|Primary inflows||Linth (Linthkanal)|
|Catchment area||1,829 km2 (706 sq mi)|
|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 (0.94 cu mi)|
|Residence time||440 days|
|Surface elevation||406 m (1,332 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. Depending on the context, Lake Zürich or Zürichsee can be used to describe the lake as a whole, or just that part of the lake downstream of the Seedamm at Rapperswil, whilst the part upstream of Rapperswil may be called the Obersee or Upper Lake.
Lake Zürich is formed by the Linth river, which rises in the glaciers of the Glarus Alps and was diverted by the Escher canal (completed in 1811) into Lake Walen from where its waters are carried to the east end of Lake Zürich by means of the Linth canal (completed in 1816). The waters of the Lake of Zürich flow out of the lake at its north-west end, passing through the city of Zürich; however, the outflow is then called the Limmat. The culminating point of the lake's drainage basin is the Tödi at 3,614 metres above sea level.
No streams of importance flow into the lake besides the Linth. The Seedamm, a partially artificial causeway and bridge, crosses a narrow point of the lake carrying a railway line and road from Rapperswil to Pfäffikon. 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.
To the east – separated by Zürichberg-Adlisberg, Forch and Pfannenstiel – are two minor lakes: Greifensee (Lake Greifen) and Pfäffikersee (Lake Pfäffikon). Zimmerberg and the Etzel regions lie to the west.
Administratively, Lake Zürich is split between the cantons of Zürich, St. Gallen and Schwyz. The lower lake, to the west of the Seedamm, is largely in the canton of Zürich, whilst the upper lake is shared between the cantons of St. Gallen and Schwyz.
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.
Towns on the lake
|Left shore ¹||Right shore|
|Notes: ¹ Left shore from the entry of the Linth River, i.e.
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. Historically, the best weather for swimming has been late August, with August 28th typically having the nicest weather at around 17:30h. 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