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Places of Interest in Zurich

By Anna Lynn Sibal

Zurich may be an expensive place to live in, but for a holiday, even tourists with a tight budget can enjoy staying in the city. The great thing about Zurich is that most of the best tourist spots, the ones that give Zurich its unique character, are free. And even if they are not free, they are certainly worth the experience of seeing them.

On your holiday to Zurich, here are some places of interest that you must see.

The Churches of Zurich

The three major churches of Zurich are renowned in the world for their beauty, but they are more highly valued for their significant role in the history of Zurich. These three churches are none other than the Grossmunster, the Fraumunster and St. Peterís Church.

The Grossmunster is considered to be one of the first Romanesque edifices ever made. Legend has it that it was founded by the Emperor Charlemagne after his horse fell over the tombs of Zurichís patron saints. There is a Roman burial ground underneath the Grossmunster. The Fraumunster is an abbey built by Louis the German, a grandson of Charlemagne. In the Middle Ages, the Fraumunster was the center of power in Zurich, when the Holy Roman Emperor named its abbess as ruler of the city.

St. Peter's Church stands on what was once a temple to Jupiter. It holds the distinction of being the only parish church of Zurich before the Protestant Reformation, and it has the largest clock face in the whole world.

Zurich Museums

There are around 40 museums in Zurich; it is a major cultural center in Switzerland and in the whole of Europe. Of these museums, two certainly should not be missed: Kunsthaus Zurich and the Swiss National Museum.

Kunsthaus Zurich is one of the most important museums in Switzerland. It is home to one of the most extensive art collections in the world, with pieces dating from the Middle Ages to the modern times. It naturally gives prominence to artworks created by Swiss masters.

The Swiss National Museum houses relics and artifacts pertaining to the cultural past of Switzerland from the Middle Ages to the present. It is like a fairytale castle in the heart of modern Zurich.

Performance Arts

Lovers of the theater and the performance arts will have their fill in Zurich. The Opernhaus Zurich, home to its local opera and its ballet company, stages performances nearly every night. For German-language plays made by Swiss playwrights, the place to go would be the Schauspielhaus. English plays from Shakespeare to contemporary drama also have a place in Zurich; such performances are held at the Zurich Comedy Club.

Other Sights

If you are up for some quiet sightseeing, you will definitely find some tranquil spots in Zurich. One of these is the Lindenhof, the site of what was once a Roman castle. The Lindenhof offers one of the best views of the old town of Zurich.

And then, of course, there is Lake Zurich, the most beautiful sight in the city. The shores of Lake Zurich are always a hubbub of activity, with numerous parks and promenades facing the waterfront. You can swim in the lake for free if you fancy it.

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