Alfred Escher (1819 – 1882) – the Designer of Modern Switzerland
The Swiss politician and entrepreneur Alfred Escher watches over Zurich's Bahnhofstrasse.
Alfred Escher grew up at Villa Belvoir as the son of an influential Zurich family. At 25, he was elected to the parliament of the canton of Zurich and two years later, he became the youngest member of the Swiss National Council in the history of the main chamber.
Escher, who was also known as the Railroad King, was a co-founder of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, a large bank and several insurance companies. His greatest vision was fulfilled in 1882 with the opening of the Gotthard Railway, which traveled through a 9-mile tunnel – the longest in the world at the time.
A bronze statue of the visionary has been erected in the Bahnhofplatz in honor of the Zurich politician and entrepreneur Alfred Escher.