The Wasserkirche ('Water Church') of Zürich was first mentioned around 1250. It seems likely that the original building was used for cult meetings. The meetings were centred on a stone now located in the crypt of the church. According to medieval tradition, the site was used for the execution of Saints Felix and Regula. The church was built in the 10th century and modified at various points, culminating in a complete reconstruction that was completed in 1486.

During the course of the Reformation, the Wasserkirche was identified as a place of idolatry. Eventually it was secularised, becoming the first public library of Zürich in 1634, when it became a seat of learning that greatly contributed to the foundation of University of Zürich in the 19th century. The island was connected with the right bank of the Limmat in 1839 with the construction of the Limmatquai. The library was merged into the Zentralbibliothek in 1917, and the church was used as a storage room for crops for some time, until reconstruction work and archaeological excavations were undertaken in 1940. Following this the building was again used for services by the Evangelical-Reformed State Church of the Canton of Zürich.

The Helmhaus is an extension of the church to the north, first mentioned in 1253 as a court of criminal justice, at which time it was a simple wooden structure covering the eastern end of the bridge. It was extended to a larger wooden structure in 1563, and replaced with a stonework hall in 1791.

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Founded: 1486
Category: Religious sites in Switzerland

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Viktor Steiner (2 years ago)
I attended a reading of the entire gospel of Mark. Very moving. Beautiful little church
Philippe Jacques Kradolfer (2 years ago)
The Wasserkirche (The Water Church or Church by the Water) is definitely a landmark in Zurich considering the role Zurich played during the Reformation at the time of the Great Reformer Ulrich Zwingli. Its location is incredible, right by the river Limmat. The building is relatively small and the interior is simple with three large stained glass windows in the back of the altar. It also has a very nice organ. Considering the fact that the first building on this site was erected on the 10th Century, a visit is a must!
Sebastian Kadavil (3 years ago)
Beautiful in the night
Paul Chau (3 years ago)
Landmark of Zurich (Old church since 13th Century)
Helder Braz (3 years ago)
Historic church and area. A must for a tourist. Here you can take one ofe the best and most charachteristic fotos from Zurique. Great for walking and bike. You have a lot of Tram connections too.
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