Saturday, October 28, 2017

Day Sixteen: Zurich

I woke up in Zurich, my last full day of this trip. Tomorrow morning I will be boarding a plane back home, and after 16 days, I have to nice it will be nice to get home and see my family again. But with one day in Zurich, I decided to make the best of it strolling down the streets of the old town.

Zurich is Zwingli’s town (and after him Bullinger took over as the main Reformer). Zwingli was educated in Basel and heavily influenced by Erasmus as he studied the original Greek texts of scripture. He was then appointed to be the people’s priest in Zurich at the Grossmunster Church in 1519.

Zwingli always insisted that he came up with his Reformation ideas through his own study of the Bible, not influenced by Luther. Like Luther, Zwingli started to criticize the Catholic Church for many of the same reasons: veneration of the saints, indulgences, mass, the lectionary, and the battle he saw young men fight and die for ordered by the pope. In Lent of 1522, the great sausage incident took place. The book printer Froschauer whose printing workshop was here

became the center of a huge controversy that sparked the Reformation.

The Froschauers printed many of Zwingli’s texts as well as printed the first English bible in Europe in 1535. They even have their own street and fountain.

Back to the controversy. The. Froschauer family was charged with eating sausage for dinner during Lent, a serious crime in a Catholic dominated area. Zwingli defended the Froschauers through his sermons and teachings. In January 1523, Zwingli was summoned by the city council who resided, and still resides to this day, at the Rathaus (I found it interesting that the seat of government for centuries was called the “rat house”).

Zwingli was cleared of all charge and in 1524 they abolished the Lenten laws of restricting foods altogether and Zwingli, a Catholic priest, got married. The city council, influenced by Zwingli removed image of the saints and church treasures, organ music, altars, and removed any images or paintings from the churches. The communion table, baptismal font, and pulpit became the center of the worship space.

You can walk up the South Tower of this church for a great view of Zurich.

In the crypt is the original statue of Charlemagne who is said to have ordered the building of this church because of the discovery of the relics of the saints, Felix and Regular.

These saints were beheaded by the river for not joining in to persecute others. The Water Church was built where they were beheaded.

According to the legend, after their execution, this brother and sister then carried their heads to where the Grossmunster now stands. Their relics were revered and Zurich became a popular pilgrim destination for centuries.

Zwingli introduced Prophezei, in which students and scholars translated, interpreted, and preached the Bible to the Grossmunster’s choir. Out of this tradition and in this church the first complete translation of the Bible was made in German – the Froschauer Bible of 1531. Guess who printed it?

The bronze door to the church depicts 16 scenes from Zwingli’s life

Zwingli first lived here (obviously under construction but the plaque is still there)

But then moved here as his official residence where he lived with his wife and four children. Their marriage in 1524 was one of the first “pastor weddings” and paved the way to the end of mandatory celibacy for priests.

St. Peter’s Church is Zurich’s oldest parish and is was here that Leo Jud, a friend of Zwingli’s and co-translator of the Zurich Bible (the Bible the Pilgrims took to the New World)

Preached against “idol worship” and the first iconoclastic actions against altar ornaments and imagery took place in 1523.

The Fraumunster (women’s church) was run by women up until the Reformation when it was handed over to the city council. The Fraumunster abbess was the ruler of Zurich since the 9th century.

The stone pulpit was created during the Reformation to highlight the importance of preaching. Zwingli did preach here from time to time as a priest.

The Marc Chagall windows are stunning.

Zwingli and Luther agreed on most of the Reformation principles except one: communion. Luther thought Jesus was present in the bread through consubstantiation (Jesus is “with” the bread and in it physically) while Zwingli insisted that Jesus is spiritually but not physically present. Both travelled to the Marburg Colloquy in 1529 but could not come to a resolution.

Zwingli, together with Philip I of Hesse, believed in fighting the Catholics to liberate the towns to become Protestant. In 1528, Bern became Protestant due to Zwingli’s intervention. The First Kappel War was a huge success but Zwingli wasn’t prepared for the Second Kappel War in 1531, dying in battle wearing this helmet and carrying this sword.

Which is why his statue holds not only a Bible but also a sword. I guess the old saying is true, “Live by the sword, die by the sword.”

Zwingli’s widow and children lived here after his death.

Upon Zwingli’s death, Heinrich Bullinger took over as the priest of Grossmunster and lead Reformer in Zurich until his death in 1575. Bullinger married an ex-nun, like Luther, and they had 11 children until she died from the plague. They lived across from the church

And is honored by the church with a huge statue outside.

The house and the statue both border Zwingli's plaza.

For many Christians throughout Europe, Bullinger was the teacher and pastor of the Reformation. He wrote over 12,000 letters and in 1549 came to an agreement with John Calvin about the Lord’s supper. He wrote the influential Second Helvetic Confession which is part of the Presbyterian Church (USA) Book of Confessions.

Zurich was also the birthplace of the Anabaptists, who did not believe in infant baptism, led by Felix Manz. For his beliefs he was drowned here at the river but his beliefs spread and are the foundation for the Amish and Mennonite communities today.
The last few hours of the afternoon were on a boat ride around the lake. The perfect opportunity to soak in Zurich and all the places I have visited.

I ended the day with a traditional Swiss dinner at

Melted cheese over bread. It doesn’t get better than this.

Tomorrow I’ll be home. What a journey! Thanks for letting me share it with you.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Day Fifteen: Swiss Alps
Today was about transportation and fun. I realized that in traveling from Geneva to Zurich, I’d have to pass near the Swiss Alps. Why not spend the day there? So I went from Geneva to Interlaken and then up all the way to the highest altitude railway in Europe.

Jungfraujoch took 16 years to build, finished on January 8, 1912. It is 3571 meters high, 11,782 feet.

Well, I’ll just let some of the pictures speak for themselves.

It was about 35 degrees so it wasn’t too cold. They have built a lot of great things to do up there. Tunnels take you from one area to another.

There is even zip lining up there.

Oh, yes I did!

They have an ice palace with beautiful sculptures.

For some reason I wanted to have a Coke when I saw this one.

Anyone dare me???!!

A great photo op.

I even made some friends.

And anyone recognize this guy?

I’ve never been down an ice hallway before. Don’t slip!
There’s even wildlife up here.

Did you know that a tennis, a football, a cricket, a boxing and a basketball match as well as a 100 meter race have all been held on this mountain? Here’s a picture of Tony Parker playing some basketball up here.

Then on to the plateau where the Swiss flag is raised.

And some more stunning views.

I know someone that would like to climb some of that ice!

There’s even a Lindt Chocolate factory up there!

Coming back down I took a gondola

With some more great views

What a day of pure fun and relaxation!