|Seedamm and Hurden, as seen from Frohberg hill in Kempraten-Lenggis, the Capuchin monastery in Rapperswil to the left, Pfäffikon in the background (March 2010)|
|Population||271 (December 2008)|
|- Density||207 /km2 (536 /sq mi)|
|Area||1.31 km2 (0.51 sq mi)|
|Elevation||408 m (1,339 ft)|
|Surrounded by||Altendorf, Switzerland, Pfäffikon, Rapperswil|
Hurden is a village in the municipality of Freienbach in the canton of Schwyz in Switzerland. First mentioned in 1217, the name "de Hurden" was used for the peninsula and for the fish traps made of woven work, called "Hürden" or "Hurden", which were used by the locals.
The village of Hurden is located on an peninsula on the most narrow part of the Lake Zürich to the south of the so-called Seedamm causeway. As of today, the village is an artificial island, connected by the dam bridges with Pfäffikon to the south and with Rapperswil in the canton of St. Gallen to the north.
The peninsula has its origin in a landfill after the withdrawal of the Linth glacier at the end of the last glacial period when Lake Zürich was formed. This retreat left a moraine which separates Lake Zürich in the upper lake (Obersee) to the east and its northwestern part, commonly called Zürichsee. To the east of the artificial Seedamm, there is a wooden bridge for pedestrians (Holzbrücke Rapperswil-Hurden) situated, built in 2001 as a reconstruction of the first bridge between eastern and western lakesides. The southern Sternenbrücke bridge towards Hurden was built in 1942 and will be renewed between March 15 and November 2010 to allow 40 ton trucks to cross the Seedamm.
Around 1523 B.C., a first wooden footbridge led across Lake Zurich between Rapperswil and Hurden, followed by several reconstructions at least until late 2nd century AD when the Roman Empire built 6 meters (20 ft) wide wooden bridge under Empire Marcus Aurelius (161-180). In 981, a ferry from Kempraten to the Ufenau island is mentioned, probably there was also a ferry to the other lakeside used by pilgrims on the old pilgrimage routes, the so-called Jakobsweg to the Einsiedeln Abbey. By 1358, ferry services between Rapperswil and Hurden are mentioned. Between 1358 and 1360, Rudolf IV, Duke of Austria, built a wooden bridge across the lake that has been used to 1878 – measuring approximately 1,450 meters (4,760 ft) in length and 4 meters (13 ft) wide. A small wooden bridge from Ufenau island to Hurden is mentioned around 1430, so-called «Kilchweg in die Uffnow». During Old Zürich War, in 1443 the bridge was set in fire, and as a result of the Second Battle of Villmergen in 1712, Hurden was reigned by the Protestant cantons of Zürich, Bern and Glarus.
During Helvetic Republic, in 1798, Hurden became part of the new established Distrikt Rapperswil in the Canton of Linth, and in 1803 it was part of the new established Pfäffikon. In 1873, the Swiss federal parliament approved the construction of the today's stone dam and bridge.
Southern Hurden was in 1943 divided by a puncture channel dredged from the upper to the lower Lake Zürich. Now the ships of the Zürichsee-Schifffahrtsgesellschaft (ZSG) were able to pass from Lake Zürich to the upper Lake Zürich, and the peninsula actually was a real island which was cut off from the mainland. Beginning in 1990, luxurious villas were widely built in Hurden, which in part on newly reclaimed area created for and with a private harbour.
In 2001, a new wooden footbridge was opened alongside the dam for the first 840 meters (2,760 ft) meters of the crossing. It was built in quite the same place as the original bridge linking Rapperswil with the nearby bridge chapel (Heilig Hüsli). The Seedamm area including the remains of the prehistoric wooden bridges respectively stilt house settlements in Freienbach and Rapperswil is listed as Swiss heritage sites of national significance.
- Tages-Anzeiger (March 9, 2010): Seedamm wird saniert
- Website Unterwasserarchäologische Projekte Kanton St. Gallen
- Neue Zürcher Zeitung (January 20/21, 2001): Die Brücke auf dem Grund des Zürichsees
- Hurden: History
- Website Holzsteg Rapperswil
- Swiss inventory of cultural property of national and regional significance
Media related to Hurden at Wikimedia Commons
- Hurden in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
- Hurden - wie es war (German)