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Architecture of Switzerland. Must see and must visit landmarks

Botanical Garden, Zurich

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Botanical Garden of the University of Zurich has an old and new areas. The foundation of the first garden was laid by Conrad Gessner, who assembled a large collection of dried plants.
»  In 1746, his descendant, doctor and naturalist Johannes Gessner, cooperated with the Zurich Botanical Society and founded the garden.
»  Leopold Fröbel, the University’s gardener, took care of the garden. He also created the Palm House (greenhouse) in 1851. It was an eight-angled glassed pavilion. Now it is used for concerts, exhibitions, and performances.
»  When high-rise buildings began to be built around the garden overshadowing it, it was decided to establish a new garden in another place. Villa Schönau was chosen as new grounds.
»  The second garden was opened in 1977 and named Gessner’s Garden. There’s a monument to Conrad Gessner on the site planted with 50 medicinal herbs that were used by healers of the 16th century.

Chinese Garden, Zurich

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Chinese Garden on the shore of Lake Zürich oozes the spirit of medieval China and the picturesque charm of the Asian landscape.
»  Kunming and Zurich are sister cities. In honor of the friendship, designers recreated a house of a wealthy family the way it was hundreds of years ago. The park area is arranged in the eastern style and obeys the laws of logic.
»  The green space is protected from the outer world by low walls, which creates a closed microworld within the fenced area. The massive gate swings open, and the visitor enters a realm of harmony between the elements of earth, water, and air.
»  The entrance door is finished with red and gold ornaments. Calligraphic letters denote the name of the garden. A little stream murmurs. An elegant bridge is placed over it.
»  Paths strewn with pebbles lead to a pond with gold and red fish. The artificial lake is inhabited by ducks. According to Eastern tradition, a hill serving as a place for seclusion rises in the centre.
»  There are lots of intricate pagodas arranged around the park. Some openwork pavilions that look like small mazes serve as an amusement for children. The symbols of the park are pine, bamboo, and Chinese plum (prunus mume) – the Three Friends of Winter who are not afraid of severe frost.

Fraumunster, Zurich

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Fraumünster is an oldest cathedral founded by King Louis the German in 853. He granted the convent and the surrounding area to his eldest daughter Hildelgard.
»  In the following centuries, the influence of the convent increased every year. In 1045, King Henry III allowed to mint coins on the territory of the cloister.
»  During the Reformation (1524), the convent was dissolved. The Fraumünster church began to decline. Only in 1960 was it decided to restore the church.
»  Artist Marc Chagall was invited for that. He was 83 years old then, but he personally worked on each stained glass window.
»  He created magnificent stained glass windows, which became famous all over the world. Chagall did not take money for his work, and when he was 90 years old, he presented the Fraumünster with a rose window. This stained glass window consists of seven petals symbolizing the seven-day creation of the world. The church has become the main attraction in Zurich.

Grand Theatre de Geneve, Geneva

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The opening of Grand Theatre de Geneve was marked by the premiere performance based on the opera drama of Rossini, “Wilhelm Tell”. It is the national symbol of the country.
» Besides plays, city festivals are organized here.
» After the fire, the theatre was modernized with modern equipment and quality lighting.
» The new theatre season is marked by 8 operas and 2 ballets. They run through their performances up to 12 times and the cast is maintained.
» The building is decorated with granite columns, marble statues symbolizing goddesses of art, and busts of eminent composers.
» The construction was damaged by the fire. It has been restored for 10 years. The updated auditorium welcomes 1488 theatre-goers. The orchestra pit accommodates 100 musicians. The ceiling is decorated with moldings and crowned with a big chandelier. There are a lot of floor-to-ceiling mirrors in the hall. After the reconstruction, the auditorium has a square shape. It had had a horseshoe shape before.
» The administration encourages performances made by directors and casts from other cities and countries.

Grossmunster, Zurich

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Grossmünster is the largest and most important church in Zurich. The construction of the cathedral began in 1090, but it was built very slowly. It was fully completed only in the 15th century.
»  There’s a legend about the Grossmünster that says the construction of the church on this site was commissioned by Charles the Great, when his horse suddenly knelt at the burial place of holy martyrs Felix and Regula. But official historians do not support this legend.
»  Nevertheless, the main facade of the church has a stone sculpture of Charles the Great made by ancient masters. In 1935, the sculpture of the king was transferred to the crypt, where it has been stored since, and its place on the facade was taken by a copy.
»  The church windows are decorated with wonderful stained-glass windows made by Swiss artist Augusto Giacometti.
»  The church towers have steep spiral staircases consisting of 187 steps, using which anyone can climb to a height of 62 metres and view the panorama of the city.
»  On Wednesdays, the church organizes organ concerts for music aficionados.

Hallenstadion, Zurich

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Hallenstadion was built in 1939. The ZSK Lions ice hockey team of the Swiss National League trained at the stadium.
»  The stadium is a multi-purpose arena that hosts various sports competitions. The 1998 Ice Hockey World Championship, the 2006 European Handball Championship, and the 2014 European Athletics Championship were held at the stadium.
»  Every year, the stadium hosts IAAF Golden League athletics competitions and the Zurich Open, women’s tennis tournament.
»  The Hallenstadion received many world stars on its field, among which were Madonna, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Kylie Minogue.
»  On 14 October 2016 the Dalai Lama granted one-day lessons to those present at the Hallenstadion. Then he thanked the Swiss Red Cross for helping the Tibetans.

Helmhaus, Zurich

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» In ancient times, in the 10th century, the Water Church used to stand on a small island in the middle of the Limmat River. The Romans performed pagan rites at this place. The cult stone, stored in the crypt of the church, testifies to the fact.
»  The temple was rebuilt several times, the last reconstruction took place in 1486.
»  During the Reformation, the church was transferred to the city authorities. And the city’s first public library was opened there, which had been there until 1917.
»  After that, the building served as a granary for some time. Only after 1940, having carried out archaeological excavations and restoration there, the church building was returned to the evangelical church.

Kunsthaus, Zurich

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Kunsthaus Zürich is a famous art museum located in Zurich. The collection had been assembled by enthusiastic artists since 1787. Some time later, they bought premises for the museum. The collection was constantly updated with paintings by local artists.
»  In 1910, a new building of the museum was opened. The halls of the museum contain paintings from the 15th century to the present day.
»  The exposition of local Swiss artists includes works by Henry Fuseli, Ferdinand Hodler, Giovanni Segantini. The museum owns the largest collection of works by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch and Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti.
»  The museum exhibits paintings by European artists: Vincent van Gogh, Salvador Dali, Marc Chagall, Claude Monet, Picasso, and others.
»  The museum has a shop selling reproductions, postcards, and other accessories.

Musee Ariana, Geneva

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Ariana was the name of collector Gustave Revilliod known in his circles. The museum is named after her according to his will.
» His private collection includes over 5 thousand items. In the late 19th century, the collector exhibited them.
» In the museum, there is a workshop for repairing glass items.
» The Musee Ariana is famous for the collection of glass and ceramic exhibits (there are over 20 thousands of them). Patterns and inscriptions on the glass surface, as well as the unusual shape of exhibits, are very impressive.
» The Musee Ariana is located in the palace with a glass dome, in the cedar park.
» The guide will explain the origin of any exhibit. On display, you can see tea and coffee sets, and dinnerware the Royal Family used. There are also clay items made in the Middle Ages. You can learn how pottery originated and what tools for glass-painting were used.
» You can also see glass toys, porcelain zips and pens, clay amulets, and crystal lamps.
» In the museum, there are 20 separate rooms, each of which displays particular items depending on the epoch.

Musee Rath, Geneva

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Different art exhibitions (1826) were organized at the initiative and expense of sisters Henriette and Jeanne-Francoise Rath.
» Today, the Musee Rath has an international status. It is a cultural object and is under the protection of the State. It houses the collection of world-famous pieces of art.
» In the Musee Rath, temporary art and archaeological exhibitions are mostly held.
» The building is located in New Square. It is the only museum that houses the western art collection from ancient times to the present day.
» Two years elapsed between the project stage to the opening. The museum was opened in 1826.
» At one time, the building was rented out to the detainees’ camp of the Committee of the Red Cross.
» The collection of murder weapons and pieces of Egyptian masters is really extraordinary. Here, you can also see the masterpieces of Swiss artists living in different epochs. Individual exhibitions of modern people of art are held here.
» From the outside, it is the rectangular building of gray blocks. Its dome is upheld by 6 round columns decorated with patterned moldings. The staircase leads to the front door.

Museum of Art and History, Geneva

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » The collection of the Museum of Art and History contains over 650 thousand rare items. These are paintings, sculptures, musical instruments, and ancient artifacts.
» Not only permanent, but also temporary exhibitions are organized here.
» In the square of 7 000 m2, you can see pieces of art of global significance. There are 500-year-old items, as well as canvases of modern artists.
» The museum fund is replenished thanks to private collections.
» Graphics, books, household items of the bygone era, and old weapons are just some of the exhibits displayed.
» The building matches the collection it houses. The vault of the palace is upheld by classical columns with strict proportions. The pediment of the building is crowned with stone figurines.
» In the period of the Civil War in Spain, the authorities sent all the precious exhibits to the Museum of Geneva.
» Showrooms where you can see Greek flowerpots, ceramic items of Etruscans, pieces of medieval furniture, and ammunition of the 12th century are very impressive.
» Near the museum, there is the restaurant Le Barocco where you can taste dishes of the local cuisine.

Palace of Nations, Geneva

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The building complex that is 600 m long had been built for 8 years.
» One architect was excluded from the project because he signed the document with improper ink.
» In the Palace, there are the headquarter of the League of Nations, the UN office, and the office of the World Health Organization.
» About a hundred thousand tourists visit it.
» Ceremonial negotiation rooms are also open for visitors. There are canvasses of world-famous artists on the walls.
» 100 tons of paint was used and €10 million was spent to decorate the room ceiling of the total area of 1.5 m2.
» The 1st and 3rd levels intersect along the entire length but other floors don’t.
» There is a symbolic cannon near the Palace. Its barrel is knotted, which is the symbol of peace. Politicians discuss global issues in the building. Every year, over 8 thousand meetings on international issues and almost 600 intergovernmental meetings are held in the Palace.
» There is a picturesque garden around it. One of the buildings is located in the park. This land belonged to an aristocratic family. Upon its order, the authorities must keep the peacock they inherited here. Also, there is a garden pavilion aged over 300 years.

Rathaus, Zurich

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The town hall was built between 1694 and 1698 right in the river. It stands on massive wooden logs hammered right into the bottom of the river.
»  The building is made of stones and is very well preserved. The interior of the town hall has also been well preserved: antique furniture, crystal wrought chandeliers, old handmade carpets, a ceramic stove standing in the meeting room. Rich luxurious interiors of the building resemble those of a palace.
»  The town hall has always been the headquarters of administrative authorities.
»  Historical documents on the foundation of Zurich and the events that were happening in the city are stored here.
»  Nowadays, the Town Hall building is used for receptions and conferences.

Red Cross Museum, Geneva

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The collection of the International Red Cross Museum contains exhibits from ancient times to the present day.
» The building is located in the territory of the head office of the namesake organization.
» Collected items, pictures and videos symbolize the role of the Red Cross helping people in post-conflict and post-disaster situations.
» Showrooms are divided into separate sections. One of the rooms presents information about the organization’s activity in all corners of the world.
» The huge interactive globe shows where rescues work today.
» The exhibition is aimed at awakening sympathy for people in trouble and calling on the citizens to contribute modestly to the humanitarian activity.
» The idea of creating the Committee of the Voluntarism Organization was brought to life by the Swiss Henri Dunant in 1863. He was impressed by the human suffering. Volunteers from many countries supported him. As a consequence, the movement has become an international undertaking.
» Now, the number of volunteers is about 100 million. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement received the Nobel Prize for its merits three times.
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