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Winterthur coat of arms
State : SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland
Canton : Canton ZurichCanton Zurich Zurich (ZH)
District : Winterthur
BFS no. : 0230i1 f3 f4
Postal code : 8400-8409 Winterthur
8404 Reutlingen
8404 Stadel
8482 Sennhof
8352 Ricketwil
Coordinates : 697 052  /  261 734 coordinates: 47 ° 29 '57 "  N , 8 ° 43' 36"  O ; CH1903:  697 052  /  two hundred and sixty-one thousand seven hundred thirty-four
Height : 439  m above sea level M.
Height range : 393–687 m above sea level M.
Area : 68.07  km²
Residents: i111,851 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 1643 inhabitants per km²
Proportion of foreigners :
(residents without
citizenship )
24.4% (December 31, 2,018)
City President : Michael Künzle ( CVP )
Location of the municipality
Schützenweiher Bichelsee Guemüliweier Ziegelweier Deutschland Kanton Schaffhausen Kanton St. Gallen Kanton Thurgau Bezirk Andelfingen Bezirk Bülach Bezirk Pfäffikon Bezirk Uster Bezirk Zürich Altikon Brütten Dägerlen Dättlikon Dinhard Elgg Ellikon an der Thur Elsau Hagenbuch ZH Hettlingen ZH Neftenbach Pfungen Rickenbach ZH Schlatt ZH Seuzach Turbenthal Wiesendangen Winterthur Zell ZHMap of Winterthur
About this picture
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Winterthur ( French Winterthour , Latin Vitudurum , colloquially known as Winti for short ) is the sixth largest city in Switzerland and the second largest in the canton of Zurich with around 115,500 inhabitants . As a political municipality , the city ​​is also the capital of the district of the same name . Winterthur used to be an important industrial city and is now known as a service, education, culture and leisure center with 16 museums. The Winterthur station handles the fifth highest passenger frequency of Switzerland; Zurich Airport is 15 kilometers south-west .


Winterthur is located in north-eastern Switzerland on the Eulach and is often referred to as the gateway to eastern Switzerland . Despite their proximity to Zurich, which is 20 kilometers south, Winterthur and the surrounding communities form their own agglomeration with more than 114,000 inhabitants (as of 2019). The urban area, which is spider-shaped between seven wooded hills, is surrounded by the Töss in the south . The upper Tösstal , popular as a recreational area, stretches to the southeast , while the Zurich wine country, which is still heavily agricultural in some areas, connects to the north .

Winterthur was granted city rights by the Habsburgs in 1264 , but the Counts of Kyburg were the actual city founders. The companies Sulzer , SLM and Rieter or their successor organizations are still active in the former industrial city , but no longer at their former size. Today, the city is geared towards the service sector and is the seat of AXA Winterthur .


Winterthur is located in northeastern Switzerland north of Zurich at the exit of the (upper) Töss Valley and thus on the edge of the Zurich Oberland , which lies in the southeast. In the north lies the wine country, which extends to Schaffhausen .

The urban area is traversed by the rivers Eulach , Töss and the Mattenbach ; however, the Eulach and the Mattenbach are canalised over long distances. Because there is no lake in Winterthur apart from a few ponds, the proportion of water in the municipality is just 0.6 percent. The large Eulach gravel plain in which the city is located is surrounded by several wooded hills that frame the core city from almost all sides ( Eschenberg , Brüelberg , Wolfensberg , Lindberg ). In the Eschenberg city forest south of the city center, there are two clearings, an observatory and the Bruderhaus wildlife park . On the southern edge of the Lindbergwald lies the Goldenberg, a viewpoint over the city, on the slope of which wine is grown.

The highest point in the city is the Hulmen at 687 meters, the lowest is on the border with Pfungen below the Hard sewage treatment plant at 393 meters. The city has a forest area of ​​2,637 hectares, which corresponds to 38.8 percent of the city area. This means that Winterthur has the highest proportion of forest in comparison to other Swiss cities. Due to the large municipal area outside the city limits, the proportion of fields, meadows and pastures is 27.9 percent. The actually built-up urban area is only 32 percent of the municipal area.

View from the Brühlberg Tower: v. l. Right: in the foreground: Wülflingen, Veltheim, city center and motorway near Töss. In the background: Oberwinterthur and lakes.

City districts

Map of the city districts and quarters

Winterthur consists of the seven urban districts of Stadt , Mattenbach , Oberwinterthur , Seen , Töss , Veltheim and Wülflingen .

The Stadt Kreis separates the municipality of Winterthur from north to south. In addition to the old town, it includes the Heiligberg and half of the Eschenberg forest in the south and the Lindberg in the north, as well as other quarters such as the Tössfeld or Neuwiesen.

The five circles Oberwinterthur in the Northeast, lakes in the southeast, Töss in the southwest, Veltheim in the north and Wülflingen in the northwest were formerly independent communities, all on 1 January 1922 incorporated were. These districts still have a life of their own today. The youngest urban district of Mattenbach, on the other hand, was only declared a district in 1973, when more and more new developments were being built in the area. It was created between the city and lake districts of that time.

Neighboring communities

Winterthur borders on 14 municipalities in three districts (including the Winterthur district ). These are clockwise: in the north, above Wülflingen , Hettlingen has a small common border strip with Winterthur and then comes the municipality of Seuzach , which is about halfway around Winterthur from the south. In the northeast, the municipalities of Dinhard , Rickenbach , Wiesendangen and in the east Elsau all border on the Oberwinterthur district. To the southeast, bordering lakes, are Schlatt and Zell . The municipality of Illnau-Effretikon , which belongs to the Pfäffikon district, is located on the southern border at the Eschenberg municipal forest . To the southwest, Winterthur borders on Lindau (Pfäffikon district) and Brütten . In the west is Oberembrach ( Bülach district ) and Pfungen . In the northwest, the district of Wülflingen borders the municipality of Neftenbach .

Neftenbach Hettlingen
Neighboring communities Elsau
Illnau-Effretikon Schlatt


Winterthur is located in the Molasse basin of the Mittelland, which extends to a depth of around two to three kilometers in the Winterthur area. The molasse layer is now largely buried by moraine material and can only be seen on the slopes of the hills surrounding Winterthur, whereby these visible layers are assigned to the upper freshwater molasses , which were created by earlier alpine lakes and bodies of water. Above the molasse layer, in the Eulach gravel plain, above the topmost humus layer, there is a gravel layer of 20 to 30 meters, followed by a layer of clay ("Pfungener layer") of varying depth: from the old town to Wülflingen, this is around 60 meters (with a pit in Niederfeld up to almost 100 meters), but this layer is only ten meters deep at the Geiselweid swimming pool and is overlaid and underlain by a ground moraine layer , which cannot be detected in the area around Wülflingen, and then disappears completely towards Oberwinterthur and lakes.


Climate diagram of the Zurich-Kloten measuring station

Winterthur is located in the central plateau and in the temperate climate zone . Characteristic for the climate of Winterthur are on the one hand the winds from the west, which often bring precipitation , and on the other hand the bise (east or north-east wind), which is usually associated with high pressure, but brings cooler weather phases in all seasons than would be expected on average. The foehn , which is important in the Alpine valleys and on the edge of the Alps , does not normally have any special climatic effects on Winterthur.

According to the Winterthur-Seen measuring station of MeteoSwiss, the average rainfall is 1039 mm per year - these are normal values ​​compared to other locations. The amount of precipitation in summer is higher than in winter due to convective precipitation . Winterthur does not have its own temperature measuring station, the next is in Kloten (33 m lower than Winterthur's old town), which has an annual mean temperature of 9.75 ° C over the past 12 years. The lowest point is in February with 1.91 ° ​​C and the warmest month is July with 19.1 ° C. In general, global warming has increased steadily over the century in the canton of Zurich .


Winterthur owes its reputation as a “ garden city ” primarily to its urban planning from the interwar period, but also to a relatively large number of family gardens, known in Winterthur as Pünt and elsewhere as allotment gardens . In Winterthur there are 2,696 Pünten on 4,680 ares of land, although Püntenhäuschen have already been reined in by helicopter in the past in order to maintain them.

In 1926 the city planner Albert Bodmer created a zone plan based on the model of the English garden city . As a result, there were small private gardens in the many new buildings that preserved green spaces in the city. However, Bodmer stayed in office for less than ten years because the city wanted to follow the new zeitgeist in urban planning. In 1964 the idea of ​​a garden city disappeared completely with a new "modern" zoning plan. One result of this zoning plan was, among other things, developments in Mattenbach - it was not least thanks to these developments that Mattenbach was named a district. Only later, after the recession in the 1970s, did the city revert to the old values ​​and revise the zoning plan. For this achievement, Winterthur received the Wakker Prize of the Swiss Homeland Security in 1999 as an award for the preservation of traditional forms of living.

The three tallest buildings in the city are the Sulzer skyscraper , the Swisscom skyscraper and the KSW skyscraper of the Kantonsspital Winterthur, whereby the Sulzer skyscraper was the tallest skyscraper in Switzerland from 1966 to 2003, at 92.4 meters high. In 2007 it was raised by two additional floors and is now 99.7 meters high. However, the skyscraper is still a few meters smaller than the Messeturm Basel , the highest skyscraper in Switzerland to date at 105 meters. On April 6, 2010, the Prime Tower in Zurich, with a height of 126 meters, overtook the tallest building in Switzerland, the Basel Exhibition Tower . The Sulzer and Swisscom high-rise (90 m), the KSW high-rise (50 m) and, above all, the two towers of the city ​​church (55 m), which are repeatedly featured on postcards and pictures of the city, characterize the Winterthur cityscape .

View from the Bäumli above the Grüze train station, center of the picture to the right: Stadtkirche, Sulzer high-rise , Swisscom high-rise and KSW high-rise


On December 31, 2019, 115,492 people lived in Winterthur.

With 100,000 inhabitants since July 2008, Winterthur was the sixth largest city in Switzerland and the second largest in the canton of Zurich . On July 3, 2008, the town of Eulach registered the 100,000. Residents and thus graduated to the big city . Although it is one of the fastest growing Swiss cities with over 30,000 inhabitants, its further population increase by 2030 will be just under ten percent, slightly below the cantonal average, according to official forecasts.

Winterthur is not considered a suburb of Zurich, but forms the center of an independent agglomeration with the twelve surrounding communities Brütten , Dättlikon , Dinhard , Elsau , Henggart , Hettlingen , Neftenbach , Pfungen , Rickenbach , Seuzach , Wiesendangen and Zell .

Origin of the population

Population development:
residents according to the Winterthur residents' registration office
year Residents
1850 13,651
1900 40,961
1930 53,925
December 31, 1950 66,925
December 31, 1960 80,352
December 31, 1970 92,722
December 31, 1980 87,885
December 31, 1990 88,075
December 31, 2000 91,243
December 31, 2007 99,307
December 31, 2009 101,745
December 31, 2011 105,088
December 31, 2016 112,121
December 31, 2018 114,184
December 31, 2019 115,492
Citizenship 1990 2000 2010 2019
SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 79.37% 76.34% 76.76% 75.38%
GermanyGermany Germany 1.64% 1.94% 4.30% 4.39%
ItalyItaly Italy 8.18% 6.16% 4.45% 4.20%
North MacedoniaNorth Macedonia North Macedonia 0.23% 1.41% 1.88% 1.78%
TurkeyTurkey Turkey 2.92% 2.60% 1.83% 1.56%
KosovoKosovo Kosovo 0.05% 0.11% 0.94% 1.37%
SerbiaSerbia Serbia 1.56% 2.47% 1.94% 1.41%
PortugalPortugal Portugal 0.32% 0.58% 0.84% 0.88%
AustriaAustria Austria 0.81% 0.68% 0.69% 0.68%
SpainSpain Spain 1.33% 0.89% 0.58% 0.67%

Source: City of Winterthur, Statistics Department

Churches / religions

Church square Winterthur

On December 31, 2018, 22.9 percent of the population belonged to the Evangelical Reformed Church , 22.6 percent to the Catholic Church and 47.8 percent of another denomination.

The proportion of members of the Evangelical Reformed Church in the total population decreased in the period from 1980 to 2010 from 57.6 percent to 35.6 percent, the proportion of the Roman Catholic Church from 33.6 percent to 25.9 percent.

In 2010, twelve percent of the population belonged to Islam , 3.1 percent to other Christian churches and communities, 0.3 percent to the Evangelical Lutheran Church , 0.2 percent to the Christian Catholic Church and 0.01 percent to Judaism . The ideological affiliation of the remaining 19.85 percent of the population was not officially recorded. According to the city of Winterthur, the share of non-religious people in the total population in 2012 was 19.9%.

Population by Denomination - December 31, 2012
evangelical reformed
Roman Catholic
Christian Orthodox
other christian Denomination
other religion
no information / non-denominational

There are seven Reformed parishes in Winterthur: Mattenbach (Unterer Deutweg), Oberwinterthur (Hohlandstrasse), Seen (Kanzleistrasse), Töss (Stationsstrasse), Veltheim (Feldstrasse), Winterthur-Stadt (Untere Briggerstrasse) and Wülflingen (Lindenplatz). The city association of the reformed churches of Winterthur is part of the sponsorship of the factory church . There are eight Roman Catholic parishes: Parish Herz Jesu (Unterer Deutweg), San Francesco (St. Galler-Strasse), St. Josef (Nägelseestrasse), St. Laurentius (Oberfeldweg), St. Ulrich (Seuzacherstrasse), St. Urban (Seenerstrasse), St. Marien (Oberwinterthur) and St. Peter and Paul (Tellstrasse).

In the Evangelical Alliance Winterthur and Region, 19 parishes and plants are in contact with each other (as of 2020): Arche Winti, CGT Christian Congregation an der Töss, Chile Grüze ( Chrischonagemeinde ), Evangelical Reformed Church Community Seen, Evangelical Methodist Church EMK, Free Christian Community FCG, Free Evangelical Congregation , House of Prayer Winterthur, GVC Chile Hegi, Salvation Army, ICF Winterthur, Iglesia Evangélica Hispana, Mosaik - my Church, Quellenhof Foundation, SalZH Private School, SPM Pentecostal Church , City Mission, Foundation Community of Reconciliation, Foundation Loop.

Furthermore, in Winterthur u. a. also represented the Seventh-day Adventist Church , the New Apostolic Church , the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (known as "Mormons"), and Jehovah's Witnesses .

In addition to the Christian religious communities, there is also an Islamic religious community, a Turkish association, an Islamic-Albanian community, two Turkish-Islamic cultural associations and a Turkish-Alevi association in Winterthur-Hegi, which is the largest Alevi cultural center in Switzerland.


In the 19th century, Winterthur's politics were shaped by an aversion to Zurich and dominated by the group of so-called democrats . As part of the radical democratic free-thinking movement, these stood for a relatively strong state , while other parts of this movement, such as the Zürcher Freisinn, tended to represent economically liberal positions. The policy of the democrats, known as the École de Winterthour in French-speaking Switzerland , also left lasting traces in the Federal Constitution and is considered to be the driving force behind the national railway project, which failed in 1878, to create an additional east-west railway bypassing Zurich. In Eulachstadt itself, the strong position of the Democrats, who politicized in their own cantonal party from 1941/42, survived until 1971, when they were reunified with the Liberal Democratic Party (FDP).


Members of the Winterthur City Council (2018-2022)
Surname department Political party
Michael Künzle (Mayor, since 2012) Cultural and Services CVP
Christa Meier (since 2018) construction SP
Nicolas Galladé (since 2010) Social SP
Stefan Fritschi (since 2010) Technical operations FDP
Kaspar Bopp (since 2019) Finances SP
Barbara Günthard-Maier (since 2012) security and environment FDP
Jürg Altwegg (since 2017) School and sport Green

The executive in the city of Winterthur is the city ​​council . It consists of seven members and is elected every four years by the people. The seat of the city council is the town house built between 1865 and 1869 according to the plans of Gottfried Semper on Stadthausstrasse on the outskirts of the old town. In their prime, the Democrats provided all seven councilors, and until 1971 still had three (including the president). The Social Democrats who emerged from 1900 were soon able to take a seat on the city council and gradually expand their representation to three seats. With the term of office of SVP politician Josef Lisibach from 2014 to 2018, however, there was a bourgeois majority in the executive branch of two FDP representatives and one CVP and one SVP representative, making Winterthur the only bourgeois city in Switzerland. The city president has been the CVP politician Michael Künzle since 2012 , who was elected to the city council in 2005.

City Presidents

legislative branch

18th 7th 4th 8th 10 
A total of 60 seats

The legislature in the city of Winterthur is the great municipal council . It consists of 60 members who were divided into ten parties in 2006 and, like the city council, is elected by the people every four years. The city council holds its meetings on Monday afternoons in the town hall . The parliament was created in 1895 and then had 45 members. With the city association in 1922, the number of members was increased to 60. The Winterthur municipal council has been elected since 2006 with the newly introduced voting system “ double Pukelsheim ”, which is intended to enable a fairer distribution of seats.

Political party 2002 2006 2010 2014 2018
Social Democratic Party of Switzerland (SP) 21st 19th 16 15th 18th
Swiss People's Party (SVP) 14th 11 13 13 10
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 10 9 7th 7th 8th
Green Liberal Party (glp) - 2 6th 7th 7th
Green Party of Switzerland 4th 5 5 5 5
Evangelical People's Party (EPP) 4th 5 4th 4th 4th
Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP) 4th 6th 5 4th 3
Alternative list (AL) 1 1 1 2 2
Federal Democratic Union (EDU) 1 1 1 1 1
Pirate party - - 1 1 1
Bourgeois Democratic Party (BDP) - - - 1 1
Swiss Democrats (SD) 1 1 1 - -

2014 2018


As the district capital of the district named after the city, the district court of Winterthur is located in the city. It is located in the district building. The Social Insurance Court of the Canton of Zurich is the only cantonal court with its seat in Winterthur, near the main train station.

In Winterthur there is a prison with a capacity for 48 inmates, mainly for remand and security detention . It was closed by the government council on March 31, 2004 as part of the austerity measures, but had to be provisionally reopened in September 2004 because of the overcrowding in the other prisons. On July 1, 2005, the prison resumed regular full operation, only the catering was outsourced as a cost-saving measure.


The seven departments of the city administration currently employ around 5,000 people. As the largest unit, the Social Department has 1,400 employees.

As town clerk and head of the city office since 2016 has served Ansgar Simon.

The Winterthur City Police is the city executive's police force. Stadtwerk Winterthur is responsible for the basic supply of the population with electricity, water, gas and district heating as well as for sewage and garbage disposal. The Winterthur fire department is the city's fire department.

National elections

The 2019 National Council elections resulted in the following shares of the vote in Winterthur: SP 22.6%, SVP 17.8%, Greens 17.8%, glp 14.3% FDP 10.6%, EPP 5.0%, CVP 4.2%, AL 2.8%, BDP 1.6%, EDU 1.4%.

coat of arms

The blazon reads: « In silver a red sloping bar, accompanied by two striding red lions. »

As early as 1252, before the Count of Kyburg died out , the city of Winterthur sealed it with a coat of arms that was derived from the coat of arms of the Kyburg family, omitting the upper lion. Around 1276, the mayor Wezel von Winterthur then used the Kyburg coat of arms, including the upper lion. From this it can be concluded that Rudolf von Habsburg , who was German king at the time and who had inherited the Kyburger , who died out in 1275 , allowed the city to use the Kyburg coat of arms as the city's coat of arms. The Winterthur coat of arms is by far the oldest community coat of arms in the canton of Zurich. The second oldest is that of Grüningen , which first appeared in 1370.

In Winterthur, the shield from 1493 in the sacristy of the city ​​church is the earliest evidence of a colored representation of the Kyburg coat of arms as the city coat of arms. On the Zurich cantonal map of Jos Murer of 1566 the Winterthur shows coat of arms as a mirror image of the coat of arms of Kyburg, so two to the right (heraldic left) border lion, however, the shows murerplan of 1576 reversed the Kyburgs lion as to the right (heraldic left) and the Winterthur lions as striding to the left (heraldic right). The color scheme with red lions on a white background can be found on the office disk by Hans Jakob Nüscheler the Elder. Ä. by 1616.

Twin cities

Memorial plaque in Hall in Tyrol

Winterthur has entered into several city partnerships. The connections to these places focus primarily on cultural exchange and official connections. In some cases, however, connections in the economic and sporting areas are also maintained.

The partnerships with Yverdon-les-Bains and La Chaux-de-Fonds were set up to bridge linguistic differences and to promote exchange between French and German-speaking Switzerland. The partnership with La Chaux-de-Fonds has been managed since 1991 by the Winterthur - La Chaux-de-Fonds Foundation , which is supported by both cities. The foundation supports exchange projects in the cultural, social and sporting fields, enables school classes to visit and organizes visits to the population between the two cities, most recently in September 2012, when over 140 people from Winterthur visit La Chaux-de-Fonds .

The partnership with Hall in Tirol came into being after the Second World War, when Switzerland helped rebuild. Winterthur supplied Hall in Tirol, which at that time was still called Solbad-Hall, with railroad cars full of donations in kind and food.

Pilsen, the youngest twin city, came about with official help from Winterthur when the first free elections were due there again.

In 1982, Winterthur's mayor Urs Widmer also proposed a town partnership with the city of Ontario in the US state of California . The idea arose at a meeting Widmer with Mayor Ted Dutton from Ontario. While Ontario then officially named Winterthur as a twin city, the proposal ultimately did not come into being in Winterthur and the idea was forgotten here. It was not until 2018 that the Winterthur administration was made aware of the previously unknown "one-sided" partnership.

Together with the cities of Schaffhausen and St. Gallen , Winterthur supports one development aid project each year in Germany and abroad.


“Banana” area of ​​Siska Holding AG

The city achieved international fame primarily through its once flourishing machine industry with companies such as Sulzer , SLM , Rieter and Geilinger . The Volkart trading house is known beyond the city limits and is only partially active in Winterthur today. Also known - until the collapse in 2003 - was the conglomerate of the Erb family . Today the formerly large industrial companies are only a fraction of their former size, so many former departments of Sulzer have become independent.

Winterthur is one of the origins of the former Swiss Bank Corporation (merger of the Toggenburger Bank with the bank in Winterthur to form what was then the Swiss Bank Corporation in 1912), which merged with the Swiss Bank Corporation to form UBS AG in 1998 . The founding building is on Stadthausstrasse and is still an office of UBS AG today. In June 2006 Credit Suisse sold the Winterthur Group to the French Axa Group, number two in the European insurance market. The traditional brand Winterthur will be retained as AXA Winterthur in a transition phase. However, Axa wants to delete the addition Winterthur in the medium term and only appear as Axa.

The Winterthur economy has undergone major upheaval since the 1980s, first the change from the machine to the service industry (insurance and banking), and then in the 1990s with the sale of Winterthur insurance to the Credit Suisse Group and The subsequent constant restructuring also caused a partial decline in this branch of the economy. The Swica is based in Winterthur.

With city marketing, the first in a Swiss city, an attempt was made from 1992 to implement this change in a development and settlement policy for new branches of industry and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The American medical technology company Zimmer Biomet has its headquarters for Europe, Asia and Australia in Winterthur. Smaller companies in the high-tech sector also settled here.

There are also two larger training companies based in Winterthur. The training center in Winterthur (azw), created from the former Sulzer training companies, is the largest trainer in the canton. The second larger training company with its own vocational school is the Mechatronics School in Winterthur . It is the third largest training company of its kind in Switzerland. Both training companies together train 250 apprentices per year.

The social economy is of considerable importance in Winterthur, although its share in the economy as a whole and its sociology have not yet been systematically researched. The broad network of volunteer work is also part of the social economy.

Since 2007 Winterthur has been able to decorate its Energy City label with the addition of the “European Energy Award GOLD”. In 2012 the population spoke out in favor of a 2000 watt society. The way to get there is mapped out in the “Basics of the Energy Concept 2050”, which defines key areas of action for the areas of electricity, heat and mobility. On the way to the 2000-watt society, the first step is to achieve the interim goals by 2020: a reduction in primary energy requirements (as of 2008) by around 6 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by around 10 percent.



Up until the 1950s and 1960s there were five competing daily newspapers in Winterthur. These were the “socialist” Winterthurer Arbeiterzeitung , the “democratic” Landbote , the “liberal” Neue Winterthurer Tagblatt , the “Catholic” Hochwacht and, from abroad, the “conservative” Weinländer . Today only the newspaper with the highest circulation in Winterthur, Der Landbote, has survived as a daily newspaper . The former AZ in Winterthur was converted into the weekly newspaper Stadtblatt and distributed free of charge to all households as a local Sunday newspaper from January to June 2008. Due to miscalculations in the advertising market, it was the last of the previously competing daily newspapers in Winterthur to stop appearing after more than 100 years. The Weinländer still exists as the Andelfinger Zeitung , which appears twice a week, but has not been of any importance in Winterthur for a long time.

Free weekly newspapers in the city are the Winterthurer Stadtanzeiger and the Winterthurer Zeitung , an indirect successor to the Winterthurer Woche , which was taken over by the Stadtanzeiger.


The radio stations Radio4TNG , Radio Stadtfilter , Radio Top and Radio Top Two are located in Winterthur .

watch TV

The television station Tele Top is based in Winterthur. The station was founded in 1986 as a local television for Winterthur and was called Winti TV until 1999. Tele Züri , the regional broadcaster for the city of Zurich, can also be received in Winterthur.

Winterthur yearbook

The Winterthur yearbook has been published since 1954. It reports on the people of Winterthur, on cultural and economic events and on social developments. It is supplemented with a city chronicle and cultural reviews.

Transport links

Rail transport

Winterthur main train station: reception building from the southeast

The Winterthur main station is an important railway and bus hub. After Zurich HB (440,000), Bern (202,000), Basel SBB (112,000) and Lausanne (107,000), it has the fifth highest user frequency in Switzerland with 105,000 train travelers per day.

Main lines

Main lines (with IC and S-Bahn trains) follow

Secondary lines

Branch lines ( S-Bahn ) lead to

These routes are served by 12 lines of the Zurich S-Bahn . The capacities in the direction of Zurich between Winterthur and the Hürlistein junction are reaching their limits. The Brüttener Tunnel between Winterthur and Bassersdorf , which is supposed to alleviate this bottleneck, has been under discussion for a long time, but fell victim to a savings round in the first edition of Bahn 2000 and is now part of Bahn 2030 .

Train stations

In addition to the main train station, there are nine other S-Bahn stops in the municipality of Winterthur:

The last two stops mentioned are located in so-called Aussenwachten of Winterthur outside the urban settlement area.

The cantonal structure plan also includes a Försterhaus stop on the line towards Zurich with a long-term planning horizon. This is to serve to develop the up-and-coming quarters in Töss. There is also the possibility of a train stop Winterthur-Grüze Nord on the railway line towards Frauenfeld. Before the cultural land initiative was accepted, a stop was also registered in Oberseen, but this was deleted after the cultural land initiative was accepted, as previously planned zoning was deleted from the structure plan. Furthermore, a double-lane expansion by means of a two-lane Lindberg tunnel is under discussion in the long term for the route towards Schaffhausen .

Local transport

The urban transport company Stadtbus Winterthur , which is integrated into the Zürcher Verkehrsverbund , operates various inner-city and regional car and trolleybus lines. With the exception of a few feeder lines, these are linked at the main station. The resulting bus station is the largest in the canton and, after Sion , Lucerne and Bern, one of the largest in Switzerland. There are eight night bus routes from the main train station on Friday and Saturday nights.

The Winterthur tram ran in the city from 1898 to 1951 , and was replaced by the trolleybus .

Air traffic

The airport Zurich , Switzerland's largest airport, located a few kilometers southwest of Winterthur in Kloten . All long-distance trains to Zurich and a S-Bahn line connect it with Winterthur. Travel time by train is 13 to 17 minutes.

The Hegmatten glider airfield with a grass runway has been located in the Hegmatten district in Oberwinterthur since 1964 . It is run by the local glider club.


Winterthur, also known as "Velostadt", is criss-crossed by many cycle paths with a total length of 175 kilometers. The national cycle route 5 ( Mittelland route ) also leads through the city. The city was awarded the Prix ​​Velo in 2005 for its exemplary network of cycle paths .

A special feature of the overall urban transport concept are two provisionally marked bicycle lifts - one in the direction of Heiligberg and one in Dättnau . There is also a concept for fast bicycle roads, which has not yet been implemented.

Private transport

Winterthur is a traffic junction at the exit of the Töss valley and the Kempt valley and connects the wine country with the rest of the canton of Zurich . Several main axes lead into the old town.

The A1 motorway bypasses the city in the west and north with the exits Winterthur-Töss, Winterthur-Wülflingen, Winterthur-Ohringen / Veltheim and Oberwinterthur. In addition, there is the Winterthur-Nord motorway junction with the A4 motorway to Schaffhausen in the north and the Winterthur-Ost motorway junction with the A7 motorway to Kreuzlingen to the northeast . A southern bypass of the city through the Eschenberg is always up for discussion. It is still entered in the structure plan, but the construction is a long way off. The construction of this southern bypass is extremely controversial. Winterthur is the junction of main roads 1 , 7 and 15 .

The old town of Winterthur is the largest contiguous pedestrian zone in Switzerland .


Early time and place name

The archaeologically verifiable history of Winterthur goes back to the Bronze Age , but only sparse finds are evidence of this. The name of the later Roman settlement Vitudurum in Oberwinterthur gives an indication of a Celtic settlement, as the name comes from the Celtic : It is probably a combination of Celtic uito "willow" and Celtic durōn "gate, door" and thus probably means "willow gate , Weidenhof, fencing braided with willow branches ”, but perhaps also“ market town of Uito ”. However, no clearly Celtic traces of settlement have survived in the urban area to this day. It is believed that the church hill in Oberwinterthur has been inhabited since the Neolithic period with few interruptions - but this cannot be proven despite extensive excavations in the region. There are prehistoric traces in Wülflingen and lakes.

Roman settlement Vitudurum (ancient)

Inscription panel of the Roman fort

In Roman times in today's Oberwinterthur there was probably first a settlement (Roman vicus ), which, according to an inscription panel, was fortified with a fort in 294 AD because of the ongoing attacks by the Alemanni on the settlement. Vitudurum was located on an important Roman road that led from Vindonissa to Lake Constance. The Roman settlement provided rich archaeological discoveries and numerous finds and is now a focus of archaeological research in the Canton of Zurich, and new sites are constantly being discovered. It is believed that various workshops such as blacksmiths, pottery and tanneries existed in Vitudurum. In the settlement there was also a temple , a thermal bath and a water pipe system. The archaeological finds can be traced back to around AD 400; there are no more recent finds. During this time the Romans withdrew from the Rhine border and also left Vitudurum.

The Roman fort Vitudurum had an inscription plaque that perhaps adorned the gate of the Roman fort built around AD 294. This plaque was later brought to Constance , where it was venerated like a sanctuary by the common people, as the inhabitants of the city held the inscription plaque as evidence of the foundation of Constance by Emperor Constantius I in the Middle Ages . At the beginning of September 1967 the piece was handed over to Winterthur by Konstanz as a sign of neighborly friendship and has since been exhibited in its town hall (you can see the plaque from the town hall passage). On this inscription tablet the year 294 AD is given as the laying of the foundation stone for Vitudurum. However, this is the laying of the foundation stone of the Vitudurum fort, because a Roman settlement probably already existed here in 1 AD.

In the area of ​​today's old town there must have been at least one Roman country house, so a Roman heating system was found in 1923. Furthermore, other stray finds were found in various places in today's urban area.

Founding of Winterthur and the Kyburgers (600–1264)

Medieval Winterthur (which was first called Niederwinterthur), today's old town, was laid out about four kilometers west of the old Vitudurum. There were first settlements on the site as early as the 6th or 7th century; the oldest previous building of today's St. Laurentius town church is based on a simple wooden hall building from the 7th / 8th centuries. Century back. There were several reasons why the Winterthur estate developed well. On the one hand, it was due to the region's important trade and transport route. In addition, it linked two market areas: the Tösstal and the plains.

The first written document from the city goes back to a document from 919. A place name appears there for the first time: Niederwinterthur . According to the content of this document, the town in question belongs to the Oberwinterthur Church and has to pay tithing to it. There must have been real competition between the settlements in Niederwinterthur and what is now the Oberwinterthur district. A second document dates from 1180, in which an urban settlement under the name Niderunwinterture is documented in today's core town . A purchase contract was signed under the Bishop of Konstanz, which separates the Winterthur chapel from the Oberwinterthur church. According to the document, the land of Niederwinterthur now belonged to the Counts of Kyburg, whose lions Winterthur now has in the coat of arms. Kyburger also granted Winterthur market rights. When exactly Niederwinterthur took over the name Winterthur is unclear. One can assume that the name changed shortly after the second document in Winterthur around 1180, perhaps due to the influence of the Kyburger.

In 919 the Battle of Winterthur took place in front of Winterthur , during which the Duchy of Swabia was able to secure its claims against the stronghold of Burgundy for Thurgau and Zürichgau . At that time, the lords of Winterthur were still from the line of the Udalrichingers , whose representatives were also known as the Counts of Winterthur in the 10th and 11th centuries . The city finally came into the possession of Hartmann I in the 11th century as a dowry from the marriage of Hartmann I von Dillingen and Adelheid, probably the daughter of the last lord of the city, Adalbert II von Winterthur , who now follows called his new headquarters «von Kyburg».

For the Counts of Kyburg, Winterthur then became their capital. The counts stored their tax and tithe income in Winterthur. The city was fortified with ramparts, moats and watchtowers, the construction of the city was specifically and systematically promoted, which can be seen today in the structure of the old town. The Kyburgers are still considered to be the founders of the city, although Winterthur was only granted city rights by the Habsburgs , who inherited the Counts of Kyburg after the male line of the Kyburgs died out in 1264.

In the field of tension between the Habsburgs and the Swiss Confederation (1264–1467)

Winterthur around 1292 on a map from 1814
The Gothic town church

The city developed rapidly from the early 13th century. The fortifications were extended to the lower and upper gates. The Kyburg family finally died out in 1264; the city passed into the possession of the successors and heirs, the Habsburgs . As a result, on June 22, 1264, Winterthur was granted city rights by Rudolf I von Habsburg, which granted them, among other things, sole market rights within a radius of two hours (that is about 8 km) and their own court.

In April 1292 the Habsburgs defeated the people of Zurich in the battle of St. Georgen at the gates of the city, who would have liked to see the city of Winterthur in their area. This victory over the opposition movement against the Habsburgs, which was fathomed after the death of Rudolfs von Habsburg, secured the domination of the Habsburgs over eastern Switzerland and, connected with it, the peace in Winterthur.

By belonging to Habsburg, in contrast to the warring Zurich, no guilds developed that would have influenced the politics and development of the city. Until the beginning of the 15th century there were several attempts to establish such a movement, as reported in several documents from this time. It can even be assumed by an arbitration ruling from 1342 that the nobility were chased out of the city for a while; However, in several documents from the Habsburg side, the citizens are informed that such secret societies were undesirable, and the power of the city lords is underlined.

From 1380 onwards, the old Swiss Confederation posed a new threat to the city, and Winterthur was subsequently involved in several skirmishes on the Habsburg side to defend it, and in the process found itself in a militarily unfavorable situation. In 1415/17 the city was granted imperial freedom thanks to the interference of the German Emperor Sigismund , who was in opposition to the Habsburg family . In 1434 the imperial-free city acquired the village of Hettlingen , which it should own until 1798. However, the city did not succeed in maintaining this imperial freedom in the Old Zurich War : Winterthur fell back to Habsburg Austria in 1442, which the city still preferred to belong to the Confederation. At this time, the confirmation of a cemetery that was expanded compared to the old town charter , with which the new ruler probably wanted to secure the favor of the townspeople , also falls . The help and improvement promised by the new rule did not materialize, however; rather, the city was pledged several times. In 1460, in connection with the conquest of Thurgau by the Confederates, there was another two-month siege, which the city under the command of Thuringia III. von Hallwyl held out again. However, this could not prevent Winterthur, which was now completely enclosed by the Swiss Confederation, from coming under increasing federal pressure and, due to the notorious financial shortage of the Habsburgs, was finally pledged to the city of Zurich in 1467. Winterthur's city walls contained around 2,200 inhabitants at that time.

Winterthur under the rule of Zurich (1467–1798)

Under the rule of the City of Zurich, Winterthur received the status of a municipal town  - it thus had more rights than the rest of Zurich's territories - in the lien agreement, Zurich had to recognize the rights that Winterthur citizens had previously had. The city, together with its subject area Hettlingen, was subject to self-administration and was also able to retain its tax sovereignty. Various personalities from Zurich had certain representative functions for Zurich in Winterthur. In 1512 the city received from Pope Julius II a valuable « Julius banner » for the services rendered in the grand piano procession in 1508–1510 to expel the French. From 1540 had a bailiff in Winterthur its seat mainly for decades and courts in Neftenbach and Elgg was responsible, but could still monitor the life and the economic activities of Winterthur. In addition, the bailiff of Kyburg had jurisdiction over the property of the citizens outside the city. With the seizure, however, Zurich also received the right to represent Winterthur externally and kept the obligation to travel for itself. This obligation to travel also meant that Winterthur had to provide certain troop contingents for practically every war trade at the behest of the authorities. The pledging and thus the loss of many freedoms did not please the people of Winterthur at all, with the pledging a number of influential and wealthy families left the city.

The city itself tried several times to free itself from the pledge in order to be able to become an independent place of the Confederation, which would have been equivalent to a later canton of its own. The gentlemen from Zurich resolutely opposed these attempts and hindered the city in its territorial development. In 1544, Winterthur independently acquired a letter from Charles V , which confirmed the city's previous privileges and granted it a few new privileges - unacceptable to the rule of Zurich. When one in Zurich got wind of it by chance, the right of external representation of the city was curtailed and checked again all privileges of the city and had such more recent ones destroyed. Attempts on the part of the Habsburgs to grant the city self-redemption - because according to the garnishment agreement, only the Habsburg house itself had the right to do so - all failed.

View of Winterthur on an engraving by Matthäus Merian , 1642

From the time of the Reformation onwards, Winterthur was largely in agreement with Zurich politics, as various popular inquiries showed. In any case, there was no more significant opposition to the center of the Reformation from this time - even if Winterthur received another representative from Zurich at the end of the Reformation: the city pastor was now appointed from Zurich and had by the marriage court and the acceptance of the Loyalty oaths influence the city. Since there was otherwise no monastery or similar religious institutions that had an impact on urban life, the influence of the Reformation will have been noticed primarily through the increased employment of mercenaries for Zurich.

Winterthur experienced an economic boom during this time, but was repeatedly harassed from Zurich in its economic and territorial development. The city itself was also able to acquire land and jurisdictions outside the city limits, but this was only possible with permission from Zurich. So it happened that in 1587 they wanted to acquire Hegi Castle and the associated lands, but this failed because of Zurich's objection. Eleven years later, however, the Mörsburg was successfully acquired after Zurich had shown no interest in the castle and the courtyards. In 1634 and 1719 the acquisition of Wülflingen failed twice in an important area close to the city because of the objection from Zurich, which probably did not want Winterthur to become too powerful. What is noticeable about both objections is that negotiations for a sale to Zurich by the owner previously failed and the city only took measures when it became aware of Winterthur's interest.

On the economic side, for example, market rights were restricted and the trade and processing of goods such as silk or wool were prohibited. In particular, when Zurich intervened in the textile industry around 1720, Winterthur saw its economic freedom violated, while Zurich demonstrated its power by having the Winterthur mayor Steiner arrested in an ambush in Töss and Winterthur - after this legal opinion from two universities distributed to the population - even threatened a military strike. Another example can be seen with the doctors: Since the city of Zurich was unable to take over the training of such doctors, the city doctors' exams were simply not recognized in the rest of Zurich. In the case of other goods, in the manufacture of which Winterthur was strong, the sale to the city of Zurich was covered by buses, such as the famous Winterthur tiled stoves. The people of Zurich also controlled the cultural development of their municipal city: the establishment of a bookshop was not allowed until 1772 and was subject to Zurich censorship, while that of a printing house was prohibited until the end of the old Zurich rule.

In the period from 1349 to 1635, a total of eleven plague epidemics are recorded in the city. The worst epidemic was arguably that of 1611, killing 1,135 people, or just under half of the population. In the case of the other epidemics, the number of deceased is likely to have been around 500, in the case of the last known epidemics there are talk of 112 and 200 victims.

End of rule by the French (1798–1799)

With the end of the Old Confederation and the entry of Napoleonic troops on May 5, 1798, the rule of Zurich came to an end. Some celebrated the arrival of the French as liberation and erected trees of freedom in the old town, while others remained skeptical of the revolution. The French made the city a military camp and demanded, for example, the delivery of 12,000 pairs of military shoes from Winterthur's population (3000 residents). After 5,000 shoes hastily ordered in Strasbourg were rejected because of poor quality, worse could only be averted with painful replacement payments and gifts to certain individuals. During the Second Coalition War , Winterthur was briefly occupied by Austrians and Russians. In the battle near Winterthur on May 27, 1799, Austrian troops defeated a French army; the skirmish was a prelude to the First Battle of Zurich . After a defeat on September 25, 1799, the Russian troops were the last foreign army to vacate their camp in Tössfeld.

Winterthur as an industrial city (19th century)

View of Winterthur from Gallispitz in 1877

Around the turn of the century were established in and around Winterthur several companies that the city should significantly impact the next 150 years: in 1778 originated with the laboratory the first chemical factory in Switzerland under Johann Sebastian of Clais , 1795 the former was in the field monastery Toss the Trading company and later machine factory JJ Rieter & Cie. Founded and in 1802 the first mechanical spinning mill and factory in Switzerland started operations in Wülflingen, the Hard spinning mill. In 1834 Johann Jacob Sulzer opened the iron foundry, which was to form the cornerstone of what would later become the major company Sulzer AG .

During this time of change, the city's militarily outdated fortifications were increasingly seen as an obstacle to economic development. In 1800 the entrenchments were laid down and on May 19, 1835, the community assembly decided to demolish the four north-south facing gate towers ( Steigtor at Neumarkt , Holdertor at Holderplatz, Nägelitor at Graben and Schmidtor at Schmidgasse) and to fill in the last city ​​ditches - one of which last disappeared in 1939. Now it was possible to build on a large scale outside the city walls, and the city experienced a marked growth spurt as a result. In 1865 the four gates located on the west-east axis on Marktgasse ( Untertor , Zeitbogen at Neumarkt, Oberer Bogen near Oberen Graben and the Obertor ) were sacrificed to through traffic. The then city architect, Karl Wilhelm Bareiss , disappointedly resigned from office in 1871 because of the demolition of this representative late Gothic archway.

The townhouse; built by Gottfried Semper

The city on the Eulach became more and more important and developed into an internationally known and important economic power. Within a short period of time, the city's population rose from 3,000 to 20,000. The neighborhoods also benefited from the economic upswing and grew steadily. The city tried again to differentiate itself from Zurich, and so powerful private and public representative buildings were built at this time, such as the town house , which was built by the famous architect Gottfried Semper .

“Winterthur from a bird's eye view”, Lukas Weber, around 1850

Winterthur played a key role in cantonal politics from 1869 and led the opposition to Zurich's economic liberalism. Zurich was the refuge of liberal politics, while Winterthur, with long-time city president Johann Jakob Sulzer, was the stronghold of the democrats. At the best of times in 1869, the Winterthur city council consisted of seven democrats, and they provided both councilors of the Canton of Zurich. Thus Winterthur was at times significantly involved in the creation of a new democratic federal and cantonal constitution, with which in 1878 the “ Escher ” system of Zurich freedom was politically defeated (the so-called Ecole de Winterthour ). Winterthur remained the stronghold of the Democrats until 1971, until the merger with their rivals, the liberals; they were always the second largest party in town after the SP.

A particularly striking example of Winterthur's striving for emancipation and competition with Zurich are the efforts to build up its own railway network, which Zurich should put on the sidelines. The Winterthur democrats managed to get the Swiss National Railway (SNB) to tackle the construction of a route from Lake Constance to Lake Geneva with cantonal funds and in competition with the “free-spirited” Northeast Railway . The Nordostbahn, for its part, had already opened its first railway line to Winterthur in 1855 with the Oerlikon – Winterthur – Romanshorn line. With the national railway, the aim was to create a publicly owned people's railway that was independent of the powerful railway monopoly Alfred Escher and the financial aristocracy of Zurich Freedom. However, they knew how to limit the SNB's planning scope through the targeted acquisition of concessions for further rail projects and thus, for example, to thwart the planned branch line to connect Zurich. In 1878 the SNB was forcibly liquidated. The systems were transferred to the Nordostbahn, and the passives were charged to the participating cities of Winterthur, Baden , Lenzburg and Zofingen . For Winterthur, the debt repayment should extend into the middle of the 20th century.

The city completely changed its appearance in the 19th century: factories had sprung up everywhere, the village of Töss was connected to the city through the Sulzer factory and the Swiss locomotive and machine factory founded in 1871 , as was the area between Veltheim and the city installed.

Growth in the 20th century

Winterthur and the surrounding area in the Siegfried Atlas (1881)
Sulzer high-rise
Aerial photo (1958)

The machine industry provided 60 percent of jobs, and Winterthur was a “city of work”. There was less and less space in the city and the surrounding communities were practically part of Winterthur. Tram lines were built to the surrounding communities. The first line led to Töss in 1898. Three municipalities (Veltheim, Töss and Wülflingen) also received financial aid, as the former small farming villages could not keep up with the rapid industrialization and had too little money for the necessary infrastructure. The Social Democrats pointed out this matter early on and fought for the five suburbs to be incorporated in order to create a "Grosswinterthur". There has also been cooperation and coordination in certain areas of politics. Veltheim wanted to be incorporated since 1889 , but neither the city nor the canton agreed. After all, with this initiative they had obtained provisional financial support from the city. It wasn't until 1916 that the whole thing became concrete: the five suburbs of Winterthur started an incorporation initiative. In 1919 the initiative was approved in all locations. On January 1, 1922 the time had come: Töss, Wülflingen, Veltheim, Seen and Oberwinterthur were incorporated and the population of Winterthur grew to over 50,000.

The city ​​was hit particularly hard by the economic crisis of the 1930s , as the majority of jobs were provided by the metal and machine industries with companies such as Sulzer, SLM or Rieter. In five years, a third of the population lost their jobs. As a result, the city spent many millions on emergency employment for workers. But at least there were no major political trenches between the camps. This was due to the fact that the actually “bourgeois” democrats in Winterthur represented a social-liberal position and so came into less conflict with the SP , which had been the leading party in the city for a long time. Also, in contrast to the rest of the canton of Zurich, where they caused conflicts with their strictly liberal economic policies, the liberals had little to say. This made it possible to cope with the crisis and other political difficulties over the years, such as the general strike in 1918, which, thanks to the uniform social policy, was much less violent in the city than in other Swiss cities. Politically, Winterthur is thus a red city in the 20th century to this day, in which the SP is ahead of the curve (even if there was never an absolute majority like in Zurich).

The city recovered well from the economic crisis during World War II, so there was a shortage of workers after the war. Winterthur experienced a second heyday: by 1972 the population grew to 95,000, but could not break the 100,000 mark. The population has almost doubled within 40 years. However, as a result of the recession, it fell back to 86,000 and only then began to grow again. Winterthur became a service and trading city during this time, while the secondary sector employed less and less percent of the employees. The construction of the Sulzer high-rise in 1966, the largest high-rise in Switzerland at the time and a symbol of Winterthur , also fell during this period . It was to remain undefeated as the tallest skyscraper for almost 40 years and is still one of the largest skyscrapers in Switzerland, even though it has since been beaten by a few meters. With the Swisscom high-rise in 1999, Winterthur received a second high-rise in the same size category.


Construction work on crane runway Katharina Sulzer-Platz / Sulzer-Areal (meanwhile completed)

The city continues to have a steady population development and on July 3, 2008 exceeded the 100,000 population limit. Districts with brisk construction activity are mainly Oberseen , Dättnau and Hegi . The latter received its own train station in 2006.

There are further changes in the Sulzer area . This former industrial area and symbol of a formerly powerful industrial city has been rebuilt and converted since the mid-1990s. New apartments such as modern lofts , leisure facilities such as the trend sports facility Block with the Tempo-Drom go- kart track and the Kraftfeld cultural venue , shopping facilities, school and business premises were created and are still being built. From 2008, the former boiler house between the Pionierpark and the main train station was converted into a shopping and entertainment center with cinemas and the “Lokwerk” shopping center was built in a hall in the south of the area.

On the arch area near the main train station, after a long period of to and fro and the withdrawal of several projects (including that of a Sheraton hotel), the Archhöfe development is being pushed ahead with the aim of combining apartments, shopping facilities and office space. Completion is planned for the first half of 2013.

Before that, the city council wanted to build a new city hall on this area for the city administration, which currently has its offices in around 50 buildings, in order to centralize it. But he got a rebuff from the city council on the grounds that something could be created in this central location that would attract a large audience. Instead, after the referendum has been won, the city administration will now be merged in the Sulzer City Center area in the superblock.

Geiselweid primary school


In Winterthur, statutory schooling consists of a six-year primary school and a three-year upper level. The upper level school system is not uniform across the city. In most Winterthur school districts there is a three-part secondary level, but in some school districts the structured secondary level has been introduced. There are 62 kindergartens, 43 primary schools and eleven upper school schools in Winterthur. On average, around 10,000 pupils attend compulsory elementary school. Kindergarten has been compulsory since 2009.

Higher schools

Winterthur is a regional education and school center. There are several larger schools in the city that go beyond the normal compulsory education (primary and secondary level).

St. Georgen school building in front of the Red Tower (ZHAW)
ZHAW School of Management and Law at St. Georg Platz 2

The most famous school in the city is the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), which was called Zurich University of Applied Sciences Winterthur (ZHW) (formerly the Technikum Winterthur) until September 2007. It is the largest university of applied sciences in the canton and maintains five out of eight departments in Winterthur. This makes the ZHAW the largest multidisciplinary university of applied sciences in Switzerland. Part of the university is housed in the technical center founded in 1874, which is the largest and oldest in Switzerland. The second university of applied sciences located in Winterthur is the Zurich University of the Arts (until 2007 University of Music and Theater , formerly the Winterthur Music School and Conservatory). In the 2006/07 school year the university was attended by 3462 students.

The Swiss Technical College is also located in the city, more precisely in the castle valley.

The three secondary schools in Winterthur are the canton schools Im Lee (short-term high school and bilingual high school diploma), Rychenberg (long-term high school and technical high school) and Büelrain (business high school, short-term high school, bilingual high school diploma, commercial high school and IT high school ).

Furthermore, several vocational schools are located in Winterthur: the business school KV Winterthur (WSKVW) , the vocational school Winterthur (BBW), the Zurich health training center (ZAG) and the vocational school of msw-winterthur .


Winterthur has been the seat of the Club of Rome since 2008 .

Arts and Culture


Former location of the city library and later the study library at Museumsstrasse 52, Winterthur
The current location of the Winterthur City Library at Oberen Kirchgasse 6, Winterthur

The Winterthur libraries are organized in a library network with eight libraries. It consists of the six district libraries (formerly district libraries) in Oberwinterthur, Hegi, Töss, Seen, Veltheim and Wülflingen, the city library on Kirchplatz and the Winterthur Collection (formerly the study library). The latter was integrated into the city library building when it was renamed in 2016.

The city library was founded in 1660 as a public library and was housed in the town hall for a long time . In 1916 the city library moved into the newly built museum building and stayed there until 2003. In the summer of 2003, the study library and the city library were separated. The study library with the special collections of old books, coats of arms and manuscripts remained in the museum building, the city library moved together with the former district library old town to the church square in the two newly converted properties Tösserhaus and Blumengarten. According to its own declaration, the open access library created in this way is the largest in Switzerland. At the beginning of 2016, as part of a reorganization, the study library followed the city library on Kirchplatz and was renamed the Winterthur Collection at the same time. The Hegi library moved into the multi-generation house on Ida-Sträuli-Strasse in the summer of 2013.

The Winterthur libraries are among the few libraries in Switzerland that have introduced a fractal system. They were also the first libraries in Europe to have their media secured against theft with RFID labels and thus made it possible to borrow and return them yourself. They won the 2004 Zurich Library Prize with their integration library project.

There are also three toy libraries in Winterthur : The Old Town, Oberwinterthur and Seen toy libraries.

In the WebOPAC, the online catalog of the Winterthur libraries, you can also find the inventory catalogs of the music academy, the «music school and conservatory» as well as the coin cabinet and the antique collection of the city of Winterthur .

Film / cinema

Classic blockbuster cinema can be found in the Kiwi am Neumarkt and maxx im Kesselhaus cinemas, while the Loge cinema is more geared towards independent films and studio productions. The cinema Cameo am Lagerplatz is an art house cinema with a program that changes daily. Every Sunday the sofa cinema niche in the gas works also shows a selected film.

"Films for the Earth", an environmental initiative awarded by UNESCO, is based in Winterthur. Politically and religiously independent, the organization invites you to free film evenings, after which every visitor receives an equally free "pass on" DVD to be passed on from friend to friend - in order to touch as many people as possible and pass on the knowledge. In this way, Films for the Earth has distributed 30,000 DVDs and reached 300,000 people.

The Winterthurer Hafner

Hardly any other city in Switzerland has as much information on ceramic production and use as there is for Winterthur in the canton of Zurich. The archaeological investigations of the canton archeology have found many inventories of the 11./12. until the early 14th century. More recent, well-dated finds from the second half of the 14th century, however, are much rarer. There is only one pottery waste from the Winterthurer Untertor, typologically dated around 1400. An important cornerstone of the local and regional ceramics chronology is the backfilling of a shaft from Winterthur, Marktgasse 25, dating from 1501 in terms of architectural history. An ensemble of finds from the Winterthur city moat belongs to the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Also important are two pottery scraps from around 1600 and the 17th century, which establish a connection to objects from Winterthur production that have been preserved in museums. Two Winterthur cesspool inventories from the middle and second half of the 17th century deserve special mention. In contrast, there is currently insufficient information on the local ceramic forms of the 18th and 19th centuries. Unfortunately, the production waste of the ceramics company Hanhart (1879–1887) is not extensive.

In terms of art history and history, the focus in the past was primarily on the faience tiled stoves and the faience dishes from the late 16th to early 18th centuries from Winterthur. Hafner in Winterthur have also been documented in archives since the 15th century. More than 80 stonemasons, stove makers and tile painters can be found between the 16th and 18th centuries. Particularly noteworthy are the economically and artistically very successful stoners of the Huser, Mayer, Pfau, Erhart or Graf families, often over several generations. In some cases they even rose to the position of mayor in the municipal hierarchy of offices. The stoners of Winterthur were organized according to guilds and had a craft regulations from 1637, which remained valid until 1798. The reputation of the Winterthur Hafner reached far beyond the city limits. Orders for tiled stoves for private buildings and for outstanding public buildings such as town halls, guild rooms and monasteries came from the neighboring cities of Lucerne, Zurich, Schaffhausen and St. Gallen as well as the cantons of Graubünden, Glarus, Thurgau, Zug and Schwyz.


With its many museums, especially in the art sector, Winterthur is known as the “city of museums”. The museum landscape in Winterthur is particularly distinguished by a dense network of top-class collections of national and international reputation. The various excellent art collections, which can hardly be found anywhere else in Switzerland, include the Reinhart am Stadtgarten and the Oskar Reinhart collection “Am Römerholz” as well as the Beim Stadthaus and the Villa Flora . This has not least to do with important Winterthur art collectors from the first half of the 20th century who later presented their collections to the public, according to Oskar Reinhart and the Hahnloser couple. Until his death in 2018, Bruno Stefanini, a major art collector, lived in the city who repeatedly made extensive loans available for exhibitions. The Photo Center with the Fotomuseum Winterthur and the Photo Foundation Switzerland has a worldwide reputation as a place of international photography, the Gewerbemuseum Winterthur is an important center for contemporary design and material aesthetic culture throughout Switzerland. The Münzkabinett and Antikensammlung of the City of Winterthur and the Kellenberger Clock Collection in the Gewerbemuseum have collections of international standing.

By far the most visited museum, however, is Switzerland's Technorama ; With around 250,000 people, it has as many visitors as all other museums combined. A particular strength of museum culture in Winterthur is a centrally coordinated museum education that extends across all buildings , which in 2012 brought around 15,000 children and young people closer to museums and exhibitions. Some of the museums (here the first seven entries in the list with the exception of Technorama) are also served every hour by a privately operated museum bus from the main station. There is a museum pass that gives access to all museums in the city.

Villa Flora
Trade museum
Hegi Castle

A list of the museums in Winterthur:

Open doors

The Open Doors is an exhibition concept based on the idea of ​​the open studio. Every last weekend in September, artists from Winterthur open their studios and show visitors interested in art their rooms and works. Guests also have the opportunity to watch the artists at work. The approximately sixty artists who take part each year include both locally and internationally known, autodidacts and graduates from art schools. The Open Doors was founded in 2008.

Music and orchestra

The oldest musical organization in Winterthur is the Musikkollegium Winterthur, founded in 1629, which gave an organizational structure to the flourishing musical life cultivated by the rising bourgeoisie. Anecdotal in this context is a stop by Mozart in 1777 on his way to Mannheim and Paris. In 1875, as part of the Musikkollegium, the Winterthur City Orchestra was founded under the conductor Georg Wilhelm Rauchenecker , which gained fame in the 1920s under Hermann Scherchen's direction and now gives 50 to 60 concerts a year. There is also an orchestra for upscale light music that was set up by Reto Parolari. Not to be confused with the city orchestra is the city music, a wind orchestra, which was founded in 1872. Young musicians play in the Stadtjugendmusik Winterthur (SJM) with brass and drum formations, the Winterthur Youth Symphony Orchestra (WJSO) and the Jump @ prova youth orchestra. There are also 13 music clubs.

The best-known Winterthur band is probably the pagan metal band Eluveitie , which is also well known internationally in the metal scene. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the glam metal band China made the top 10 of the Swiss charts with their albums. The most famous (independent) pop bands at the moment are the groups Plankton , My Name Is George and the one-man band " Admiral James T. ". The punk / rockabilly sector and the group The Peacocks attracted national attention .

The famous recorder player and conductor Maurice Steger (* 1971) was born in Winterthur and experienced his early childhood here. The rapper " Big Zis " was also born in the city.


Casino theater

There are several theaters in the city. The Casinotheater is a Swiss comedy house on Stadthausstrasse. The Winterthur Theater is the largest guest theater in Switzerland. There is also the Theater am Gleis , a theater for committed cabaret , which is located in the immediate vicinity of the train station. The Winterthur Cellar Theater organizes theater performances and readings. The oldest theater in town is the summer theater , which has existed since 1865 . There is a puppet theater in the Waaghaus . There is a puppet theater for children in the basement of the Peterhans shoe shop .

There is also the Theater Kanton Zürich (TZ) based in Winterthur. This is supported by the canton's municipalities and regularly organizes performances, including in Winterthur.

Baroque houses

Castles and Palaces

There are four castles / palaces and a ruined castle near Winterthur. The largest castle is the Kyburg , which is outside of today's municipal area. However, it was the residence of the city's founders, the Counts of Kyburg, and later owned by the Habsburgs, who granted Winterthur city rights.

Other Winterthur castles are Mörsburg near Stadel, Hegi Castle and Wülflingen Castle . On a hill above the Totentäli near Wülflingen lies the Alt-Wülflingen castle ruins , whose owners later had Wülflingen Castle built. The Hoh-Wülflingen castle is on the other side of the Totentäli . South of Rossberg is the castle hill of the lost Rossberg Castle . It is still unclear where and in what form the residential tower or perhaps even the castle called « Winturm » existed. The building is said to have stood on a hill near Winterthur's old town. On the Eschenberg there were also two outer castles of the Kyburg on Gamser and Langenberg . However, there are no more obvious traces of these today. Also no traces exist from the Castle Dättnau and from the castle book .

Parks and recreational areas

Because of its many gardens and parks, Winterthur is also known as the “ garden city ”. Examples are the Brühlgutpark , the Eulachpark in Oberwinterthur , the Römerpark , or the Stadtgarten . The wooded hills around Winterthur such as the Goldenberg and the Eschenberg are important local recreation areas . The Bruderhaus wildlife park is on the latter .


The Ferris wheel on Neumarkt is the unofficial symbol of the Albanian Festival.

There are numerous events in Winterthur. The Winterthur Carnival is held in February . The end of May is the Afro Pentecost in the city, which has an African market and some concerts. Every last weekend in June, the city festival for Winterthur's municipal law , the Albanifest , is held. It is the largest annual old town festival in Europe. St. Alban is one of the three city saints and the namesake of the Albanifest. The Winterthur Music Festival Weeks take place in August / September . It is a two-week music and culture festival in the old town of Winterthur, mainly in Steinberggasse with many free concerts and presentations. Three to four paid concerts take place over two weeks. Most of the time in August, the “Dorffeten” (village festivals) of the former villages of Veltheim, Wülflingen, Töss, Seen and Oberwinterthur take place. Materially from Reto Parolari is co-organized the International Festival of Popular Music in October, the that advertisements of popular music dedicated. The largest short film event in Switzerland, the Winterthur International Short Film Festival, takes place at the beginning of November . The International Light Days Winterthur take place every three years in mid-November . The five-day Winterthur trade fair also takes place in the Eulachhallen in November / December . During December there is a Christmas market on the Neumarkt in the old town , which lasts three weeks and ends before Christmas. The first libertarian book fair for the German-speaking area was held in Winterthur in 2009.

Cultural centers

The Albani music club in the old town, founded in 1988, is one of the oldest music clubs in Switzerland. Since November 1992 the old barracks has also been used for all kinds of cultural events.

After the going out behavior of the younger generation was marked by “emigration tendencies”, efforts were made in the mid-1990s to expand the offer. In 1996 three new cultural centers were created. The youth lobby Kaktus found shelter in the gas works in Töss and built an alternative cultural center there. In the Sulzer area , after the landlord's patent law was abolished, the force field was opened and a club with a supraregional appeal was set up on the Arch area near the train station in the Salzhaus . Live concerts take place regularly in all three clubs.



The Winterthur football club FC Winterthur plays in the Challenge League and the last successful years go back to the 1970s - the last of the three championship titles was achieved in the 1917/18 season. In ice hockey, EHC Winterthur has played in the NLB (National League B) since 2015. You finished the 2015/2016 season in last place.

The men of the floorball club HC Rychenberg Winterthur have been the only club ever in the top division since the beginning of the Swiss floorball league and have won three cups. The Red Ants Rychenberg , who parted ways with their regular club HCR after 13 championship titles in 2000, are Swiss record champions and in 2005 they won the European Cup - the highest title in club hockey.

In handball there is a successful team in Pfadi Winterthur , which was the best Swiss team, especially in the 1990s and early 2000s. Even Yellow Winterthur is a National League B club. The American Football Club Winterthur Warriors played in the top league until 2010 and became Swiss champions in 2005. In water polo, the Winterthur Swimming Club places teams in the top league. In Radball could RV Winterthur provide multiple world champion team.

Patrick Meier and Karin Iten were successful figure skaters from the ranks of the Winterthur ice skating club . There have already been three different wrestling kings from the ranks of the Winterthur Wrestling Club . In tennis for women, the LTC Winterthur and the TC Schützenwiese played in the highest interclub league, with the TC Schützenwiese twice becoming Swiss champions, one of them with twelve-year-old Martina Hingis in the championship team. The regular club of the Olympic bronze medal winners in beach volleyball Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel is the volleyball club VC Smash Winterthur .

Sports facilities

Schützenwiese stadium

There are no large sports arenas in Winterthur, which is probably due to the general mood in the city when it comes to sports. It took a total of 20 years and four referendums before the Deutweg ice rink , which could hold 2500 spectators , could be built. There is also a shortage of sports halls in the city. The floorball clubs play in the small Oberseen sports hall, which, according to the regulations, is not even sufficient for the national playoff games at the HCR, as it only has 350 seats. In 2010, a popular initiative was therefore submitted by the Winterthur Sport umbrella organization to remedy this situation. With the construction of the Zinzikon and Neuhegi school buildings and the opening of the new private sports center next to the ice rink, the situation should at least partially ease. At the moment, however, the Eulachhalle , home of the Winterthur handball clubs, is the only larger sports hall in the city with a capacity of 2,300. The largest stadium in the city is the Schützenwiese football stadium , to which 8,500 spectators are officially allowed. Next to the Deutweg ice rink is the Deutweg athletics stadium , which has space for 3000 spectators. The park-like tennis facility Römerpark is a national cultural asset. The city's first bouldering hall has been located at Oberen Deutweg 4 since November 2015, with over 200 boulders on approx. 800 m² wall surface.

In addition to the Schützenwiese with its outdoor courts, there are eight other football facilities of various sizes in the city. The Flüeli facility in the east of Wülflingen has an artificial turf pitch .

Perhaps because the city is not on a large lake or deep river, there were artificially created indoor and outdoor swimming pools in Winterthur (list) . The Geiselweid swimming pool is the oldest still existing open-air swimming pool in Switzerland and the long-closed bath mosque was the first indoor swimming pool in Switzerland. The Walcheweiher in the Lindberg Forest, formerly used as an ice pond for the Haldengut brewery, are now added as a natural pool .

In Oberwinterthur there is the Hegmatten airfield , which has a grass runway. It is used by the Winterthur glider group.

In Dättnau there is a BMX track which is used by Powerbike Winterthur and which was the venue for two European Championship races for the fifth time in 2011. The Hornussergesellschaft Winterthur system can also be found just next to it.

In the east of the city there is the large Ohrbühl shooting range with systems over 10, 25, 50, 100 and 300 meters and a short distance box. Home to most of the city's shooting clubs and has hosted several national and international competitions. Smaller shooting ranges for pistols and small caliber as well as crossbows and bows can be found scattered across all districts except Mattenbach and Stadt.

In addition to the remaining agricultural area at the Etzberg road roundabout in Grüzefeld, there is a disc golf facility.

The Boccia- Halle Bocciodromo is right next to the Flüeli football field.

There are several Vita courses on the wooded hills around Winterthur .


Probably due to the close proximity to Zurich, there are few major sporting events in Winterthur. During the winter break, the Yellow Cup, a handball tournament with an international reputation, takes place in the Eulachhalle . In spring, the Winterthur Marathon is run for victory.

In 1895 and 1990, Winterthur was the venue for the Swiss Federal Shooting Festival. In 1997 and 2007 the world championships in indoor cycling took place in the Eulachhalle. The extensive urban forest Eschenberg was used for the long distance during the orienteering world championships in 2003 . In 2008 the European Floorball Cup was held in Eulachstadt. In 2011, the Deutweg ice rink was one of the venues for the women's ice hockey world championship and in September the final of the LAPUA European Cup over 300 meters was shot at the Orbühl shooting range.

In 2019 the men's fistball world championships will take place in Winterthur .



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Web links

Portal: Winterthur  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Winterthur
Commons : Winterthur  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Winterthur  - sources and full texts
Wiktionary: Winterthur  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

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This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on October 19, 2007 .