velostationen providing bike related services are expected to help to
further improve the quality. One of the key projects of the system is
a tunnel beneath the tracks of the main railway station planned to
combine a main connection with staffed possibilities where commuters
can leave their bikes throughout the day. Apart from
infrastructural measures, further approaches are planned in the fields
of communication, education and administration.
However, these efforts cause critique, mainly due to postponing. The
institution of the bike tunnel at the main railway station, originally
planned for 2016, is currently (2016) delayed to at least 2019.
Pro Velo, a nationwide interest group, has publicly questioned whether
the masterplan already failed. The critique aims at badly governed
traffic management at construction sites, missing possibilities to
park bikes in the city as well as rather diffident ambitions. In
response, the responsible city department points to the big
investments made every year and mentions ongoing discussions that
would finally lead to even better results.
Augustinergasse in the old town
There are 402,762 people living in
Zürich (as of 31 December
2016), making it Switzerland's largest city. Of registered
inhabitants (in 2016), 32% (133,473) do not hold Swiss
citizenship. Of these, German citizens make up the largest group
with 8% (33,548), followed by Italians 3.5% (14,543). The
population of the city including suburbs totals 1.19 million
people. The entire metropolitan area (including the cities of
Winterthur, Baden, Brugg, Schaffhausen, Frauenfeld, Uster/Wetzikon,
Rapperswil-Jona and Zug) has a population of around 1.83 million
Largest groups of foreign residents 2016
The official formal language used by governmental institutions, print,
news, universities/schools, courts, theater and in any kind of written
form is (the
Swiss variety of Standard) German, while the spoken
Zürich German (Züritüütsch), one of the several more
or less distinguishable, but mutually intelligible
Switzerland with roots in the medieval Alemannic German
dialect groups. However, because of Zürich's national importance, and
therefore its existing high fluctuation, one can hear all kinds of
Swiss German dialects spoken by its inhabitants and commuters. As of
the December 2010 census, 69.3% of the population speaks diglossic
Swiss Standard German as their mother-tongue at home.
Some 22.7% of inhabitants speak
Standard German in their family
environment ("at home"). Dramatically increasing, according to the
last census in 2000, 8.8% now speak English. Italian follows behind at
7.1% of the population, then French at 4.5%. Other languages spoken
here include Croatian and Serbian (4.1%), Spanish (3.9%), Portuguese
(3.1%), and Albanian (2.3%). (Multiple choices were possible.) Thus
20% of the population speak two or more languages at home.
Further information: Reformation in Zürich
Zürich - 2010
Protestant Reformation reached Zürich, it was de jure and
de facto Roman Catholic.
Protestant Reformation led by
Huldrych Zwingli made
Zürich both a
theological centre and a stronghold of Protestantism in Switzerland.
Swiss city with a comparable status was Geneva, the so-called
Protestant Rome, where
John Calvin and his Protestant Reformers
Zürich attracted other influential Protestant Reformers
like Heinrich Bullinger.
Zwingli translated the Bible (
into the local variety of German and introduced the Reformation by
winning support of the magistrates, the princess abbess Katharina von
Zimmern and the largely peasant population of the Canton of Zürich.
The canton unanimously adopted the
Reformed tradition as represented
by Zwingli. Religious wars between Catholics and Protestants tormented
Zwingli died for political and religious
reasons by defending the
Canton of Zürich
Canton of Zürich in the Battle of Kappel.
Bullinger took over his role as the city's spiritual leader.
In 1970, about 53% of the population were
Swiss Reformed, while almost
40% were Roman Catholic. Since then both large
Swiss churches, the
Roman Catholic Church and
Swiss Reformed Church, have been constantly
losing members, though for the Catholic Church the decrease started 20
years later in around 1990. Nevertheless, for the last twenty years
both confessions have been reduced by 10% to the current figures
(census 2010): 30%
Roman Catholic and 26%
Swiss Reformed (organized in
Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Zürich). In 1970, only
2% of Zürich's inhabitants claimed to be not affiliated with any
religious confession. In accordance with the loss by the large Swiss
churches, the number of people declaring themselves as non-affiliated
rose to 17% in the year 2000. In the last ten years, this figure rose
to more than 25%. For the group of people, being between 24 and 44
years old, this is as high as one in every third person.
5% of Zürich's inhabitants are Muslims, a slight decrease of 1%
compared to the year 2000. The Mahmood Mosque Zürich, situated in
Forchstrasse is the first mosque built in Switzerland.
The population of Jewish ethnicity and religion has been more or less
constant since 1970 at about 1%. The
Synagoge Zürich Löwenstrasse
Synagoge Zürich Löwenstrasse is
the oldest and largest synagogue of Zürich.
Nearly one tenth of the city's population are members of
non-state-recognized Christian denominations (for example the Eastern
Orthodox Church).
More than 2% of Zürich's population account for non-monotheistic
religions (such as
Buddhism or Hinduism).
The level of unemployment in
Zürich was 3.2% in July 2012. In
2008, the average monthly income was about CHF 7000 before any
deductions for social insurances and taxes. In 2010, there were
12,994 cases (on average per month) of direct or indirect welfare
payments from the state.
Zürich old town
Bahnhofstrasse seen from Paradeplatz
Most of Zürich's sites are located within the area on either side of
the Limmat, between the Main railway station and Lake Zürich. The
churches and houses of the old town are clustered here, as are the
most expensive shops along the famous Bahnhofstrasse. The
the old town is the historical site of the Roman castle, and the later
Carolingian Imperial Palace.
Grossmünster (Great Minster) According to legend, Charlemagne
discovered the graves of the city's martyrs Felix and Regula and had
built the first church as a monastery; start of current building
around 1100; in the first half of the 16th century, the Great Minster
was the starting point of the Swiss-German Reformation led by Huldrych
Zwingli and Heinrich Bullinger; declared by
church; romanesque crypt, romanesque capitals in the church and
cloister; choir windows by
Augusto Giacometti (1932) and Sigmar Polke
(2009), bronze doors by
Otto Münch (1935 and 1950).
Fraumünster (Women's Minster) Church of a former abbey for
aristocratical women from southern
Germany which was founded in 853 by
Louis the German
Louis the German for his daughter Hildegard; first church built before
874; the romanesque choir dates from 1250–70; the church enjoyed the
patronage of kings and had the right of coinage from
Zürich to the
13th century; after the Reformation, church and convent passed into
the possession of the city; the most important jewelry – in addition
to the largest organ in the canton with its 5,793 pipes and 92 stops
– are color windows: the window in the north transept of Augusto
Giacometti (1945), the five-part cycle in the choir (1970) and the
rosette in the southern transept (1978) are by Marc Chagall; also the
church of Zürich's largest choir with 100 and more singers.
St. Peter romanesque-gothic-baroque church built on remains of former
churches from before the 9th century; with the largest church clock
face in Europe built 1538; baptismal font of 1598, baroque stucco;
individual stalls from the 15th century from city repealed monasteries
with rich carvings and armrests; Kanzellettner (increased barrier
between the nave and choir with built-pulpit) of 1705 pulpit sounding
board about 1790; rich Akanthus embellishment with Bible verse above
the pulpit; 1971 new crystal chandelier modeled according 1710 design;
organ in 1974 with 53 stops; Bells: five from 1880, the largest, A
minor, without clapper weighs about 6,000 kg (13,228 lb);
fire guard in the tower to the Middle Ages to 1911.
Predigerkirche is one of the four main churches of the old town, first
built in 1231 AD as a Romanesque church of the then Dominican
Predigerkloster nearby the Neumarkt. It was converted in the first
half of the 14th century, and the choir rebuilt between 1308 and 1350.
Due to its construction and for that time unusual high bell tower, it
was regarded as most high Gothic edifice in Zürich.
Zürich Museum of Art – The Museum of Art, also known as Kunsthaus
Zürich, is one of the significant art museums of Europe. It holds one
of the largest collections in Classic
Modern art in the world (Munch,
Picasso, Braque, Giacometti, etc.). The museum also features a large
library collection of photographs.
Swiss National Museum
Swiss National Museum – The National Museum (German: Landesmuseum)
displays many objects that illustrate the cultural and historical
background of Switzerland. It also contains many ancient artifacts,
including stained glass, costumes, painted furniture and weapons. The
museum is located in the
Platzspitz park opposite to the
Centre Le Corbusier
Centre Le Corbusier – Located on the shore of the Lake Zürich
nearby Zürichhorn, the
Centre Le Corbusier
Centre Le Corbusier (also named: Heidi Weber
Museum), is an art museum dedicated to the work of the
Le Corbusier, inside the last house he designed.
Rietberg Museum – The Rietberg Museum, situated in Gablerstrasse, is
one of the great repositories of art and culture in Zürich. The
museum also displays exhibits gathered from various corners of the
world: bronze artifacts from Tibet, ceramics and jade, Indian
sculpture, Chinese grave decorations, masks by African tribes etc.
Museum of Design – The Museum of Design is a museum for industrial
design, visual communication, architecture and craft. It is part of
the Department of Cultural Analysis of the
Zürich University of the
Haus Konstruktiv – The
Haus Konstruktiv is a museum with Swiss-wide
and international recognition. The museum is about constructive,
concrete and conceptual art and design. It testimonies to Zürich's
industrial architecture in the immediate vicinity of the Main
Uhrenmuseum Beyer – The Uhrenmuseum is located in the heart of the
city. Documenting the history of timekeeping and timekeepers, the
museum is home to a large collection of mechanical timepieces as well
as a collection of primitive time keeping devices such as water
clocks, sundials and hourglasses
No Show Museum – the
No Show Museum is the first museum dedicated to
nothing and its various manifestations throughout the history of art.
Guild houses – The Guild houses (German: Zunfthaus) are located
Limmat (downstream from the Grossmünster): Meisen (also a
porcelain and fayence museum), Rüden, Haue, Saffran, Schneidern,
Schmiden, Zimmerleuten, and some more.
Tram Museum – The Tram Museum is located at Burgwies in Zürich's
eastern suburbs, and chronicles the history of Zürich's iconic tram
system with exhibits varying in date from 1897 to the present day.
North America Native Museum
North America Native Museum – The North American Native Museum
specializes in the conservation, documentation and presentation of
ethnographic objects and art of Native American, First Nation and
Parks and nature
Zoological Garden – The zoological garden holds about 260 species of
animals and houses about 2200 animals. One can come across separate
enclosures of snow leopards, India lions, clouded leopards, Amur
leopards, otters and pandas in the zoo.
Botanical Garden – The Botanical Garden houses about 15,000 species
of plants and trees and contains as many as three million plants. In
the garden, many rare plant species from south western part of Africa,
as well as from New Caledonia can be found. The University of Zürich
holds the ownership of the Botanical Garden.
Chinese Garden – The Chinese Garden is a gift by Zürich's Chinese
partner town Kunming, as remiscence for Zürich's technical and
scientific assistance in the development of the
Kunming city drinking
water supply and drainage. The garden is an expression of one of the
main themes of Chinese culture, the «Three Friends of Winter» –
three plants that together brave the cold season – pine, bamboo, and
Uetliberg – Located to the west of the city at an altitude of 813
meters (2,667 ft) above sea level, the
Uetliberg is the highest
hill and offers views over the city. The summit is easily accessible
by train from
Zürich main station.
The 88-metre Sunrise Tower (2005) was the first approved high-rise
building in twenty years
Compared to other cities, there are few tall buildings in Zürich. The
municipal building regulations (Article 9) limit the construction
of high-rise buildings to areas in the west and north of the city. In
the industrial district, in Altstetten and Oerlikon, buildings up to
80 meters (260 ft) in height are allowed (high-rise area I). In
the adjacent high-rise areas II and III the height is limited to 40
meters (130 ft). Around the year 2000, regulations became more
flexible and high-rise buildings were again planned and built. The
people's initiative "40 metres (130 feet) is enough," which would have
reduced both the maximum height and the high-rise buildings area, was
clearly rejected on 29 November 2009. At this time in Zürich
about a dozen high-rise buildings were under construction or in
planning, including the Prime Tower as the tallest skyscraper in
Panoramic view of
Münsterhof square with some of the Guild houses
World heritage sites
The prehistoric settlements at Enge Alpenquai and
Grosser Hafner and
Kleiner Hafner are part of the Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the
UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Zürich is a leading financial center and global city. In the 2017
Global Financial Centres Index,
Zürich was ranked as having the 11th
most competitive financial center in the world, and second most
competitive in Europe after London. The Greater
Zürich Area is
Switzerland's economic centre and home to a large number of
international companies. By far the most important sector in the
Zürich is the service industry, which employs nearly
four-fifths of workers. Other important industries include light
industry, machine and textile industries and tourism. Most
have their headquarters in
Zürich and there are numerous foreign
banks in the Greater
Zürich Area. Located in Zürich, the
Exchange was established in 1877 and is nowadays the fourth most
prominent stock exchange in the world. In addition
Zürich is the
world's largest gold trading centre. Ten of the country's 50 largest
companies have their head offices in Zürich, among them ABB, UBS,
Swiss Re and
Zürich Financial Services.
Contributory factors to economic strength
The high quality of life has been cited as a reason for economic
growth in Zürich. The consulting firm Mercer has for many years
Zürich as a city with the highest quality of life in the
world. In particular,
Zürich received high scores for work,
housing, leisure, education and safety. Local planning authorities
ensure clear separation between urban and recreational areas and there
are many protected nature reserves. Other
Geneva, were also listed among the top ten.
Zürich is also ranked the
sixth most expensive city in the world. In 2008,
Zürich was ranked
ninth. The city ranked behind Hong Kong and ahead of Copenhagen. It is
the third most expensive city in Europe and second most expensive city
Switzerland after Geneva.
Zürich benefits from the high level of investment in education that
is typical of
Switzerland in general and provides skilled labour at
all levels. The city is home to two major universities, thus enabling
access to graduates and high technology research. Professional
training incorporates a mix of practical work experience and academic
study while, in general, emphasis is placed on obtaining a good level
of general education and language ability. As a result, the city is
home to many multilingual people and employees generally demonstrate a
high degree of motivation and a low level of absenteeism. Such
characteristics are reflected in the high level of productivity the
region enjoys and account for the opening of offices and research
centres in the city by large corporations.
Swiss stock exchange
Swiss stock Exchange on Selnaustrasse
Swiss stock exchange is called SIX
Swiss Exchange, formerly known
as SWX. The
SIX Swiss Exchange
SIX Swiss Exchange is the head group of several different
worldwide operative financial systems: Eurex,
Eurex US, EXFEED, STOXX,
and virt-x. The exchange turnover generated at the SWX was in 2007 of
1,780,499.5 million CHF; the number of transactions arrived in the
same period at 35,339,296 and the
Swiss Performance Index (SPI)
arrived at a total market capitalization of 1,359,976.2 million
SIX Swiss Exchange
SIX Swiss Exchange goes back more than 150 years. In 1996, fully
electronic trading replaced the traditional floor trading system at
the stock exchanges of
Geneva (founded in 1850),
Zürich (1873) and
Since 2008, the
SIX Swiss Exchange
SIX Swiss Exchange has been part of the SIX Group, as
SWX Group, SIS Group and Telekurs Group merged.
Education and research
Main building of the University of Zürich
About 60,000 people study at the 20 universities, colleges and
institutions of higher education in Zürich. Two of Switzerland's most
distinguished universities are located in the city. The
Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich) which is controlled by the
(federal) state and the
University of Zürich
University of Zürich that is under direction
of the canton of Zürich. Both universities were listed in the top 50
world universities rated in 2007.
ETH was founded in 1854 by the
Swiss Confederation and opened its
doors in 1855 as a polytechnic institute. ETH achieved its reputation
particularly in the fields of chemistry, mathematics and physics and
there are 21 Nobel Laureates who are associated with the institution.
ETH is usually ranked the top university in continental Europe.
The institution consists of two campuses, the main building in the
heart of the city and the new campus on the outskirts of the city.
University of Zürich
University of Zürich was founded in 1833, although its beginnings
date back to 1525 when the
Swiss reformer Ulrich
Zwingli founded a
college of theology. Nowadays with its 24,000 students and 1,900
graduations each year, the
University of Zürich
University of Zürich is the largest in
Switzerland and offers the widest range of subjects and courses at any
Swiss higher education institution.
The Pedagogical College, the
Zürich University of Applied Sciences
(ZHAW) and the
Zürich University of the Arts (ZHdK) are another three
top-class technical colleges which contribute to Zürich's reputation
as a knowledge and research pole by providing applied research and
Zürich is also one of the co-location centres of the
Knowledge and Innovation Community (Climate Change Mitigation and
Adaptation) of the European Institute of Innovation and
State universities by size in Canton Zürich
Only (federal) state Universities and higher education institutions,
University of Zürich
University of Zürich – UZH
Zürich University of Applied Sciences
Zürich University of Applied Sciences – ZHAW
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Zürich – ETH
List of largest universities by enrollment in Switzerland
Swiss media conglomerates are headquartered in Zürich,
such as tamedia,
Ringier and the NZZ-Verlag.
Zürich is one of the
most important media locations in the German-speaking part of the
country. This status has been recently reinforced by the increase in
availability of online publications published in Zürich.[citation
Television and radio
Swiss television's building
The headquarters of Switzerland's national licence fee funded German
language television network ("SF") are located in the Leutschenbach
neighborhood, to the north of the Oerlikon railway station. Regional
commercial television station "TeleZüri" (
Zürich Television) has its
headquarters near Escher-Wyss Platz. The production facilities for
other commercial stations "Star TV", "u1" TV and "3+" are located in
One section of the
German language licence fee funded public
radio station "Schweizer Radio DRS" is located in Zürich. There are
commercial local radio stations broadcasting from Zürich, such as
"Radio 24" on the Limmatstrasse, "Energy Zürich" in Seefeld on the
Kreuzstrasse, Radio "LoRa" and "Radio 1". There are other radio
stations that operate only during certain parts of the year, such as
"CSD Radio" (May/June), "Radio Streetparade" (July/August) and
There are three large daily newspapers published in
Zürich that are
known across Switzerland. The
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), the
Tages-Anzeiger and the Blick, the largest
Swiss tabloid. All three of
those newspapers publish Sunday editions. These are the "NZZ am
Sonntag", "SonntagsZeitung" and "SonntagsBlick". Besides the three
main daily newspapers, there are free daily commuter newspapers which
are widely distributed:
20 Minuten (20 minutes), published weekdays in
the mornings and
Blick am Abend, weekdays but in the late
There are a number of magazines from major publishers that are based
in Zürich. Some examples are: Bilanz, Die Weltwoche, and Annabelle.
See also: List of annual events in Zürich
Opening of the
Zürich Film Festival (2008)
Zürich has a rich cultural tradition. In addition to high-quality
museums and galleries,
Zürich has high-calibre chamber and symphony
orchestras and several important theatres.
Zürich Film Festival is one of the most important upcoming
international film festivals. In just a few years, the Festival became
firmly established upon the national and international festival
landscape. Over the course of 11 days, it attracts both stars and new
talents and celebrates popular international productions. More
recently, the kickstarter.com funded
Mobile Motion Film Festival held
its first event in May 2015.
Zürich during the
Street Parade (2008)
One of the largest and most popular annual events in
Zürich is the
Street Parade, which is also one of the largest techno and dance music
festivals in the world. Proceeding along the side of Lake Zürich, it
normally occurs on the second Saturday in August. The first edition
was held in 1992 with about 1,000 participants. By 2001 the event had
reached the size of 1 million participants. The Zürifäscht,
on the other hand, is a triennial public festival. It features music,
fireworks set to music, and other attractions throughout the old
town. It is the largest public festival in
Switzerland and is attended
by up to 2 million visitors.
Zürich is an international contemporary art fair with an
annual guest city; it combines most recent and youngest art with the
works of well-established artists. Another annual public art
exhibit is the city campaign, sponsored by the
City Vereinigung (the
local equivalent of a chamber of commerce) with the cooperation of the
city government. It consists of decorated sculptures distributed over
the city centre, in public places. Past themes have included lions
(1986), cows (1998), benches (2003), teddy bears (2005), and huge
flower pots (2009). From this originated the concept of the CowParade
that has been featured in other major world cities.
Zürich is also the home to several art movements. The Cabaret
Voltaire where the
Dada movement was founded in 1916. Constructive Art
movement took also one of the first steps in Zürich. Artists like Max
Bill, Marcel Breuer,
Camille Graeser or
Richard Paul Lohse had their
ateliers in Zürich, which became even more important after the
takeover of power by the Nazi-Regime in
Germany and World War II.
The best known traditional holiday in
Zürich is the Sechseläuten
(Sächsilüüte), including a parade of the guilds and the burning of
"winter" in effigy at the Sechseläutenplatz. Another is the
Knabenschiessen target shooting competition for teenagers (originally
boys, open to female participants since 1991).
Opera, ballet and theaters
Zürich Opera House
Zürich Opera House (German: Zürcher Opernhaus) is one of the
principal opera houses in Europe. Built in 1834, it was the first
permanent theatre in the heart of
Zürich and was at the time, the
main seat of Richard Wagner's activities. Later in 1890, the theatre
was re-built as an ornate building with a neo-classical architecture.
The portico is made of white and grey stone ornamented with the busts
of Wagner, Weber and Mozart. Later, busts of Schiller, Shakespeare and
Goethe were also added. The auditorium is designed in the rococo
style. Once a year, it hosts the Zürcher Opernball with the President
Swiss Confederation and the economic and cultural élite of
Ballet Zürich performs at the opera house.
Schauspielhaus Zürich is the main theatre complex of the city. It
has two dépendances: Pfauen in the Central
City District and
Schiffbauhalle, an old industrial hall, in
Zürich West. The
Schauspielhaus was home to emigrants such as
Bertolt Brecht or Thomas
Mann, and saw premieres of works of Max Frisch, Friedrich Dürrenmatt,
Botho Strauss or Elfriede Jelinek. The Schauspielhaus is one of the
most prominent and important theatres in the German-speaking
Theater am Neumarkt
Theater am Neumarkt is one of the oldest theatres of the city.
Established by the old guilds in the Old
City District, it is located
in a baroque palace near Niederdorf Street. It has two stages staging
mostly avantgarde works by European directors.
Zürcher Theater Spektakel
Zürcher Theater Spektakel is an international theatre festival,
ranking among the most important European festivals for contemporary
The traditional cuisine of
Zürich consists of traditional fare,
reflecting the centuries of rule by patrician burghers as well as the
lasting imprint of Huldrych Zwingli's puritanism. Traditional dishes
Zürcher Geschnetzeltes and Tirggel.
Nightlife and clubbing
Zürich at night
Zürich offers a great deal of variety when it comes to night-time
leisure. It is the host city of the world-famous Street Parade, which
takes place in August every year.
The most famous districts for Nightlife are the Niederdorf in the old
town with bars, restaurants, lounges, hotels, clubs, etc. and a lot of
fashion shops for a young and stylish public and the
the districts 4 and 5 of the city. There are authentic amusements:
bars, punk clubs, HipHop stages, caribbean restaurants, arthouse
cinemas, Turkish kebabs and Italian espresso-bars, but also sex shops
or the famous red light district of Zürich.
In the past ten years new parts of the city have risen into the
spotlight. Notably, the area known as
Zürich West in district 5, near
the Escher-Wyss square and the S-Bahn Station of
Zürich is home to several international sport federations. The
Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is
headquartered in the city. In 2007 were inaugurated the new FIFA
headquarters building, designed by architect Tilla Theus.
Association football is an essential aspect of sports in Zürich. The
city is home to two major
Swiss football teams; Grasshopper Club
Zürich founded in 1886 and
FC Zürich founded in 1896, both competing
in Switzerland's highest league.
Among the most popular sports in
Switzerland is ice hockey. In Zürich
it is represented by the ZSC Lions. The International Ice Hockey
Federation (IIHF) officiating as head organisation for ice hockey
leagues worldwide is based in
Zürich as well.
Biking is a popular sport as well as a mean of transport in Zürich.
Biking routes are generally marked with red and white signs and the
yellow lanes are exclusively meant for the bikers. Also hiking trails
are well marked with yellow signs, which give the hiker the probable
time it will take him to reach his destination. There are specific
maps available for hiking and walking trails throughout Switzerland.
Some of the most accessible walks in the
Zürich area are the
Uetliberg and the Zürichberg.
As many as 30 clubs and 7 indoor Curling facilities can be found in
Zürich area. The Curling season starts in early September
and continues until the end of April.
Weltklasse Zürich, sometimes referred to as the one-day Olympics, is
one of prestigious one day athletics meet held annually at the
Letzigrund Stadium. The Weltklasse is reputed as one of the best and
most classy athlete meet in the world after the Olympics. Since it
started on 12 August 1928, the sporting event has witnessed new world
records and national records. To date as many as 24 world records were
set in Weltklasse.
Zürich Marathon is a popular sport event, inviting numerous athletes
from every corner of the globe.
Zürich Marathon is a long distance
running event, covering 42.195 kilometers (26.219 mi) at one
stretch. The running course starts from
Zürich and passes through
Bahnhofstrasse, Bellevueplatz, Mythenquai, Quaibrücke, Talstrasse and
Utoquai, and along
Lake Zürich to several other places. New Year's
Eve run is another important running event. The race is held on 1
January each year and the start takes place at midnight exactly.
Zürich was one of six venues of the 1954
FIFA World Cup and one of
eight venues of the UEFA Euro 2008. The Euro 2008 games were held in
Letzigrund Stadium. Work on the new
Letzigrund was completed in
exceptionally quick time and the stadium opened in August 2007 just
one year after the demolition of the old arena.
Zürich hosted six times the
UCI Track Cycling World Championships at
the Oerlikon Velodrome. The first time was in 1929 and the last time
Since 2013, the international
Openair Literatur Festival Zürich takes
place annually in Zurich, presented by Literaturhaus
Zürich also hosted the 1998 World Ice Hockey Championships. The city
previously co-hosted the 1953 and 1939 editions.
Zürich was also host to the 2012 Men's World Floorball Championships.
This was the first time the event had been held in Zürich.
Main article: List of people from Zürich
Zürich wird gebaut. Architekturführer Zürich
Zürich 2010, ISBN 978-3-85881-127-1.
Oechslin, Werner: Hochschulstadt Zürich. Bauten der ETH 1855–2005.
Zürich 2005, ISBN 3-85676-154-3.
Bonte, Alexander, Bürkle, J. Christoph: Max Dudler Die neue Dichte
– Der neue Stadtteil Europaallee und die Pädagogische Hochschule
Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-86859-198-9
Kröger, Ute: Zürich, du mein blaues Wunder. Literarische Streifzüge
durch eine europäische Kulturstadt. Limmat,
Staub, Ueli: Jazzstadt Zürich. Von Louis Armstrong bis
Orchestra. Neue Zürcher Zeitung,
Foppa, Daniel: Berühmte und vergessene Tote auf Zürichs Friedhöfen.
Zürich 2003, ISBN 3-85791-446-7.
Hegi, Christof u. a.: Zürich. Mairs, Ostfildern 2006,
ISBN 3-8297-0315-5 (= Marco Polo Reiseführer).
Zürich komplett. Regenbogen,
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Smith, Duncan J. D.: Nur in
Zürich – Ein Reiseführer zu
einzigartigen Orten, geheimen Plätzen und ungewöhnlichen
Sehenswürdigkeiten (übersetzt von Walter Goidinger), Brandstätter,
Wien 2012, ISBN 978-3-85033-546-1.
List of mayors of Zürich
PS Stadt Zürich
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used as an umbrella term for any variety of German. So, according to
law, you are allowed to communicate with the authorities by using any
kind of German, in written or oral form. However, the authorities will
Swiss Standard German (aka the
Swiss variety of Standard
German) in documents, or any written form. And orally, it's either
Swiss Standard German or what the particular
speaker considers as High German), or then it depends on the speaker's
origin, which dialectal variant (s)he is using.
^ Arealstatistik Standard - Gemeindedaten nach 4 Hauptbereichen
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Zürich.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Zürich.
Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Zürich – official website (in German)
Zürich – official website (in English)
Zürich Tourism – official website
Zürich Chamber of Commerce – official website
Event & Pleasure Calendar by
Tages-Anzeiger (Newspaper) (in
NYT Travel Guide by
The New York Times
The New York Times (Newspaper)
Switzerland by population
Districts in the city of Zürich
Herisau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden
Appenzell, Appenzell Innerrhoden
St. Gallen, St. Gallen
Lake Zurich (Zürichsee)
Canton of Zürich
Canton of St. Gallen
Canton of Schwyz
Uetikon am See
Prehistoric pile dwellings around Zürichsee
Lake Zurich left-bank railway line including S2 (ZVV), S8 (ZVV), S13
(ZVV), S24 (ZVV), S25 (ZVV),
S-Bahn Zürich lines
Lake Zurich right-bank railway line including S6 (ZVV), S7 (ZVV), S16
S-Bahn Zürich lines
LAF cable car
Verkehrsbetriebe Zürichsee und Oberland
Zimmerberg bus line
House of Rapperswil
World Gymnaestrada host city
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