|Native name: Halbinsel Au|
Au peninsula as seen from Felsenegg (April 2010)
|Canton||Canton of Zürich|
The roughly half a square kilometer large peninsula is first mentioned in the year 1316 as «Owe» belonging to the commandry of the Knights Hospitaller in Bubikon. Until 1835 it was a domain of the old Zurich republic.
The farm Au was acquired by the Swiss General Hans Rudolf Werdmüller (1614–1677). His Venetian style estate went over into the possession of Colonel Hans von Schulthess-Bodmer, who rebuilt it 1928/29 as a neo-baroque villa, constructed by architect Johann A. Freytag. The estate and a little landside lake belongs since 1989 to the Canton of Zurich.
Au peninsula got further literary honor: The German poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock (1724–1803) immortalized his 1750s visit in his „Ode an den Zürichsee“ (Ode to the Lake Zurich). Among the famous residents was the author Mentona Moser (1874–1971), who was born on the Au: „Ich habe gelebt“ (I've lived, a book of Au-related descriptions) is one of her published books. Her mother was considered one of the richest women in Europe in 19th century; in her residence „Belle au bois dormant“ she met poets, philosophers, scientists and industrial magnates. Local industrials founded in 1911 the so-called Au-consortium, that bought the middle part of the Au-Hill, together with the guest house and prevented the idyllic peninsula to be overbuilt and preserved it for public use.
Further highlights on Au peninsula include the spacious park of Schloss Au, the hiking trail around the peninsula and its protected area, picnic places and a small lido on Lake Zürich shore, and the Wine museum and its vineyards. The peninsula has also a renowned restaurant (Landgasthof). Tourist boat trips, run by the Zürichsee-Schifffahrtsgesellschaft (ZSG), sail from Zürich and Rapperswil.
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