The story of Christianity in Zürich begins in the 4th century with the tale of the city’s patron saints, Felix and Regula. Threatened with execution due to their faith, the Roman siblings fled to Zürich, where they were captured and beheaded. It is said they picked up their heads after death and walked to the riverbank before collapsing. Their relics are now preserved in the Fraumünster, famous for its stained glass windows created by Marc Chagall.
Zürich made its most significant mark on Christian history in the early 16th century with Huldrych Zwingli and the Swiss Reformation. Zwingli spent his career working for church reforms, having grown disillusioned with the corruption and distortion prevalent in Rome. He publicly denounced the Catholic church’s reliance on saints as spiritual mediators. So engaged were the Zürchers of the early 16th century that they quickly embraced Zwingli’s Protestant doctrine, and in 1523 Zürich’s city council elected to become a Protestant city.
Among Zwingli’s closest followers were Conrad Grebel and Felix Manz. The Anabaptists, as they were called, pressed for separation of church and state, adult baptism, freedom from taxation and military conscription. Zwingli couldn’t agree to such radical measures, nor could the Zürich city council. After refusing either to conform or to leave Zürich, the Anabaptists experienced their first martyrdom in 1527 when Felix Manz was executed by drowning. But while Manz was dead, he had begun a movement that would last, spreading throughout Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands, and giving root to the modern-day Mennonite and Amish communities in North America.
Several Lake Zürich towns were founded by Anabaptist communities in exile, where they resided or worshiped in secrecy caves. A visit to the Anabaptist cave in Bäretswil is a powerful reminder of the lengths early believers took to worship as they saw fit.
A lakeside metropolis with views of the snow-covered Alps, Zürich offers a mix of unique activities waiting to be discovered. A shopping paradise with renowned international as well as unique local brands. Delicious culinary treats, over 50 museums and more than 100 galleries, a world clas((s Opera House and numerous events invite visitors to spend time here and to explore the well- preserved Old Town, which can look back on a 2,000-year history.
The international Museum of the Reformation
This museum is a must-see for religious visitors that come to Geneva, Switzerland. It begins with an emphasis on the Bible and includes some of the oldest French and English Bibles. Unique objects, manuscripts, rare books, engravings and paintings illustrate the close ties of Geneva and John Calvin to the Reformation.
Experience how it is to live in a monastery and overnight in one of the various abbeys and monasteries in Switzerland that offer simple accommodation. Some even offer their own mountain hut refuge to rent, like the convent of St.John in Muestair
The pilgrimage way of St. James along Switzerland’s breathtaking mountain scenery.
Walk or cycle on St. James' footsteps, following his ways through the breathtaking mountain scenery of Switzerland to Santiago de Compostela. Take your time to visit some of the traditional pilgrims' stations.
The Christmas season will soon be here again.. as well as the traditional Christmas markets in Switzerland. Montreux is home to the largest one, Bremgarten (Aargau) to one of the biggest ones in terms of vendors. The highest one can be visited on Mt. Pilatus. Others can be found in Huttwil (Bern), Zürich or Basel.