The Reformation in Zurich

In 1519, Zurich was the birthplace of the Reformation in Switzerland

In Zurich, numerous references and memorial sites bear witness to the Reformation – such as the most important churches, statues or places where the Reformers lived or preached. A guided tour through the historical Old Town is an absolute must for anyone interested in the subject.

In the War of Kappel, the Protestants from Zurich entered into a religious war with the Catholics in Central Switzerland. While the leaders negotiated, the soldiers from both camps fraternized with each other: men from Zug provided milk and those from Zurich bread, and together they made a milk soup, thus putting their dispute aside.

Kappel Milk Soup

Serves 4

6 dl milk
½ tsp salt
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1 clove
4 egg yolks
1 dl cream
Bread cubes

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Huldrych Zwingli reformed Zurich by banning images and organ music from the church in order to focus solely on the Word of God. However, he was not just a devout man, but tolerant and socially minded, too, and also revolutionized schooling, marriage and social welfare.
Besides a small chapel (depicted), the Helferei building accommodated Huldrych Zwingli’s study, which has been left in its original state to this day.

Cloister in the Grossmünster

Kreuzgang (Grossmünster)

In this oasis of peace and contemplation, guests can find not only cultural-historical ornamental plants, but also an informative permanent exhibition about the Reformation.

Eat Like 500 Years Ago

The Restaurant Rechberg 1837 offers menus prepared according to ancient recipes, almost like back in Zwingli’s day.

Christian Bärtsch is a revolutionary like Zwingli before him: with his Essento project, he develops products made from edible insects. With this idea, the young scientist aims to change the Swiss people’s eating behavior in a lasting way.

He believes that his products made from edible insects will be the new potatoes. Christian Bärtsch is – as far as the Swiss people’s eating behavior is concerned – what Zwingli once was for religion: a revolutionary.

ETH professor Reto Knutti is an unconventional thinker like Zwingli before him: with his work, the climate researcher actively encourages people to change their ways. That is why for him, the message behind the data is just as important as the data itself.

With his work, climate researcher Reto Knutti actively encourages people to change their ways. His goal is to solve the problem of global warming and not simply leave it to the next generation.

During the legendary sausage supper at the house of the printer, Christoph Froschauer (in the picture, the Froschauer Fountain), the people demonstrated against not being permitted to eat meat on Fridays during Lent. What made the situation particularly controversial was the fact that Zwingli was also present.
The poor and needy were served broth from a large pot in front of the Predigerkirche. This was due to Zwingli’s alms-giving decree, an early form of social welfare.

Over a period of three years, Zurich is celebrating the Reformation with a multi-faceted festival, which focuses on the perceptible impact of the Reformation and how it has shaped society in modern-day Zurich.

Reformations Events

Numerous events relating to the Reformation will be held at the Schauspielhaus, Zurich Opera House, Theater Neumarkt, Zurich University, the National Museum, and many other interesting venues.

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