Friday, 8 October 2010

Zürich, Switzerland

Here's a slightly different postcard from Switzerland. ..and by 'different' I mean that it doesn't feature mountains or cute little houses, or chocolate. Don't get me wrong, I like all those things, but it's nice to see something else occasionally as well.

This card shows the Paradeplatz, a square at the Bahnhofstrasse in downtown Zürich. It is one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in Switzerland and has become synonymous with wealth and the Swiss banks, being the location of the headquarters of both UBS and Credit Suisse.

The site of the square lay without the medieval city walls, and was incorporated into the town with the construction of the new ramparts in 1642. During the 17th century, it served as a lifestock market, known as Säumärt ("pig market"), renamed to Neumarkt "new market" in 1819 and finally to its current name following the construction of Bahnhofstrasse (1865). The hotel Baur en Ville on the eastern end of the square opened in 1838. The Paradeplatz was the scene of clashes between insurgents and cantonal troops during the 1839 Züriputsch.

Sounds like a pretty freaky place - an area with nothing but banks! O_o The trams look really nice, and I like the flowers (or trees?) at the front, I think they add a nice touch to the card and make it less "business-like", if you can say so.

So many stamps! The one on the right is a commemorative one, issued earlier this year to mark the 250th birth (?) anniversary of Johann Peter Hebel. The stamps next to it are from a set of 4 stamps issued in 2008, representing Cereals. The one in the middle is barley, and the two others are rye.

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