In Switzerland, you can spell Zurich six different ways
Switzerland has four national languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. As a result, you’ll see several spellings for Swiss cities throughout the country, which can be helpful to learn.
- Zurich – French (and English) spelling
- Zurigo – Italian spelling
- Turitg – Romansh spelling
- Zürich – German spelling
- Zuerich – German spelling without the umlaut
- Züri – The city’s nickname in Swiss German
In Zurich, in a cafe overlooking the Limmat, I ate butter-drenched white asparagus pulled from the ground that morning; it had the aftertaste of champagne.
J. R. Moehringer
The picturesque lanes of the central Altstadt (Old Town), on both sides of the Limmat River, reflect its pre-medieval history. Waterfront promenades like the Limmatquai follow the river toward the 17th-century Rathaus (town hall).
In 853 AD, Louis the German, King of Bavaria and grandson of Charlemagne, founded the Fraumünster abbey — a gift for his daughter Hildegard. This little convent was very unconventional from the start. The abbey was endowed with the surrounding lands and by the 11th century, the women of Fraumünster — and in particular the abbess — held almost all of the economic and political power in the region. For example, the abbey held trade markets, minted coins and even selected the mayor. Unfortunately, the women of the Fraumünster lost their power with the rise of the trade guilds, called Zunfts, in the 14th century.