Winterthur, city, Zürich canton, northern Switzerland. It lies in a wooded basin east of the Töss River, northeast of Zürich city. The Roman settlement of Vitodurum was on the site of the city’s northeastern suburb of Ober-Winterthur. Winterthur was founded about 1175 by the counts of Kyburg, who granted it a charter with extensive privileges. It was inherited in 1264 by the Habsburgs, who sold it to the city of Zürich in 1467. Notable landmarks include the Town Church of St. Laurenz (1264–1515), the town hall (1781–83), and the Assembly Hall (1865–69). Notable among the advanced schools is the Technikum, Switzerland’s largest school of technology. The city’s Collection Oskar Reinhart am Römerholz picture gallery and its symphony orchestra are well known. A rail and industrial centre, Winterthur is home to high-technology businesses and also manufactures cotton textiles.
Winterthur is a treasure trove rich in art, history and nature. Switzerland’s sixth-biggest city boasts art collections of world renown. Other museums and monuments, a lively old town, an active music and comedy scene, and extensive parks and public gardens give Winterthur, a town small enough to get around conveniently, the air of a big city.
The Oskar Reinhart Collection “Am Römerholz” is one of the most impressive museums in Winterthur. It is among the most important private collections of the 20th century and includes about 200 works of European art from the 14th to the early 20th century. The focus is on 19th century French painting, in particular on paintings by the French impressionists and their precursors.
The Oskar Reinhart Museum “Am Stadtgarten” shows over 500 pictures, predominantly by German, Swiss and Austrian artists from the 18th to the 20th century. Other highlights include the Villa Flora, where a rich collection of modern French painting is exhibited, and the Briner and Kern Museum which is mainly devoted to the Dutch masters of the 17th century.
Winterthur owes its cultural wealth to rich patrons from the days when Winterthur was an important industrial centre: with the onset of the industrialisation in the 19th century Winterthur rose quickly to become an important economic centre thanks to motor, locomotive and textile factories.
The cultural city of Winterthur in addition to several theatres and the biggest event venue of Switzerland is also home to the Swiss cabaret and comedy centre. The friendly old town of Winterthur with its many street cafes is perfect for strolling and shopping.
In spite of its industrial tradition Winterthur is also a ‘garden city’ with a conspicuously large number of parks and gardens. There is even a city tour dedicated to “Villas and Gardens”. In the charming area surrounding Winterthur, in the forests, wine-growing areas, by the Töss and Rhine there are castles with which the people of Winterthur today as in the past have a particularly close relationship. Winterthur is also a perfect starting point for excursions to Lake Constance and the Rhine or to the nearby metropolis of Zurich.
- Art Museum – exhibitions devoted to modern art from Picasso to Klee
- Technorama – entertaining introduction to the development of science and technology under the motto “please touch”
- Photo Museum – the only museum for photography in German-speaking Switzerland with over 30’000 originals by world-famous photographers
- Oskar Reinhart Collection “Am Römerholz” – Reinharts large private villa houses European paintings from five centuries
- Sulzerareal – Europes’s largest hall for trend sports, also venue for large events, such as musicals etc.
- Winterthur Fasnacht (Carnival) (February/March)
- Albanifest (June)
- Winterthur Summer Theatre – traditional open-air theatre which was first introduced in 1865 (Summer)
- International Short Film Festival (November)
- Christmas Market (December)
How to get there
- From Zürich: every 15 minutes, approx.
- From Airport: every 15 minutes, approx.
- From St. Gallen: every 20 minutes. approx.
- From Schaffhausen: hourly
- From Basel: every 20 minutes, approx.
- From Zürich: A1-Exit Wülflingen or Töss
- From St. Gallen: A1-Exit Ohringen
- From Schaffhausen: A1-Exit Ohringen