One of the first places we visited in Switzerland was Zurich. Although Zurich has a lot of attractions for the average visitor; we were interested in the religious history of the place. The Anabaptist heritage to some degree is rooted here in Zurich and especially in the Grossmünster. Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531) was a leader of the reformation in Switzerland. In 1518 he became pastor of the Grossmünster and began preaching on ideas of reforming the Catholic church. By 1525 he had replaced the Catholic Mass with a new communion liturgy. It was along this time that some of his parishioners broke away from him and formed what would be know as the Anabaptists today.
The Grossmünster or “Great Minister” or “Great Cathedral” is a very interesting building. Construction was started around 1100 and it was inaugurated around 1220. It was built on the site of an earlier church that had been commissioned by Charlemagne. It is built on the banks of the Limmat River and it is distinguished by its twin towers.
I wanted to show you more pictures of the Grossmünster and Zurich and the area where it is. Here you can see the Grossmünster from the Rathaus Bridge over the Limmat River. The Rathaus is the building on the foreground left; built partially over the river and the Rathaus Bridge is part of that construction.
When you look at the larger version of either picture by clicking on it, you can get a better view of the double wide doors and the panels that are part of it. There is a lot of history shown right there in those doors. I am including a few smaller shots of several of the panels.
And a few closeups of the panels:
Over the door are several interesting inscriptions. The one on top of the arch says something like this, “The reformation of Huldrych Zwingus occurred in this house of God”.
This model of the Grossmünster is in the courtyard on the north west side of the building.
I have no pictures of the inside of Grossmünster as photography is prohibited there. However we were allowed to buy tickets to climb to the observation deck of the right tower in this picture.
At first it was a tight spiral concrete staircase, then it opened up into rooms. You went up each level on wooden staircases. Here is a shot of Rebecca coming back down from one of the levels near the top.
From the top you had a great view of the city and the lake and the river in all directions. The next picture shows a view of the city along the Limmat River.
This shot is from across the river by the Felix Manz plaque where we were filming earlier in the morning.
And now I will follow with a number of photos from the Grossmünster and the Grossmünster area with comments in the captions. If you want more information, I have some links at the bottom and there is extensive information online. I am only trying to give you readers an idea of what we saw, what impressed us, (or me, Lester!) and what we experienced on our trip to Switzerland.