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.
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.
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.
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.
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.