|Primary inflows||Linth (Linthkanal)|
|Catchment area||1,829 km²|
|Max. length||40 kilometres (25 miles)|
|Max. width||3 kilometres (2 miles)|
|Surface area||88.66 square kilometres (34.23 square miles)|
|Average depth||49 metres (161 feet)|
|Max. depth||143 metres (469 feet)|
|Water volume||3.9 km³|
|Residence time||440 days|
|Surface elevation||406 m (1,342 ft)|
|Frozen||1929, 1962/1963 (last)|
Lake Zürich (Swiss German/Alemannic: Zürisee; German: Zürichsee) is a lake in Switzerland, extending southeast of the city of Zürich. It is also known as Lake Zürich and Lake of Zürich. It lies approximately at co-ordinates .
Zürichsee is strictly the name of the part of the lake downstream of the dam at Rapperswil, mostly located within the canton of Zürich. The part upstream of the Rapperswil dam is called Obersee, and is shared between the cantons of St. Gallen and Schwyz.
Geographically, Lake Zürich is located in the southwestern part of the canton of Zürich. To the east are – separated by Zürichberg-Adlisberg, Forch and Pfannenstiel – two minor lakes: Greifensee (Lake Greifen) and Pfäffikersee (Lake Pfäffikon). Zimmerberg and the Etzel regions lie to the west.
Lake Zürich is formed by the river Linth, which, rising in the glaciers of the Tödi Range in Glarus, which was diverted by the Escher canal (completed in 1811) into the Lake Walen, there by means of the Linth canal (completed in 1816), its waters are carried to the east end of the Lake of Zürich. The waters of the Lake of Zürich outflow from the lake at its north-west end, passing through the city of Zürich, however the outflow is then called the Limmat.
No streams of importance flow into the lake besides the Linth. It is included, or the greater portion, in the Canton of Zürich, but at its easterly end about 20 square kilometres (8 sq mi) towards the southern shore are in Canton of Schwyz, and 10 square kilometres (4 sq mi) towards its northern shore in Canton of St. Gallen. The large masonry dam (the Seedamm), carrying a railway line and road from Rapperswil to Pfäffikon, divides the lake. The eastern section of the lake is known as the Obersee, German for "upper lake". West of this dam lie the small islands of Lützelau and Ufenau, where in 1523 Ulrich von Hutten took refuge and died. Both shores are well cultivated and fertile. Another touristic destination is the Au peninsula at the village of Au between Wädenswil and Horgen.
The lake was frozen in the following years
- 1223, 1259, 1262
- 1407, 1491
- 1514, 1517, 1573
- 1600, 1660, 1684, 1695
- 1709, 1716, 1718, 1740, 1755, 1763, 1789
- 1830, 1880, 1891, 1895
- 1929, 1963
Population and transportation
The Zürichsee-Schifffahrtsgesellschaft – the Lake Zürich Navigation Company – provides with its 17 passenger ships touristic services on Lake Zürich. There are a number of passenger ferry services, noticeably the Horgen–Meilen ferry, an auto ferry between Horgen and Meilen.
Cities on the lake
|Left shore ¹||Right shore|
Zürich, at the north-western end of the lake, is the largest city on Lake Zürich.
On the opposite shore are Küsnacht, Meilen, Stäfa, and Rapperswil-Jona with the medieval town of Rapperswil, whose castle is home to the Polish museum. Schmerikon is close to the east end of the lake, and a little further east is the larger town of Uznach.
Lake Zürich's water is very clean and reaches, during summer, temperatures well beyond 20 °C (68 °F). Swimming in the public baths and beaches is very popular. The lake's water is purified and fed into Zürich's water system; it is potable.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- Zürichsee Schifffahrtsgesellschaft—Boat schedules, mainly non-English.
- Zürichsee-Fähre Horgen-Meilen—Ferry schedules, in German.
- Waterlevels Lake Zürich at Zürich