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Wasserkirche

Wasserkirche Introduction

The Wasserkirche, translated to the “Water Church” in English, is located in Zurich, and it was first described as ecclesia Aquatica Turicensi in the year 1250 and then as wazzirkilcha six years later. It is a church created on a little island on the Limmat, located between the primary churches of Zurich in the Middle Ages, the Fraumunster and the Grossmunster.

Overview

The place was probably used for congregations of cults since ancient times, based near a stone currently in the church’s crypt, and it was the site of the execution of Saints Regula and Felix. A church was built in the 900s, and rebuilt in different stages, and it ended in a totalreconstruction in the late 1400s. During the Reformation, the Wasserkirche was said to be a site of idolatry, and it was secularized as well, and it became the initial library in Zurich in the early 1600s. All of this activity was responsible for catalyzing the foundation of the University of Zurich in the 1800s. It  was linked with the Limmat’s right bank in the mid-1800s with the development of the Limmatquai. The library was combined with the Zentralbibliothek in the early 1900s, and the church was turned into a storage area for food, until archaeological excavations and reconstruction work was done in 1940, after which the structurehas been used for church services in the Zurich canton. 

Helmhaus is a church extension, to the north, and it was first noted in 1253 as a criminal justice court, and it was just a basic wooden structure at that time. It covered the eastern part of the bridge. It was extended to a bigger wooden structure in 1563, and a stonework hall replaced it in the late 1700s. 

Since the Water Church has existed for so long, and because of its cultic background and connection to the University of Zurich, it is an interesting church to visit on any Switzerland expedition. It is very interesting for students of religion and church history, and it has a unique importance in the wide selection of Swiss churches available for public viewing.

Wasserkirche Photo Gallery

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