Visiting Zurich: Exploring The Streets Off Bahnhofstrasse
Bahnhofstrasse is Zurich’s most famous street. It was constructed shortly after Zurich’s Hauptbahnhof was built and runs just under a kilometre and a half from the main station to Bürkliplatz and the lake.
Many trams run along this popular tree lined streets but did you know there are so many interesting spots along the way?
In front of Globus Department Store the grassy space so calm and green and popular with office workers and shoppers taking a break, used to be the site of public executions, no less!
Close by there is a sculpture in honour of Swiss educator Pestalozzi. And have you seen the beautiful green fountain adorned with the four nymphs representing Simplicity Purity Sobriety and Clarity just a few metres away? Which city does that remind you of? Why of course, this fountain was a present from the city of Paris to Zurich for the World Convention of Water Experts. How fitting for a city which boasts 1200 fountains.
As you walk towards the lake you pass the cobbled stress of Rennweg. A beautiful shopping street with lots of interesting shops as well as the historic Widder Hotel, it’s popular with locals and tourists alike. Admire the colourful murals on some of the walls as you pass by, and the sundial which is just off to the right as you climb up the street. Don’t forget to pop into Confiserie Honold’s which has been on this site since 1905, for some delicious hot chocolate.
Augustinergasse is apparently the most photographed streets in Zurich. With its pretty coloured shutters and box windows, it is certainly one of the most beautiful and historical streets in Zurich. Not only did the beautifully hand carved windows increase the natural light in the dark, mainly wooden clad rooms, but they also allowed the residents to spot unwanted guests from afar.
Named after the former Gothic Augustine Church from the 13th century, the church has had a chequered past, even serving as a coin workshop during the Reformation. In 1841 Zurich’s Catholic church reclaimed the building and it once again became a place of worship.
The beautiful Augustine fountain is filled several times a year with petals and roses much to the delight of instagrammers and tourists.
Further along you get to the beautiful square of St. Peterhofstatt and the famous St. Peter Church. Not only is this Zurich’s oldest church but it also bears the largest church clock face in the whole of Europe. Yes, even bigger than London’s Big Ben! The enormous clock face is 8.7m in diameter and it boast five bells in the tower, the heaviest of which weighs over six tons without its clapper. The grave of Rudolf Brun, Zurich’s first mayor, is located by the church’s outer tower wall.
Walking down Schluüsselstrasse you can take a right hand turn and head back towards the banking centre of Zurich, Paradeplatz. It is supposedly in this square that the gold bars of the Bank of Switzerland are stored in the vaults beneath.