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History

The stately house was built in 1757 in the French style and in the tradition of a baroque city palace with a small cour d’honneur. It dates back to Zurich’s high period characterized by Bodmer and Breitinger and has the reputation of being the most beautiful guild house in the City of Zurich. The guild of vintners, wine tavern owners, saddlers and painters or Zunft “Zur Meisen” originally owned a house on the Marktgasse. Because, it no longer met the standards of the 18th century, the guild commissioned the experienced master builder David Morf (1700-1773) to build a rococo palace on the left bank of the Limmat with a small cour d’honneur and an elegant wrought iron gate.

Great attention was paid to the interior decoration. The paintings on the ceilings and walls by Johann Balthasar Bullinger are still in excellent condition today, as are the tiled tower-stoves by Leonhard Locher and Hans Jakob Hofmann and the ornate stucco ceilings by the Tyrolian master Johan Schuler. The guild house “Zur Meisen” has always been a magnet for famous personalities. During the 19th century, national celebrities such as Gottfried Keller and Ferdinand Hodler met in the Café “Zur Meisen”. In the 20th century, royalty such as Queen Elizabeth II and King Gustav of Sweden or top politicians like Jimmy Carter or Winston Churchill were guests in the house.