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Switzerland

Zurich, the Swiss paradise

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, September 02, 2007 at 14:44:44 :: Switzerland

Zurich (German: Zürich, French: Zurich, in English generally Zurich, Italian: Zurigo) is the largest city in Switzerland (population: 371,767 in 2007; population of urban area is some 1,007,972) and capital of the canton of Zurich. The city is Switzerland's main commercial and cultural centre (the political capital of Switzerland being Bern), and is widely considered to be one of the world's global cities. According to several surveys in 2006 and 2007, Zurich was named the city with the "best quality of life" in the world.

Zürich center with few churches on the background, largest city in Switzerland


The city of Zurich was established as a Roman customs post (called "Turicum") in 15 B.C. It is situated some 400 metres (1,340 ft) above sea level at the northern end of the 27 km (17 miles) long Lake of Zurich. Its well-preserved Old Town is to be found on both banks of the River Limmat, which flows out of the lake in a northerly direction. With a population of some 336,000 inhabitants, Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland. It is surprisingly compact, though, with a wealth of old churches, fountains, and cobbled streets with buildings, some of them more than 700 years old, housing charming galleries and small shops.

The main shopping area is concentrated within one square kilometre in the heart of the city, which means it is easily covered on foot. Strolling down the famous Bahnhofstrasse - one of the most beautiful shopping streets in Europe - you will find elegant boutiques, department stores, specialist shops, banks, and cafés which tempt you to linger and relax for a while.

View of Zürich and Limmat river in Switzerland which rises in the city of Zürich at the north end of Lake Zürich


The pedestrian streets of the Old Town contain most of the major sights, including winding alleyways, 16th and 17th-century houses, guildhalls and churches. The 13th-century tower of St Peter's Church has the largest clock face in Europe, while the Fraumünster Church nearby is noted for the distinctive stained-glass windows in the choir, which were created by Marc Chagall in 1970. The cities most famous landmark is the Grossmünster with its unique dual towers. Believed to be of Carolingian origin, its oldest parts date back to the late 11th century.

The "Kunsthaus" (the Zurich Art Gallery) is Zurich's top address for art. It has paintings, sculptures and graphic art, mostly from the 19th & 20th centuries. The Museum of Fine Arts has a large permanent collection ranging from 15th-century religious art to the `modern' art of Monet, Manet and Man Ray. The Swiss National Museum offers a permanent collect on Swiss national history and is housed north of the city centre just next to the Main Railway Station (which dates back to 1871). The Arboretum and Quayside Park offer amply laid-out waterfront paths along the the shores of Lake Zurich which pass picnic, sunbathing and swimming spots.

Visit Zurich and Switzerland now, on Landolia.
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UNESCO World Heritage

Switzerland, La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle, Watchmaking Town Planning

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 25, 2014 at 05:14:24

Location Canton of Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Coordinates N47 6 14 E6 49 58
Property 284 ha
Date of Inscription 2009

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1302 )

The site of La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle watchmaking town-planning consists of two towns situated close to one another in a remote environment in the Swiss Jura mountains, on land ill-suited to farming. Their planning and buildings reflect watchmakers’ need of rational organization. Planned in the early 19th century, after extensive fires, the towns owed their existence to this single industry. Their layout along an open-ended scheme of parallel strips on which residential housing and workshops are intermingled reflects the needs of the local watchmaking culture that dates to the 17th century and is still alive today. The site presents outstanding examples of mono-industrial manufacturing-towns which are well preserved and still active. The urban planning of both towns has accommodated the transition from the artisanal production of a cottage industry to the more concentrated factory production of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The town of La Chaux-de-Fonds was described by Karl Marx as a “huge factory-town” in Das Kapital where he analyzed the division of labour in the watchmaking industry of the Jura.

Photos from Landolia

La Chaux-de-Fonds Building with turret, La Chaux-de-Fonds Monts Castle, Le Locle

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Switzerland, Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 25, 2014 at 04:07:08

Location Cantons of Glarus, St. Gallen and Graubünden, Switzerland
Coordinates N46 55 0 E9 15 0
Property 32,850 ha
Date of Inscription 2008

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1179 )

The Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona in the north-eastern part of the country covers a mountainous area of 32,850 ha which features seven peaks that rise above 3,000 m. The area displays an exceptional example of mountain building through continental collision and features .excellent geological sections through tectonic thrust, i.e. the process whereby older, deeper rocks are carried onto younger, shallower rocks. The site is distinguished by the clear three-dimensional exposure of the structures and processes that characterize this phenomenon and has been a key site for the geological sciences since the 18th century. The Glarus Alps are glaciated mountains rising dramatically above narrow river valleys and are the site of the largest post-glacial landslide in the Central Alpine region.

Photos from Landolia

Tschingelhörner, Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona

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Italy, Switzerland, Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 24, 2014 at 05:25:59

Location Switzerland, Italy
Coordinates N46 29 54 E9 50 47
Property 152 ha
Date of Inscription 2008

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1276 )

Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes, brings together two historic railway lines that cross the Swiss Alps through two passes. Opened in 1904, the Albula line in the north western part of the property is 67 km long. It features an impressive set of structures including 42 tunnels and covered galleries and 144 viaducts and bridges. The 61 km Bernina pass line features 13 tunnels and galleries and 52 viaducts and bridges. The property is exemplary of the use of the railway to overcome the isolation of settlements in the Central Alps early in the 20th century, with a major and lasting socio-economic impact on life in the mountains. It constitutes an outstanding technical, architectural and environmental ensemble and embodies architectural and civil engineering achievements, in harmony with the landscapes through which they pass.

Photos from Landolia

Bernina Pass Brusio spiral viaduct Albula Railway

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Italy, Switzerland, Monte San Giorgio

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 24, 2014 at 03:54:00

Location between the south of canton Ticino in Switzerland and the region of Lombardy in Italy
Coordinates N45 53 20 E8 54 50
Property 1,089 ha
Date of Inscription 2003

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1090 )

The pyramid-shaped, wooded mountain of Monte San Giorgio beside Lake Lugano is regarded as the best fossil record of marine life from the Triassic Period (245–230 million years ago). The sequence records life in a tropical lagoon environment, sheltered and partially separated from the open sea by an offshore reef. Diverse marine life flourished within this lagoon, including reptiles, fish, bivalves, ammonites, echinoderms and crustaceans. Because the lagoon was near land, the remains also include land-based fossils of reptiles, insects and plants, resulting in an extremely rich source of fossils.

Photos from Landolia

Monte San Giorgio

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Switzerland, Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 23, 2014 at 14:01:18

Location Switzerland
Coordinates N46 30 0 E8 1 60
Property 82,400 ha
Date of Inscription 2001

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1037 )

The extension of the natural World Heritage property of Jungfrau - Aletsch - Bietschhorn (first inscribed in 2001), expands the site to the east and west, bringing its surface area up to 82,400 ha., up from 53,900. The site provides an outstanding example of the formation of the High Alps, including the most glaciated part of the mountain range and the largest glacier in Eurasia. It features a wide diversity of ecosystems, including successional stages due particularly to the retreat of glaciers resulting from climate change. The site is of outstanding universal value both for its beauty and for the wealth of information it contains about the formation of mountains and glaciers, as well as ongoing climate change. It is also invaluable in terms of the ecological and biological processes it illustrates, notably through plan succession. Its impressive landscape has played an important role in European art, literature, mountaineering and alpine tourism.

Photos from Landolia

Eiger, Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch Jungfrau, Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch Aletsch Glacier

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Switzerland, Three Castles, Defensive Wall and Ramparts of the Market-Town of Bellinzona

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 23, 2014 at 05:57:00

Location Bellinzona, Canton of Ticino, Switzerland
Coordinates N46 11 35.304 E9 1 20.712
Property 5.00 ha
Date of Inscription 2000

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/884 )

The Bellinzona site consists of a group of fortifications grouped around the castle of Castelgrande, which stands on a rocky peak looking out over the entire Ticino valley. Running from the castle, a series of fortified walls protect the ancient town and block the passage through the valley. A second castle (Montebello) forms an integral part of the fortifications, while a third but separate castle (Sasso Corbaro) was built on an isolated rocky promontory south-east of the other fortifications.

Photos from Landolia

Castelgrande, Bellinzona Montebello castle, Bellinzona Sasso Corbaro, Bellinzona

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Switzerland, Old City of Berne

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 23, 2014 at 05:08:59

Location Canton of Berne, Switzerland
Coordinates N46 56 53.016 E7 27 1.008
Property 84,684 ha
Date of Inscription 1983

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/267 )

Founded in the 12th century on a hill site surrounded by the Aare River, Berne developed over the centuries in line with a an exceptionally coherent planning concept. The buildings in the Old City, dating from a variety of periods, include 15th-century arcades and 16th-century fountains. Most of the medieval town was restored in the 18th century but it has retained its original character.

Photos from Landolia

Untertorbrücke, Old City of Bern Münster of Berne, Old City of Bern

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Switzerland, Abbey of St Gall

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 22, 2014 at 05:22:49

Location St. Gallen, canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland
Coordinates N47 25 23.988 E9 22 40.008
Date of Inscription 1983

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/268 )

The Convent of St Gall, a perfect example of a great Carolingian monastery, was, from the 8th century to its secularization in 1805, one of the most important in Europe. Its library is one of the richest and oldest in the world and contains precious manuscripts such as the earliest-known architectural plan drawn on parchment. From 1755 to 1768, the conventual area was rebuilt in Baroque style. The cathedral and the library are the main features of this remarkable architectural complex, reflecting 12 centuries of continuous activity.

Photos from Landolia

Abbey of Saint Gall

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Switzerland, Benedictine Convent of St John at Müstair

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 22, 2014 at 04:48:52

Location Müstair, Switzerland
Coordinates N46 37 46.02 E10 26 51.54
Date of Inscription 1983
Property 2,036 ha

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/269 )

The Convent of Müstair, which stands in a valley in the Grisons, is a good example of Christian monastic renovation during the Carolingian period. It has Switzerland's greatest series of figurative murals, painted c. A.D. 800, along with Romanesque frescoes and stuccoes.

Photos from Landolia

Saint John Abbey Benedictine Abbey of St. John at Müstair

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Switzerland, Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 12, 2010 at 14:04:10

Location Switzerland
Coordinates N46 29 31 E6 44 46
Date of Inscription 2007
Property 898 ha

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1243 )

The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, stretching for about 30 km along the south-facing northern shores of Lake Geneva from the Chateau de Chillon to the eastern outskirts of Lausanne in the Vaud region, cover the lower slopes of the mountainside between the villages and the lake. Although there is some evidence that vines were grown in the area in Roman times, the present vine terraces can be traced back to the 11th century, when Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries controlled the area. It is an outstanding example of a centuries-long interaction between people and their environment, developed to optimize local resources so as to produce a highly valued wine that has always been important to the economy.

Photos from Landolia

Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces Fall, Lavaux

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