Gesellschaft zu Fraumünster

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Gesellschaft zu Fraumünster
Full nameGesellschaft zu Fraumünster
Founded1989 (1989)
Key peopleRegula Zweifel, Hohe Fraumünster-Frau[1]
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata (in German)

Gesellschaft zu Fraumünster is a guild–like organisation in Zürich, Switzerland, not yet associated with the Zünfte of Zürich as of 2015.

Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf as guest of the Fraumünster association in 2012
Historical clothing of the women of the society
Flag of the society
2012 Sechseläuten - Gesellschaft zu Fraumünster - 'Fürstäbtissin-Stab' 2012-04-16 15-38-34.JPG
2014 Sechseläuten - Sechseläutenumzug - Gesellschaft zu Fraumünster - Beatengasse-Bahnhofstrasse 2014-04-28 15-16-38.JPG
Spectaculum at the Münsterhof square in May 2014

History of Gesellschaft zu Fraumünster[edit]

In medieval times, in Zürich all female and male Bürger were members of the guilds, but beginning in the 19th century women were no more tolerated within the guilds then more as decoration of their men being still members of the guilds of Zürich. The history of the Gesellschaft zu Fraumünsters dates back to the late 9th century when the abbess of the Fraumünster Abbey (853 A.D.) in fact reigned the city of Zürich as Fürstäbtissin (imperial abbess) nominated by the king of the Holy Roman Empire, among them Katharina von Zimmern.[2] Gesellschaft zu Fraumünster, being the society of the former noble women of the Fraumünster Abbey, was established in 1989. Now, the honorable women of the society cultivate the virtuous habits of the former abbey by p.e. honoring the work of engaged women in the modern society. Beginning fifteen years ago, the society started to organize every three years the so-called Mittelalter Spectaculum, a medieval funfair, at the Münsterhof square.

Sechseläuten and the guilds of Zürich[edit]

Since 2010 the guilds of Zürich allow to the women of the society to practice Sechseläuten, as guests of the Constaffel society, for historical reasons as until 1524 AD the abbesses of the Fraumünster abbey were members of the Constaffel.[3]

As of November 2014, expressly agreed by the guilds of Zürich, the Fraumünster society – still as guest, not as an official member –[3] may practice Sechseläuten provisorily until 2022, as also confirmed by the association (Zentralkomitee der Zünfte) of the Zürich guilds. Mrs Regula Zweifel, representant of the Fraumünster society, told in an interview on 6 November 2014, ″... after 25 years, the tug of war is finally over. The fact that we now have guest status at Sechseläutenplatz, is great. But it is only a first step ...″ The association of guild members will, on occasion of an official ceremony, sign an agreement between the Fraumünster society and the so-called Zunftmeister's (literally: masters of the guilds) in December 2014: as long as the agreement applies, the Fraumünster society may participate namely the Sechseläuten procession and Böögg burning, but neither do any steps to join the assembly of the Zürich guilds nor participate other activities related to Sechseläuten.[3][4][5]


The association organizes monthly meetings, and its members are involved in numerous cultural projects, among them the honor book for women, a silent memorial to all women who do extraordinary things in everyday life and shape society actively. Every three years the "Mittelalter Spectaculum" at the Münsterhof plaza is organized. Each year, the society honors posthumously female personalities with a plaque at their site of action in Zürich, and publishes a New Year's sheet.

Notable women awarded by the association[edit]

The Fraumünster society posthumously honors women who have provided outstanding professional services or social innovations in Zürich. The honoring take place on the morning of the Sechseläuten festival and are public. Whenever possible, a plaque is attached to a former residence or place of activity of the honored women.[6][7]

Name EN-WP wiki born died honor remarks location
Bullinger, Anna Anna Bullinger-Adlischwyler 1500 (around) 1564 2017 Former nun of the Oetenbach Nunnery who married Heinrich Bullinger after the Reformation in Zürich[8] Zwingliplatz 4 (Carolinum Zürich)
Grossmünster - Pfarrhaus (Zwingliplatz) 2010-08-30 16-20-24 ShiftN.jpg
Escher, Mathilde Mathilde Escher 1808 1875 2015 Founded the Mathilde-Escher foundation in Zürich St. Annagasse 11
St. Anna Kapelle - Fraumünster-Ehrung Mathilde Escher 2015-05-04 17-39-35 Lumia 830.jpg
Fierz, Maria Maria Fierz 1878 1956 2016 Funding of the internal cohesion of the urban population[9]
Lieberherr, Emilie Emilie Lieberherr 1924 2011 2014 First women member of the Council of States (Switzerland) and first women city councillor in Zürich in progress
Gutknecht, Rosa Rosa Gutknecht 1885 1959 2013 Theologician and assistant pastor at the Grossmünster church Zwingliplatz 1
Feller, Elisabeth Elisabeth Feller 1910 1973 2012 Independent entrepreneur, feminist and patron of the arts Stockerstrasse 9
Birch-Pfeiffer, Charlotte Charlotte Birch-Pfeiffer 1800 1868 2011 First women theatre director (1837–1843) in Switzerland Schauspielhaus, Heimplatz
Heim-Vögtlin, Marie Marie Heim-Vögtlin 1845 1916 2010 First female Swiss physician, a writer and a co-founder of the first Swiss gynaecological hospital. Hottingerstrasse 25
Wetzikon, Elisabeth von Elisabeth von Wetzikon 1235 1298 2009 Abbess of the Fraumünster nunnery, supporter of the Codex Manesse
Welti-Escher, Lydia Lydia Welti-Escher 1858 1891 2008 Patron of the arts and founder of the Gottfried Keller Stiftung.[10][11][12] Kunsthaus Zürich, Lydia-Welti-Escher-Hof
Kunsthaus Zürich - Lydia-Welti-Escher-Hof 2015-11-06 16-57-46.JPG
Zumsteg, Hulda Hulda Zumsteg 1890 1984 2007 Prominent hostess of the Kronenhalle restaurant in Zürich not allowed to apply
Schaufelberger, Barbara Barbara Schaufelberger 1645 1718 2006 First women book printer and publisher in Switzerland Storchengasse 19
Marić-Einstein, Mileva Mileva Marić-Einstein 1875 1948 2005 Serbian physicist, Albert Einstein's fellow student at the Zurich Polytechnic, and later his first wife. Huttenstrasse 62
Kempin-Spyri, Emilie Emilie Kempin-Spyri 1853 1901 2004 First woman in Switzerland to graduate with a law degree and to be accepted as an academic lecturer.[13] University of Zürich, Rämistrasse 74
Wyss, Laure Laure Wyss 1913 2002 2003 Swiss writer and journalist, correspondent and activist Winkelwiese 6
Burghalden, Hedwig ab Hedwig ab Burghalden ?? ?? 2002 Maybe fictitious, deviously defeated Austrian troops in 1292 AD. Fountain at Lindenhof hill
Heinzelmann, Gertrud Gertrud Heinzelmann 1914 1999 2001 Lawyer and initiator of the women's movement for voting rights Münzplatz 3
Zimmern, Kathaina von Katharina von Zimmern 1478 1547 2000 Last abbess of the Fraumünster Abbey Neumarkt 13, Fraumünster cloister
Reinhart-Zwingli, Anna Anna Reinhart 1484 1538 1999 Wife of Huldrych Zwingli Schifflände 30
Waser, Anna Anna Waser 1678 1714 1998 Swiss engraver and miniature painter Münstergasse 19
Guyer, Lux Lux Guyer 1894 1955 1997 First woman architect with her own office in Switzerland and project manager of SAFFA 1928.[14] Bahnhofstr. 71


  1. ^ "Regula Zweifel, Hohe Fraumünster-Frau". Gesellschaft zu Fraumünster. Retrieved 2015-10-16.
  2. ^ "Geschichte". Gesellschaft zu Fraumünster. Retrieved 2014-10-25.
  3. ^ a b c Tina Huber (2014-11-06). "Manche Witze sind unter der Gürtellinie" (in German). Tages-Anzeiger. Retrieved 2014-11-06.
  4. ^ "Frauenzunft wird Sechseläuten-Dauergast" (in German). Zürcher Oberländer. 2014-11-06. Retrieved 2014-11-07.
  5. ^ "Medienmitteilung (press release)" (PDF) (in German). Zentralkomitee der Zünfte Zürichs. 2014-11-06. Retrieved 2014-11-30.
  6. ^ "Frauenehrungen" (in German). Gesellschaft zu Fraumünster. Retrieved 2014-11-30.
  7. ^ "Frauenehrungen der Gesellschaft zu Fraumünster" (PDF) (in German). Gesellschaft zu Fraumünster. 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-02-07. Retrieved 2014-11-30.
  8. ^ Katrin Oller (2017-04-22). "Die «inniggeliebte Hausfrau» und Zürcher Pionierin" (in German). Limmattaler Zeitung via Schweiz am Wochenende. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
  9. ^ "Zürcher Frauenzunft ehrt Maria Fierz" (in German). Limmattaler Zeitung via sda. 2016-04-14. Retrieved 2016-04-14.
  10. ^ "Ehrung der Kunstmäzenin Lydia Welti-Escher (press release)" (PDF) (in German). Gesellschaft zu Fraumünster. 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2014-11-30.
  11. ^ Stadtrat von Zürich (2008-08-20). "Strassenbenennungskommission; Benennung von "Lydia-Welti-Escher-Hof" (press release)" (in German). Stadt Zürich. Retrieved 2014-11-30.
  12. ^ "Der Lydia-Welti-Escher-Hof" (in German). Gang dur Alt-Züri. Retrieved 2014-11-30.
  13. ^ Marita Fuchs: Ehrentafel für die erste Dozentin der Universität Zürich
  14. ^ Yvonne Voegeli (2011). "Saffa" (in German). HDS. Retrieved 2014-11-30.

External links[edit]