Water, water everywhere!
Humans have lived on the shores of Lake Zurich since the end of the last ice age. The first settlers built their homes on stilts above the water and lived from fishing, hunting, foraging for plants and trading goods. Life beside the water reflects the sheer diversity of this cultural landscape, while the world beneath the surface is a topographic and climatic archive made up of sedimentary deposits and the sunken remains of those early settlements.
16. March 2015 - 29. June 2015
Montag bis Freitag 8-20 Uhr*
Samstag bis Sonntag 9-17 Uhr*
* Vom 2.12.19 bis 19.1.20 erweiterte Öffnungszeiten:
Montag bis Freitag 8-22 Uhr
Samstag bis Sonntag 9-19 Uhr
...is divided into a number of themed areas, each one showcasing a fascinating aspect of life around Lake Zurich. The multimedia installation offers additional background through press clippings, legendary folk songs such as “I have a love on beautiful Lake Zurich” by the brother-and-sister trio Geschwister Schmid and a webcam for observing the local bird life. There is also a rare historical document: a recording of a poem about the shipwreck near Stäfa in 1764.
An interdisciplinary approach is essential to understanding the relationships between the various aspects of life shaped by the water.
The exhibition covers underwater archaeology and its spectacular findings as well as human activity on the shoreline and its impact on flora and fauna. The two faces of the elementary force that is water are illustrated by pictorial histories of times the lake’s surface froze over and catastrophic storms. The lake manifests itself as a natural phenomenon that gives life and brings people joy but can also wreak havoc and destruction.
A selection of postcards shows the lake as an attractive destination for holidays and daytrips. The models on display represent tourism and industry: the paddle steamer “Stadt Zürich” is the oldest boat still in service and also one of the last remaining examples built by Zurich’s Escher Wyss & Cie. steamboat company, founded in 1805. The Grendeltor served both defensive and economic purposes in the late Middle Ages as the gateway to the fortified city and a passage for shipping between the River Limmat and the lake.
The exhibition offers just a brief snapshot of the lake’s bird and fish populations, since each of these would provide ample material for an exhibition in its own right. While the “fish board” catalogues the wide range of fish to be found in Lake Zurich and the River Limmat in the mid-18th century, the hand-coloured “flying” water birds have a more general, emblematic character. Habitats, flora and fauna are among the topics featured in the multimedia installation.
Visitors are encouraged to take their time, absorb everything and reflect on the past, present and future of one of the canton of Zurich’s most diverse and beautiful landscapes, which just happens to be situated in the midst of its most densely populated area.
Supported by the Zentralbibliothek Zürich’s Special Collections: Department of Prints and Drawings and Photo Archive, Manuscript Department, Map Department, Music Department
Canton of Zurich Archaeology Service, City of Zurich Underwater Archaeology Service, Lake Zurich Landscape Preservation, SCG UNESCO Palafittes
Concept: Roberto Alliegro, Anita Gresele