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Swiss National Museum

altThe Swiss National Museum opened in 1898, seven years after its establishment.  The building is in the style of a French Renaissance chateau, designed by architect Gustav Gull.  It has been expanded several times since.  The museum is dedicated to Swiss culture

The History of Switzerland gives an overview of Swiss history and is a good starting point.  The Collections Gallery displays the arts and crafts of Switzerland.  There are paintings, tapestries, and dolls among other items.  The museum has more than 820,000 objects in its collection, a small percentage of which are on display at any given time.

One of the most interesting collections is also the newest.  The Swiss Homes and Furnishings collection displays furniture from throughout the nation's history.  It's interesting to see how Swiss design has evolved over time, especially since Switzerland is a country at the forefront of design.  The exhibits dedicated to arms and armor, and traditional dress are also interesting and have lots of unique items on display.

Unfortunately, not all of the displays are in English, though it shouldn't be too hard to follow what's going on.  Still, this is a fascinating museum.  As a small country, the intricacies of Swiss history and culture are not well known outside Switzerland.  You'll definitely learn a lot here.  Even if you're not interested in history, there are plenty of exhibits dedicated to design and culture.  Guided tours are available in English.

Location: Landesmuseum Zurich, Museumstrasse 2
Telephone: +41 044 218 6511
Website: www.musee-suisse.ch
Hours: Open 10:00-17:00 Tuesday through Sunday (19:00 on Thursday).
      Closed Monday.
   CHF10 Adults
   CHF8 Reduced fee
   Free for children under 16.


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