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Zurich travel guide — Zurich tourism and travel information

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about Zurich

Zürich [ˈtsyːrɪç] (in English often spelled Zurich, and spelled Zuerich in accordance with conversion of umlauts) is the largest city in Switzerland (population 364,558 in 2002; as agglomeration 1,091,732) and capital of the canton of Zürich. The city is Switzerland's main commercial centre, and home to the country's largest airport. It is also home of the Cabaret Voltaire where the Dada movement began in 1916

The origin of the name is most likely the Celtic word Turus, a corroborating reference to which was found on a tomb inscription dating from the Roman occupation in the 2nd century AD. The Roman name for the town was Turicum and in the local dialect it is called Züri [ˈtsyrɪ].

Zurich geography

Situated where the river Limmat leaves the Lake Zürich, surrounded by wooded hills. The river Sihl meets with the Limmat at the end of Platzspitz, which borders the Swiss National Museum (Landesmuseum).

Zurich history

Numerous lake side settlements from the Neolithic and Bronze age were found, like Zürich Pressehaus and Zürich Mozartstrasse.

In Roman times, Turicum was a tax collecting point for goods entering the imperial province of Raetia by river. The earliest record of the town's name is preserved on a tombstone found in the 18. century on Lindenhof, referring to the roman castle as STA(tio) TUR(i)CEN(sis).

A carolingian castle, built on the site of the roman castle by the grandson of Charlemagne, Louis the German, is mentioned in 835 ("in castro Turicino iuxta fluvium Lindemaci"). Louis also founded the Fraumünster abbey in 853 for his daughter Hildegard. He endowed the benedictine convent with the lands of Zürich, Uri, and the Albis forest, and granted the convent immunity, placing it under his direct authority.

In 1045, king Henry III granted the convent the rights to hold markets, collect tolls, and the coinage prerogative and thus effectively made the abbess the ruler of the city.

Zürich became reichsunmittelbar in 1218 with the extinction of the main line of the Zähringer family. Emperor Frederick II promoted the abbess of the Fraumünster to the rank of a duchess in 1234. The abbess assigned the mayor, and she frequently delegated the coinage prerogative to citizens of the city. However, the political power of the convent would slowly wane in the 14th century, beginning with the establishment of the Zunftordnung (guild laws) in 1336 by Rudolf Brun (d. 1360), who also became the first independent mayor, i.e. not assigned by the abbess.

The Codex Manesse, a major source of medieval german poetry, was written and illustrated in the early 14th century in Zürich.

Zürich joined the Swiss confederation (which at that point was a loose confederation of independent states) as the fifth member in 1351. Zürich was expelled from the confederation in 1440 due to a war with the other member states over the territory of Toggenburg (the Old Zürich War). Zürich was defeated in 1446, and re-admitted to the confederation in 1450.

Zwingli started the Swiss reformation at the time when he was the main preacher in Zürich. He lived there from 1518 until his death in 1531.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Zurich".

This city is also known as: Zurich.

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