Grossmünster (Great Minster), Zurich

Grossmünster (Great Minster), Zurich (must see)

The Grossmünster is one of four major churches in Zurich, with the others being St. Peterskirche, the Fraumünster, and the Predigerkirche. Construction of the church began in 1100 and it was inaugurated in 1220. The church’s twin towers, which were erected toward the end of the 1400s, are one of the classic landmarks of the city. The original towers had high wooden steeples but were destroyed by fire in the 1780s. Following the fire, the neo-Gothic tops were added to the towers, which are what you see today.

The church is Romanesque in architectural style with carved portals, columns, and grotesque figures on the top of the columns. Beautiful stained-glass windows were added to the church in 1932. They are the work of Swiss artist Augusto Giacometti, who also created stained-glass windows for the Fraumünster church. The north and south portals feature ornate bronze doors, the work of Otto Münch. They were added in 1935 and 1950.

Originally, the Grossmünster was a monastery church. The Reformation movement in the 1500s was actually launched from the Grossmünster. Huldrych Zwingli, the father of Swiss-German reformation, had his pastoral office here. Zwingli’s presence in the church is directly related to the lack of ornamentation inside. He even had the organ and religious statuary removed.

Why You Should Visit:
Fairly plain inside, but the sliced agate windows are some of the more interesting and colorful anywhere.
The old statue of Charlemagne is also worth seeing, and you can't miss the beautiful door as you go in.

Tip:
A trip to the top of the tower is worth it if you can do 180+ steps straight up. The views are wonderful and you can stay as long as you wish.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 10am-6pm (Mar-Oct); 10am-5pm (Nov-Feb)
Open on Sundays after the service

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Zurich, Switzerland within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Grossmünster (Great Minster) on Map

Sight Name: Grossmünster (Great Minster)
Sight Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) containing this sight: Religious Sights Walking Tour   City Orientation Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Zurich, Switzerland

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Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
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City Orientation Walking Tour

City Orientation Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km
Architecture Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.5 km
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Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
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Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 km
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Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 km

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