The view from Lindenhof Hill at Dawn

zurich-street-at-night

I had to leave Zurich early in the morning. Very early – when the shops were still closed and the trains were just beginning to run to the airport. There was one place I really wanted to see before I left the city, and the fact that it was barely 4:30 in the morning didn’t deter me from finding it.

along-the-river

Lindenhof hill has a small park with a lovely view over Zurich’s Altstadt, and I wanted to check it out despite my less than ideal timing. I could see it’s small cluster of green trees up on the hill above the Limmat River, so I made my way up the quiet cobblestone street towards the trees in the dark, surrounded by beautiful old stone buildings. No one else was around.

lindenhof-sign

The history of Lindenhof is pretty intense. It has been a public green space since the early 1400’s, but has been historically important site from long before that. Just a few examples-  It was a Celtic settlement in 80 BC, a Roman fortress in the 4th century, and also the site of a castle built by Louis the German in the 800’s. Now it’s a place for locals to gather and enjoy the outdoors, but on my early morning visit I had the view all to myself.

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It was still pretty dark when I arrived, but then the stars faded and the sky began to change from black to deep blue. From the park’s retaining ledge I could see the charming buildings lining the river, the impressive double towers of Grossmünster church and the general gorgeousness of the old city. Oh, Europe. You’re so pretty.

lindenhof-view-1

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I stayed as long as I could. Until the first birds started chirping and a few cars began to appear on the road below. I was disappointed I had to hustle to the station before seeing full sunrise, but my quick visit to the park had me leaving Zurich on a high note. Hopefully I’ll visit Lindenhof on a bright sunny day next time. And it’s always good to have an excuse to return to a city as beautiful as Zurich.

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