Zurich, Switzerland – Grossmünster (HDR)

A little photoshop fun from a shot in Zurich, Switzerland.  The church is called Grossmunster.  Some info from the web:   The Grossmünster (“great minster”) is a Romanesque-style church that played an important role in the history of the Protestant Reformation. It is one of the three major churches of Zürich (the others being the Fraumünster and St. Peterskirche). The core of the present building near the banks of the Limmat River was constructed on the site of a Carolingian church, which was, according to legend, originally commissioned by Charlemagne. Construction of the present structure commenced around 1100 and it was inaugurated around 1220.

The Grossmünster was a monastery church, vying for precedence with the Fraumünster across the Limmat throughout the Middle Ages. According to legend, the Grossmünster was founded by Charlemagne, whose horse fell to its knees over the tombs of Felix and Regula, Zürich’s patron saints. The legend helps support a claim of seniority over the Fraumünster, which was founded by Louis the German, Charlemagne’s grandson. Recent archaeological evidence confirms the presence of a Roman burial ground at the site.

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich Switzerland

NIKON D300, Nikon18-200 VR

Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and  is known as the cultural capital of Switzerland.  The capital of Switzerland is Berne.  Zurich is known as the wealthiest city in Europe.   A very expensive city.   We went shopping one day down the main street.  Any expensive shop you want and it is here…and also of course some wonderful Swiss Watch shops.  All a bit too expensive for me.  But the one thing you can buy here at a low cost is Swiss Chocolate!!!  Great stuff!!  We brought a bunch back with us for our families. 

The city itself is small and very charming.  Great little side streets with restaurants and little mom & pop shops.   You can walk it in a day or two.   Some great sights are the Grossmunster Church, Fraumunster Church, St, Peter’s Church (with the clock face), Old Town, Lake Zurich, Bahnhofstrasse (main shopping street near the train station), and Parade-Platz (where all the main Swiss banks are located).

Zurich is a must visit if you are near.  In the winter the Swiss Alps are not too far for some unreal skiing!   While I was there I did not hear in the the distance any one yelling…Ricola!!

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR

Switzerland is another wonderful place to explore!!    Switzerland is a federal republic and consists of 26 states, called cantons.  Switzerland is considered on of the world’s richest countries per capita gross domestic product.   Two of its largest cities Zurich and Geneva are ranked 2nd and 3rd as the highest quality of life in the world.    So basically a great place to live – but expensive!!  Switzerland is multilingual and with four national languages – they speak; German, French, Italian and Romansh.  When I travel to Europe I always think how lazy we are in America – we speak mostly only one language.  But then I rationalize it with the fact our country is so large and if we had multiple countries around in close proximity – we also we speak many languages….hopefully.

Switzerland is bordered by Germany to the north, France to the west, Itlay to the south, and Austria/Liechtenstein to the east.  A great location in Europe!!!!   Switzerland has a long history of neutrality and has not been to war internationally since 1815.   Switzerland is not part of the European Union, so when visiting they have their own currency (the franc – CHF).  I always forget and most places its ok to use the Euro. 

Zurich is a beautiful city…I’ll post another photo and go into details of Zurich in my next post.   This shot was taken from the top of the famous church – Grossmunster.   I climbed to the top of the two towers and this is the city view from the viewing platform.  It was taken in late winter.   I used a circular polarizer to bring out the reflections in the river.    I really enjoy walking around dowtown Zurich!  Enjoy the view!