Top Historic Sights in Zug, Switzerland

Explore the historic highlights of Zug

Clock Tower

From a distance, the dome of the Zug clock tower appears blue-white but as you get closer to it, you can see the time on it. But not just the time, it also shows the month, the phase of the moon, the day of the week and whether it is a leap year or not. The tower was actually built as a way through the oldest city walls and later part of it was used as a prison as well as housing a room to keep warm by an open fire. Today ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Zug, Switzerland

Liebfrauenkapelle

Liebfrauenkapelle, oldest church in Zug, was built in the 13th century at the same time as the first city walls. From the outside, the Liebfrauenkapelle was a bulwark forming part of the edge of the city, with a somewhat surprising delicately decorated interior, showing aspects of both the Late Gothic period, with its murals, and the Baroque period, with the scenes depicting the life of the Virgin Mary. This old chapel in ...
Founded: c. 1266 | Location: Zug, Switzerland

Zug Castle

The first castle in Zug was probably a wooden manor house built around 1000 and owned by a ministerialis family in service to either the Counts of Aargau or of Lenzburg. Based on archeological excavations, it was built on an island between two small streams and surrounded by a wooden palisade. While the local nobleman occupied the house and island, his men built a village along the streams. Later the steams were dammed to ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Zug, Switzerland

Capuchin Monastery

The monastery, where Capuchin monks used to live between the years 1595 and 1997, is somewhat hidden in the outer area of the Old Town of Zug. As it became difficult to find new recruits, the Capuchin monks abandoned the site and now the Corporation of Zug is the owner of the monastery, which since 2000 has become the Catholic 'Community of the Beatitudes', to serve the poor and the spread the Gospel.
Founded: 1595 | Location: Zug, Switzerland

Huwiler Tower

Huwiler Tower (Huwilerturm) is the smallest of the four outer town wall towers in the city of Zug (Switzerland). Its exact age is unknown, but cannot be later than 1524/25. The tower was known for a long time as the 'Hof' tower, and was called that until it was acquired by a citizen named Huwiler (a.k.a. Huwyler) in 1697. Huwiler tower was part of the defense system and the city wall, but as Zug was actually nev ...
Founded: c. 1524 | Location: Zug, Switzerland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Abbey of Saint-Étienne

The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.

Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.

The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.

As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).