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Fraumünster

altFraumünster, or Church of Our Lady, is one of Zurich's most important churches.  The original church was opened in 850 and served as a Benedictine Abbey.  The convent here was home to many of the elite women of Medieval Germany.  The crypt dates from this original building.  The current church was built in the mid-thirteenth century and a Romanesque spire was added in 1732.  The spire towers above central Zurich, making this an important landmark.

The exterior of Fraumünster is not particularly memorable, but the inside more than makes up to it.  The highlight is the spectacular stained glass windows designed by artist Marc Chagall.  There are five in all, each featuring a scene from the Bible.  They were installed in 1970.  Another 9m tall window was installed by Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti in 1940.  There are also several interesting statues and frescoes.

A visit to Fraumünster won't take long -- no more than a half hour -- but it's one of Zurich's more memorable attractions.  The stained glass windows are spectacular, some of the best you'll see anywhere.  The inside is quiet and peaceful too, an excellent place to take some time and think.  Admission is free, which is a nice change of pace in this expensive city.

Location: Stadthausquai 19, Kreis 1
Telephone: +41 044 211 4100
Website: www.fraumuenster.ch
Hours: Open daily 10:00-16:00 (18:00 during summer)
Admission: Free admission.

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