Archaeological Window at the Parkhaus Opéra
The archaeological remains of prehistoric pile dwellings next to Zurich’s Sechseläutenplatz feature on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
The second oldest preserved wooden door in the worldShort overview of prehistoric pile dwellingsFree “museum” in an underground car park
Zurich was already inhabited over 5,000 years ago. The people lived in so-called pile dwellings, or stilt houses, erected high over the water in a kind of terraced house settlement. It is estimated that from 3234–2727 BC, between 130 and 300 people lived in a village built on the site where Sechseläutenplatz is located today.
This prehistoric settlement was discovered in the course of exploration work carried out on the building site of the present-day Opéra underground car park. Archaeological experts discovered valuable cultural layers dating back over 5,000 years. This led to a rescue excavation being conducted – for only then could the underground garage be built. Nowadays, these and other pile dwellings discovered around Zurich’s lake basin are designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
A unique museum located in the underground garage under Sechseläutenplatz exhibits the most important finds: in a so-called “archaeological window”, visitors can view original finds and layers of sediment deposits from the site. A two-story-high media wall shows video clips on the theme of archaeology in Zurich.
The underground garage is open around the clock.