Climbing first the carved stone staircase and then the wooden steps took me all the way up to one of Grossmünster’s twin towers. The 360 view from the top was magnificent. The whole Zurich was under your feet. On every turn, you would see other landmarks such as the Fraumünster, St. Peterskirche, Limmat, Zurich Lake, Dolder, Zurichberg, and of course the breathtaking mountains.
The Grossmünster (“great minster”) is one of the most recognized landmarks of Zurich along with Fraumünster and St. Peterskirche (they are next in my to-be-blogged subjects). 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.
Architecturally, the church is considered Romanesque in style. The construction of the Grossmünster began in 1090, and most of it was completed by 1230. The two towers were first erected between 1487 and 1492. The beauty is less in the decoration than in the simple beauty of the architecture, like in many Romanesque churches. That’s why the inside of the church is quite bare, and simple other than the modern stained-glass windows by Swiss artist Augusto Giacometti which were added in 1932.
I forgot to count the stairs both going up and coming down. But I didn’t forget to ask the lady at the ticket desk, according to her there are 187 steps.