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For the town, see Greifensee, Zurich.
Greifensee - Etzel Kulm 2010-10-21 16-41-18.JPG
View from the surrounding hills
Location Canton of Zurich
Coordinates 47°21′N 8°41′E / 47.350°N 8.683°E / 47.350; 8.683Coordinates: 47°21′N 8°41′E / 47.350°N 8.683°E / 47.350; 8.683
Lake type eutrophic
Primary inflows Aa, Aabach
Primary outflows Glatt
Catchment area 160 square kilometers (62 sq mi)
Basin countries Switzerland
Max. length 6 km (3.7 mi)
Max. width 1.6 km (0.99 mi)
Surface area 8.45 square kilometers (3.26 sq mi)
Average depth 18 m (59 ft)
Max. depth 32 m (105 ft)
Water volume 0.148 km³
Residence time 408 days
Surface elevation 435 m (1,427 ft)
Settlements Maur, Niederuster, Fällanden, Mönchaltorf and the town Greifensee
Map of Greifensee
Greifensee as seen from Greifensee town, Maur and Pfannenstiel in the background
Greifensee at Greifensee (ZH) harbour
Steamship "Greif" (built in 1895)

Greifensee (or "Lake Greifen" meaning griffin) is a small lake in the canton of Zürich in Switzerland.


Lake Greifen (German: Greifensee) is located 11 km (6.8 mi) to the east of the city of Zurich, separated by the Pfannenstiel from Lake Zürich. As the second largest lake in the canton of Zurich (Lake Zurich being the largest), it is about 6 km (3.7 mi) long and 1.6 km (0.99 mi) at the widest point, with a maximum depth of 32 m (105 ft). The Aabach is the main supplying river.

Points of interest[edit]

A boat connects small towns along the edge of the lake, Maur, Niederuster, Fällanden, Mönchaltorf and the town Greifensee with its charming Altstadt and Greifensee castle.

Greifensee is the scene of the Greifensee-Lauf, a semi-marathon around the lake held every year.

Greifensee is a popular recreation area for biking and inline skating on the paved recreation path around the lake. Easy hiking trails follow the water and pass Greifensee castle before entering a nature preserve. There are well maintained bicycle roads all around the lake as well as on the banks of Aabach.


The lakeside is under UNESCO protection, and buildings are not allowed, resulting in reed bed and a rich fauna and flora: Around 400 plant species in the lake and 19 species in its tributaries. The nature reserves are important for the birds breeding there including more than 120 migratory species.

Cultural Heritage[edit]

Located on Greifensee lakeshore, the Prehistoric pile dwelling settlement Greifensee–Storen–Wildsberg is part of the 56 Swiss sites of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps,[1] and the settlement is also listed in the Swiss inventory of cultural property of national and regional significance as a Class object.[2] Because the lake has grown in size over time, the original piles are now around 4 metres (13 ft) to 7 metres (23 ft) under the water level of 406 metres (1,332 ft).


  1. ^ "Sites Switzerland: Greifensee–Storen/Wildsberg (CH-ZH-02)". Retrieved 2014-12-10. 
  2. ^ "A-Objekte KGS-Inventar". Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, Amt für Bevölkerungsschutz. 2009. Retrieved 2014-12-10. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Greifensee at Wikimedia Commons