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t Outdoor café at the Kunsthaus, next to Working Model of Unesco Reclining Figure by Henry Moore

Experience Zürich

Capital of the densely populated canton of the same name, the city of Zürich lies on the north shore of the Zürichsee at the point where the River Limmat flows north out of the lake. By the 1st century BC, a Celtic settlement, Turicum, had been established on the Lindenhof. A Carolingian palace was built on this hill, now in the heart of the old city, in the 9th century, and a trading settlement developed at its base. Briefly under the control of the Zähringen dynasty, Zürich passed to the Holy Roman Empire in 1218 and joined the Swiss Confederation in 1351.

By the early Middle Ages, the silk, wool, linen and leather trades had already brought Zürich’s merchants great wealth. This merchant class was overthrown and replaced by disgruntled guilds, who in turn held power until the late 18th century.

In the 16th century, Zürich embraced the Reformation, thanks to Ulrich Zwingli, who preached from the Grossmünster, the city’s great cathedral. The city then fell into a period of relative obscurity until the 19th century, when Zürich underwent rapid industrial growth. As a result of Switzerland’s neutrality, the city emerged from the aftermath of both world wars as a major centre of finance, which it continues to be to this day.

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