Zum blauen Himmel house

More and more citizens of Zurich are going hungry because of climate issues. Trade in bad loans is flourishing. Talk of religious conflict is on everyone's minds. Does this make you think of today?
We're actually talking about 1574.

You are in the Lochmann Family's “Zum blauen Himmel” house. Heinrich Lochmann, at the height of his power, switched from the Tanners Guild to the Constaffel Society. Get to know him, his family history and his era and get a glimpse of this exciting period for yourself.

The Hirsebreifahrt of 1576

On 20 June 1576, fifty inhabitants of Zurich rowed to Strasbourg with a pot full of hot millet porridge (known in German as “Hirsebrei”) for a marksmen's festival. This was thus reminiscent of the first recorded voyage on the Limmat, Aare and Rhine rivers from Zurich to Strasbourg, which took place in 1456. Take a seat in our boat and go on a voyage to our allies in Alsace under the command of the master of the Bread Guild and later mayor, Caspar Thomann.

There's more to this story than just the hot porridge.

Johann Heinrich Waser

The painter Anna Waser discovers her great-uncle's world. She takes us into an age when gifts were still commonplace in politics. Follow a guild member's rise on the path to becoming mayor. Accompany Johann Heinrich Waser (1600–1669) with his day-to-day problems in the bath or on a journey to visit the Sun King, Louis XIV. The story of an important guild member is told somewhat differently for once.

The reign of the guilds

Follow the course of history. Take a seat in a boat on the River Limmat.

From here, you can get a better view of the rule of the guilds in Zurich – undisturbed by the ever-present censorship authorities.

All citizens – male and female – belong to a guild.

The majority of social and political life takes place in the guildhalls. Taxes are collected here and laws announced. Every guild sends its representatives to the council and citizens' equality across social boundaries is celebrated at the communal meal.

Sechseläuten (6 o'clock ringing of bells) 

The Zurich guilds were abolished in 1798. But the citizens did not simply accept this. Today's guilds arose from the societies for the management of guild assets. And today's spring festival developed out of various traditions. The parade, Böögg effigy and 6 o'clock ringing of bells merged into a single event – the Sechseläuten public holiday. Two incorporations created new guilds and thus breathed new life into the old craft guilds. Zip through the story of the rule of the guilds in Zurich and their development to the present day.

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