Charlemagne, upper and lower villages in the old town of Zurich

For the fourth time the Zurich curtains are getting drawn up to conquer the architecture territory of the beautiful City for all interested visitors free of charge.

Everyone is warmly invited to stroll through the town to dip in sophisticated private houses, discover the historical heritage and modern artifacts or step behind the scenery of theatres, museums, schools, studios, and many more unique locations. High-quality architecture has a long tradition in Zurich. With a wide focus on agile planning and sustainability between housing and working quality, identification and social exchange. Which are aspects Zurich acknowledges as a positive influence in architecture? Open House Zurich is perfect to offer an insight into the meaning of architecture, urban development, and historical legacy. The understanding of these contexts will come to a lively interaction trough guided tours of specialists and passionated leaders, always open to share a talk.

On Saturday, 28th and Sunday, September 29th, otherwise locked doors in the greater Zurich area will be open for the fourth time, once again showing outstanding architecture from various eras.

The guided tours with architects, monument conservationists, building users and volunteers in the more than 100 buildings and outdoor spaces are free of charge – no matter if you are a professional or a housekeeper, everyone is invited!

For the first time they are presenting the supporting program PLUS + with talks, film screenings, lectures, exhibitions and installation on the Josefwiese.

Have fun discovering the city with these 3 suggestions from our team:

Augusto Giacometi's "Blüemlihalle" in Zürich

Charlemagne

Charlemagne (first blog image in this post) – the house at the junction of upper and lower villages in the old town of Zurich – was first mentioned in various writings in the 8th century as “Karli”. It has a turbulent history with many owner changes, renovations and conversions behind it.

Between 1200 and the end of the Reformation in 1517, the owner changed hands nine times, after which it belonged, among other things, to the Alms Office and finally to the Zurich Women’s Association.

The house was from the middle of the 16th century until the 19th century seat of the deacon on the Grossmünster. During this time, various personalities lived in the house, including Heinrich Waser, mayor of Zurich, and the theologian Johann Heinrich Hottinger.

In 1974, the city of Zurich bought the property and opened a district seniors center, which was later restructured into a “center for all”.

In autumn 2013, Karl der Grosse opened a new chapter: As a debating house, it offers the population a platform for arguments in politics, culture, and society.

Augusto Giacometi’s “Blüemlihalle”

With the fresco by Augusto Giacometti (see image above) (1877-1947), the regional police station of the Zurich city police houses one of the most important art and construction works of the city of Zurich. Gustav Gull, until 1900 city architect of Zurich and architect of the Landesmuseum, was cared for with the conversion of an orphanage into a Amtshaus. To save space, the former cellar vault of the orphanage was converted into the entrance area of ​​the Amtshaus. However, its lighting conditions were not optimal, why the artist Augusto Giacometti was commissioned to lighten the ceiling vault by artistic means. For two years he worked with bright but warm colors on the floral ornaments and scenic images and created until 1926 the uniquely bright room.

During the Second World War, the hall was turned into a storage room and the fresco was so badly damaged that Giacometti considered it “lost”. Since its restoration in 2019, the hall has returned to its original glory. The artwork today has national significance.

The "Palais Rechberg" interiors

HOUSE TO RECHBERG

The “Palais Rechberg” (see image above) with outbuildings and garden forms as an ensemble a monument of Baroque building culture, which is included in the inventory of the cantonal monument protection objects and in the Swiss Inventory of Cultural Objects of National Importance.

The Haus zum Rechberg was renovated in 2014 under strictest conditions of historic preservation and structurally adapted to serve the government council for receptions, meetings and meetings in a representative setting and to offer offices and meeting rooms to the commissions of the Cantonal Council and the parliamentary services.

The late Baroque Rechberg garden is considered one of the most magnificent gardens in the city of Zurich. The ornamental garden tells of both the old Zurich and the changing styles of gardening and serves as a place of relaxation in the city.

Before you go…

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