Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Day 2 Switzerland

Today I caught the train to Uteiberg  Zurich's very own "mountain", from where you have beautiful views of the city and lake – and perhaps even a glimpse of the Alps. At 2,850 feet above sea level, Uetliberg towers over the rooftops of Zürich. The mountain affords an impressive panoramic view of the city, the lake and the Alps.

As I walked up the mountain path I could feel the air pricking at my skin, I was not cold but as it was early in the morning the air had a real chill to it.

I then caught the train back to Zurich Station and caught the bus to see Bruno Weber’s Sculpture Park. A fantasy landscape with art you can touch.

Bruno Weber's artistic dream world is a garden full of mythical creatures and characters. The Swiss artist Bruno Weber made his fantasy come true. His sculptors are larger than life, with colourful animals that you can climb on, walk through, slide off, sit on and even live in. The park is full of creatures that look as if they have stepped straight out of a fairy tale. Bruno Weber wanted to share his fabulous artwork with the world and thus opened up his vineyard to the public.

I returned to Zurich and went for a walk along the riverfront and up to Lindenhof Hill for views over the river. A moraine hill which means it was formed thousands of years ago by glacially formed accumulation of soil and rock. Today it is the only public park within the city walls and a quaint shaded square. The area is listed as a Swiss Heritage Site due to its historic significance. You can only reach Zurich's oldest park by foot following the narrow alleys of the old city centre. Thanks to the park's elevated location 25 meters above the Limmat River it offers brilliant panoramic views across the river and Zurich. Lime trees provide shade on the gravel paths where people play chess and petanque. In the past this area was the site of a Roman custom station and then a medieval royal residence but today the historic significance is secondary to the recreational green areas the site provides.

I then walked further along the riverfront and saw the Augusto Giacometti Entrance Hall in the Police Station, a floor to ceiling painting/mural, brilliant in colour, texture and theme. You hand over your passport and are allowed within the Police Station for 10 minutes, however unfortunately they do not allow photographs so I am not able to share them here with you.  The murals were done in the 1920’s way before the building became a police station.

My next stop was the Grossmunster ("great minster") a Romanesque-style Protestant church. It is one of the four major churches in the city (the others being the Fraumünster, Predigerkirche and St. Peterskirche). The core of the present building near the banks of the Limmat River was constructed on the site of a Carolingian church, which was, according to legend, originally commissioned by Charlemagne. Construction of the present structure commenced around 1100 and it was inaugurated around 1220.

The Grossmünster was a monastery church, vying for precedence with the Fraumünster across the Limmat throughout the Middle Ages. According to legend, the Grossmünster was founded by Charlemagne, whose horse fell to its knees over the tombs of Felix and Regula, Zürich's patron saints. The legend helps support a claim of seniority over the Fraumünster, which was founded by Louis the German, Charlemagne's grandson. Recent archaeological evidence confirms the presence of a Roman burial ground at the site.

I then went to see the Wasserkirche (Water Church). The church is located on the Limmat in a shared complex with the Helmhaus. The church has very high vaulted ceiling and the intricate stained glass windows were decorated by Augusto Giacometti. (The same artist Giacomett was speaking about in the Poice Station). There is also the large pipe organs at the rear of the church balcony.

Just behind the church is the Ulrich Zwingli Monument. It commemorates the leader of the reformation in Switzerland.

I then walked back along the river to the Museum to catch a 1 hour cruise along the river through the old town and out to the lake and return. A leisurely tour past the historical guild houses, Zurich’s Town Hall, the Lindenhof and the Grossmünster church until the view opens up over Lake Zurich.

A view of the Grossmunster from the cruise.

Then it was back to the unit to rest for another new day tomorrow.

No comments: