Saturday, 23 March 2013

Historical Zurich (by night)

I had to make yet another short trip to Zurich. Unfortunately, I spent there only one evening and when I got out of the main station it was already dark and it was raining. So I have sent my human secretary so that she takes a few pictures of this nice city by night. You may recognise some views I have shown you last autumn, like the Gross Munster church ...

... and the Limmat river.

At some point she was interested in a little narrow street going sharply down. Quite scary to be honest, especially when you bear in mind she did not have me at her side to protect her.

But this is in this little street that she discovered that Zurich actually dates back to Roman times! No wonder you did not know it, at this time it was called Turicum. It had even had some Roman terms (or baths).

They claim that you can see some remains down here. Sorry, for me it looks a lot like some parts of the city's sewage systems.

* * *

While my human secretary was running up and down in the rain, I was relaxing in the Zeughauskeller. It used to be an armoury for the city of Zurich, now it is a very popular restaurant.

You may be surprised, but the original building was built in 1487, so before Columbus discovered America! Of course it was damaged and refurbished many times but the owners claim that many of the original beams and walls were preserved until today.

An armoury is in short a place where arms were stored. You may still admire some recalls of this glorious times on the walls of the Zeughauskeller. Here come the replica of the arms of Wilhellm Tell, a folk hero of Switzerland.

Then the armours of the Swiss soldiers. Did you know that for centuries mercenaries were one of the main "export goods" of Switzerland. They still guard the Pope as they used to since the 15th century.

 Of course you will see here also some firearms.

Nowadays of course the arms and guns are not as important for Swiss people as they used to be. Times change, other weapons help Helvetia to rule the world. I must however admit it requires quite some creativity to put on one wall halberds and ski poles.

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