"Schipfe" is one of the oldest quarters of the city of Zurich. The name originates from the nautical term "schupfen" (push) used by the fishermen to describe how they pushed their boats to and from the river bank. During the Middle Ages, the Schipfe was the transfer point for essential merchandise, and from the 16th century became the headquarters of the silk industry, and the location of bathhouses and boatbuilding. Even today, the Schipfe is still the street of artisans where the craftspeople take the necessary time for their customers, providing expert advice and suggestions. Quality and custom-made products are available in the small, romantic shops and workshops along the Limmat River. The Schipfe is an idyllic location to linger, shop and enjoy some good food.
Founded in 853 by King Louis the German, this church with its convent was inhabited by the female members of the aristocracy of Europe. The convent enjoyed the patronage of kings and the right to mint coins in Zurich until well into the 13th century. Ownership of the church and convent passed to the city of Zurich after the Reformation. Important architectural features include the Romanesque chancel and the high vaulted transept.
The nave was last renovated in 1911, following work to heighten the north tower and remove the south tower in the 18th century. In addition to boasting the largest organ in the canton of Zurich (5,793 pipes), the church's most stunning jewels are the stained glass windows: those in the north transept are by Alberto Giacometti's cousin, Augusto (1945), while the five-part cycle in the chancel (1970) and the rosette in the southern transept (1978) are by Marc Chagall. There is a series of frescos by Paul Bodmer in the cloister to mark the founding of the Fraumünster.
According to legend, Charlemagne discovered the graves of the city's martyrs Felix and Regula and had a church built as a choristers' cloister on the spot. Construction work on the present building began around 1100. In the first half of the 16th century, Grossmünster Church 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. Don’t miss taking the stairs up to Grossmünster’s "Karlsturm" to have a breathtaking view over Zurich.
During the day, this is a pedestrian zone and a shopper's paradise with lots of boutiques hidden away in a network of alleys. At night, the many bars, restaurants and street artists turn the Niederdorf into an exciting center of entertainment for a diverse crowd.
The history of Zurich Opera House begins with the “Actien-Theater” (shares theatre), which opened in 1834 with Mozart’s Zauberflöte. Musical theatre and drama have gone their separate ways in Zurich since 1921. Now with a seating capacity for approximately 1,100, the theatre was renovated entirely between 1982 and 1984, and an extension was added on Uto-Quai to accommodate a second, studio stage. In 2012, with the beginning of Andreas Homoki’s directorship and the accession of the new General Music Director Fabio Luisi, the Zurich Opera Orchestra became the Philharmonia Zurich.
Each season, the Orchestra can be heard at about 250 opera and ballet performances given by Zurich Opera House. The Philharmonic Concerts are also organised as a podium for the concert repertoire. Soirées and chamber music matinees complete the Orchestra’s artistic spectrum.
The excellent acoustics of the Tonhalle Zurich concert hall rank among the best in the world. The large concert hall was built in 1895 and inaugurated in the presence of Johannes Brahms. It can seat up to 1,455 concert-goers.
Elephants, rhinos, penguins and 20 species of monkeys are just some of the animals on the Zurichberg that will transport you into an exotic world – with all your senses.
Enjoy the sight of the snow leopards in their rocky Himalayan landscape, watch the Andean bears as they go climbing in search of food in their misty mountain world, and admire the giant turtles swimming in the Masoala Rainforest, where it is warm and humid all year round – a fragrant, tropical green oasis, a piece of Madagascar live in 13,000 square yards.
Explore the rainforest along a twisting path and gain insight into a typical rainforest dense with palms and inhabited by lemurs and turtles and discover sparse swamp areas with a myriad of brightly colored frogs. It's also possible to host events in the adjacent restaurant with a stunning view of the rainforest.
At 2,850 feet above sea level, Uetliberg towers over the rooftops of Zurich. The mountain affords an impressive panoramic view of the city, the lake and the Alps. The Uetliberg is particularly popular in November, as its summit is often above the blanket of fog that can cover the city at this time of year. In the winter, the hiking trails to the summit are converted into sledding runs. In summer, there’s plenty to discover on well-marked hiking routes, a mountain bike route, and on the Planet Trail. This hour-and-a-half to two-hour walk from Uetliberg to Felsenegg (Adliswil) takes you on a fascinating tour through a model of our solar system.