Winterthur Tourist Attractions
Winterthur, the second largest town in the canton of Zurich, lies in a wide basin near the river Töss in the pre-Alpine region, half-way between the Rhine and Lake Zurich. It is widely renowned for its engineering industry (Gebrüder Sulzer, Schweizerische Lokomotiv and Maschinenfabrik, etc.) and its textile factories and institutions, such as the Cantonal Technical College.Winterthur was founded by the Kyburgs about 1150 as a market village, and received its municipal charter from Rudolf of Habsburg in 1264. Pottery, watchmaking and weaving were early local industries, followed in the 19th C. by engineering.
Art treasure and a cultural inheritance bearing witness to the thriving craftwork of former times are good reasons for paying a visit to Winterthur. The little triangular Old Town still preserves streets with rows of old burghers' houses. Of special interest are the Waaghaus (weigh house) in Moorish-Gothic style, the former Early Classical Stadthaus, also the Oberes Spital (upper hospital, 1790) and the old Unteres Spital (lower hospital, 1806-1814), now an old people's home. The semi-detached house "Zur Geduld" with an Early Baroque facade was built between 1690 and 1717; the "Hans zum Adler" at the Obertor (upper gate) is an elegant example of Roccoco. The fascinating graffiti on the Hans zum Hinteren Waldhorn where the Winterthur painter Hans Haggenberg lived from 1440 to 1494, have also partly survived.
The town church of Winterthur, a three-aisled basilica, was built 1264-1615; its two 65 m/213ft high towers were added in 1659 and 1794.
In the Winterthur Marktgasse stands the Early-Classical town hall (18th-19th C.); in its assembly hall can be seen a magnificent stucco ceiling by Lorenz Schmid. On the ground floor, Josef Bösch created a shopping arcade in Italianate style at the end of the 19th C. and this links the Marktgasse with the Stadthausstrasse.
The Winterthur industrial museum houses a fine collection of applied and decorative art and occasionally special exhibitions.
Address: Kirplatz 14, CH-8400 Winterthur, Switzerland
Opening hours: 10am-5pm; Sun: 10am-8pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), Swiss National Day (Aug 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee: FREE
Useful tips: Also closed for all German holidays.
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Art Gallery (Natural History Museum)
The Winterthur Museum of Art at Museumstrasse 52, northwest of the Stadthaus, contains pictures by Swiss painters of the 16th-20th C. (including 25 portraits by Anton Graff of Winterthur), works by French artists from the Impressionists onwards (Van Gogh, Bonnard, Vuillard, Maillol) and by German artists (Marées, Corinth, Hofer). Also to be seen are works by modern artists (including M. Tobey, N. de Staël, F. Glarner and H. Antes and a large collection of drawings.In the same building is the municipal Natural History Museum (paleontology, zoology and reliefs of Swiss landscapes).
Address: Museumstrasse 52, CH-8400 Winterthur, Switzerland
Opening hours: 10am-5pm; Tue: 10am-8pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), Swiss National Day (Aug 1), Good Friday - Christian, Pentecost Monday (Whit Monday) - Christian, Easter - Christian
Entrance fee in CHF: Adult CHF10.00
Facilities: Gift shop, Restaurant or food service
Oskar Reinhart Bequest Museum
The old town of Winterthur is bounded on the north by the Stadthausstrasse, which runs east from the station. At No. 6 is the Galerie Oskar Reinhart, with a fine collection of works by Swiss, German and Austrian artists of the 18th-20th C., including many Romantics (C. D. Friedrich, K. Blechen, F. Hodler, A. Böcklin, L. Richter, R. G. Kerstling, P. O. Runge, R. F. Wasmann, etc), and modern Swiss artists, including F. Hodler, C. Amiet, G. Segantini and G. Giacometti.
Kellenberger watch (clock collection)
In a rear wing (No. 20) of the Winterthur Rathaus can be seen the Kellenberger Collection of Watches and Clocks (sundials, sand and oil timepieces and especially mechanical clocks of 16th-19th C. In the same building is the Jakob Brimer Collection of paintings by minor Dutch masters of the 17th C., together with miniatures by English, French, German and Swiss artists of the 16th to the 19th century.
At the east end of the Stadthausstrasse in Winterthur stands the Stadthaus, a prestigious building of 1865-1869, built by Gottfried Semper and enlarged 1932-34; inside is the concert hall of the Collegium Musicum (1629); the hall extends over three stories.
Not far from the Winterthur town park can be seen the theater (Theater am Stadtgarten), opened in 1965. The building, in echelon form, was designed by Frank Krayenbühl.
In the Technorama of Switzerland, science and technology are presented in a vivid manner to the visitor in the fields of energy, processing of materials, textile technology, measurement, building, home and hobbies, information, physics, safety at work. Apparatus, materials and experiments which visitors can do for themselves form an intrinsic feature of the complex.In the grounds of the museum there is also a miniature steam railroad and a laboratory for young people.
Oskar Reinhart Collection
To the north of Winterthur at Haldenstrasse 95 in Römerholz is the celebrated private collection of the great art patron Oskar Reinhart. It includes works by a large number of old masters, including Cranach the Elder, Breugel the Elder, Grünewald, Rubens, Rembrandt, El Greco and Goya, and paintings by 19th C. French artists, including Corot, Courbet, Daumier, Delacroix, Renoir and Cézanne.
Decorative painting and carving can be seen in the rooms of Schloss Wülflingen (Wülflingerstrasse 214) which is now a restaurant. Ch. Kuhn painted the panels in the law court; the Salomon-Langholt Room has 17th C. decoration; the "Rose Room" is Roccoco style. In almost all the rooms can be seen examples of stoves decorated in the Winterthur style.
The Frauenfeld road (N 1) leads to the Winterthur suburb of Oberwinterthur (445 m/ 1,450ft), on the site of the Celto-Roman settlement of Vitodurum. The 14th C. wall-painting in the Romanesque church (12th C.) is interesting.
This annual three-day festival takes place during the last weekend in late June or early July in honor of Saint Alban. The festival was first held in the 13th century but did not become an annual event until the early 1970s.Food and craft stalls, concerts, dance performances and other traditional events are held throughout the weekend.
Lindengut Historical Museum
This country house c 1787 contains Roman artifacts and a model of the city during Roman rule.As the original owner of the house, Johann Sebastian von Clais, knew the inventor Benjamin Franklin, the house is said to have possessed the first lightning conductor in Switzerland.
Coin and Antique Collection
Jacob Briner Foundation
An international modern photo exhibition with changing displays.
Address: Grüzenstrasse 44, CH-8400 Winterthur, Switzerland
Opening hours: 12pm-6pm; Sun: 11am-5pm; Wed: 12pm-7:30pm; Sat: 11am-5pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: Swiss National Day (Aug 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Good Friday - Christian, Easter - Christian, Pentecost Monday (Whit Monday) - Christian
Entrance fee in CHF: Adult CHF8.00
Surrounding sights of Winterthur include Schloss Hegi, Eschenberg, Kyburg and Schloss Mörsburg.
A notable moated mansion dating from the 15th-18th C. Since 1947 the estate has been owned by the town of Winterthur; in addition to a collection illustrative of the history of rural and urban life of eastern Switzerland, there is also a youth hostel.
Kyburg (castle, historical museum)
The castle, first mentioned in the 11th C, was restored in 1925 and houses the Kyberg Museum. The castle has a fine view from the keep.800 years of public and private life lives on the Kyburg Museum which houses displays of knights of the Middle Ages plus a torture chamber.
Opening hours: Feb 1 to Mar 31: 10:30am-4:30pm
Apr 1 to Oct 31: 10:30am-5:30pm
Apr 1 to Oct 31: 10:30am-5:30pm
Always opened on: January 2nd Holiday - Switzerland (Jan 2), Swiss National Day (Aug 1), Easter Monday - Christian, Good Friday - Christian, Easter - Christian
Entrance fee: FREE
Facilities: Gift shop
Transit: Kemptthal rail station on Zurich-Winterthur line, Sennhof-Kyburg on Winterthur-Bauma line or by postal bus from Kemptthal.
To the south of Winterthur rises the wooded Eschenberg (585 m/1,919ft) with a lookout tower and the "Bruederhus" game park. An instruction trail explains the origins of the district.
Mörsburg Castle contains a Romanesque chapel (1250) and a museum of the Historical and Antiquarian Society of Winterthur (weapons, ceramics and a knights' hall).
Local Museum, Elgg
The Local Museum in Elgg is housed in a mill and blacksmith's shop with equipment related to the by-gone trades of the area.
Local Museum, Neftenbach
A local museum is a highlight of Neftenbach.
Map of Winterthur Attractions