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Hidden Treasure of zurich

St. Peter's Church

St. Peter's is the oldest church in Zurich; it stands close by the ruins of a late Roman fortress at the Lindenhof and its origings ga back to pre-900. It is first mentioned in 857, when King Louis the German gave it as a gift to two of his daughters, of whom one became the first abbess of the Fraumunster at the time when the Fraumunster was founded. The first mayor Rudolf Brun, buried in 1360 in the choir of the church, acquired St. Peter's in 1345 with all the associated privileges (church tax) and obligations. He now has a grave and monumentby the outer tower wall. The first reformed pastor, Leo Jud (1523-1542), was a friend of Zwingli and contributed to the first translation of the bible in Zurich. J.C. Lavater (writer, physiognomist, friend of the young Goethe) was pastor from 1778-1801. His gravestone can be seen in the church wall, and there is a memorial to him in the church choir.

LakeSide Parks

The grassy parks on the lake shore are a hive of activity during the summer months. A popular meeting place for inline skaters, bathers, jewelry vendors and street artists.

Swiss National Museum

The castle-like building houses the most comprehensive collection of artifacts pertaining to Swiss cultural history. One of its focal points is the prehistoric age, particularly the New Stone Age: Especially worth mentioning are the ancient wheels, which were found in Zurich and are considered to be among the earliest ever found, the Celtic artifacts and those of the early Middle Ages. The Middle Ages collection comprises significant artifacts from the world of chivalry and a large collection of wooden church sculptures, panel paintings and carved altars. The rooms housing the historico-cultural tour on the first and second floors have been newly designed. Especially worth visiting are the historical rooms as well as the monumental fresco by Ferdinand Hodler Retreat of the confederates at Marignano. Several times a year, topics relevant to society are dealt with in special exhibitions that are put together in cooperation with other museums. More and more, the romantic courtyard serves as a backdrop for exhibitions and events.

Opera House

The Zurich Opera House is without doubt one of the best known in Switzerland and indeed Europe. A varied program of productions has helped director Alexander Pereira to turn this late-baroque style building into the city's most-frequented cultural institution. Its reputation has grown steadily throughout the world ever since it opened in 1891

Grossmunster Church

According to legend, Charlemagne discovered the graves of the city's martyrs Felix and Regula and had a church build as a choristers' cloister on the spot. Construction work on the present building began around 1100. In the first half of the 16th century the Grossmunster was the starting point of the Swiss-German Reformation led by Huldrych Zwingli and Heinrich Bullinger. The theological college then annexed to the cloister became the germinal cell of what is now the University of Zurich. Worth visiting: Romanesque crypt, Romanesque capitals in the church and cloister. Choir window by Augusto Giacometti (1932), bronze doors by Otto Munch (1935 and 1950), Reformation Museum in the cloister (open Mon-Fri 9am-18pm, closed at weekends).

Dynamism is a characteristic that has defined Zurich's growth over the centuries. It made the city one of the leading lights of the Reformation and even today the city has an exciting Modern Art movement best seen in the excellent Kunsthaus and the Fraümunster Church, with its experimental stained glass windows. More traditional entertainment can be found at the Opera House and from the Tonhalle Orchestra, one of Europe's finest musical ensembles.

The high number of business visitors means excellent - if slightly expensive - hotels and restaurants, although many hotels are cheaper at the weekend when tourists replace the business travellers that form a fair percentage of the city's midweek population.

Zurich is also a good base for exploring the rest of Switzerland. Ski resorts including St Moritz are nearby, while Basel, Lucerne and Interlaken are all only an easy day trip away.