View from Weid near Zurich

In around 1880 Heinrich Keller draws a detailed panorama of the City of Zurich from Weid, depicting a seemingly rural, loosely built-up urban area. However, signs of progress are already visible. The Swiss Northeastern Railway line runs on a mighty causeway and over a viaduct across the Limmat to Oerlikon and on to Romanshorn. On the fringe of the densely built-up Zurich city centre, the gate of Zurich Main Station, which was completed in 1870, is visible. Industrial buildings with tall chimneys are scattered across the entire urban area. In Wipkingen, the city mill obtains electricity from the hydraulic power station in Unterer Letten.

Detail from: Southern view from Weid near Zurich, Heinrich Keller, 1880

In the background of the panorama, there is the breath-taking mountain backdrop of the edge of the Alps, a reminder of the importance of panoramas as tourist souvenirs. From today’s perspective, the depiction is a key testimony to the settlement and landscape development of the City of Zurich.

The fabulous panorama by Heinrich Keller measuring 13 x 89 cm in size bears the location number K 690326 and can be viewed in the Collections and Archives Reading Room at ETH Library.

Information on Heinrich Keller is available in Lexikon zur Kunst in der Schweiz und im Fürstentum Liechtenstein.

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