EuroPride Zurich 2009: Artfully Presented

EuroPride Zurich 2009

Master jeweller Rolf Vonlanthen
One of Zurich’s playful window displays

Artfully Presented

Not many cities have a gay-themed work of art as one of its most recognised images, yet the wonderful statue of Ganymede on the shore of Lake Zurich is one of the cities most famous. Art is everywhere in Switzerland; from the biggest city to small villages, billion-dollar art collections may be just on the other side of the wall. You don’t even have to leave the hotel to appreciate it—not if you are staying at Park Hyatt Zurich, which has its own impressive collection of modern masterpieces spread throughout the property.

As if EuroPride were not a big enough draw for gay and lesbian visitors, this week also sees the annual Art Basel International Art Fair taking place in nearby Basel. Smart planning. Art Basel is well known as one of the most important modern art fairs in the world, with its Miami edition just as well respected and attended each December.

Not all art in Zurich is hanging on walls for passive appreciation; there is a number of creative types populating the city who get there hands dirty for their passion. For every bank headquarters in the city, there are ten art studios—they just don’t have the prominent streetfronts that big companies do. If you’re lucky, you may find the perfect souvenir to take home. At the shop of master jeweller Rolf Vonlanthen, the items are certain to be perfect; all of Rolf’s beautiful creations are made to order. None of your friends will have anything like a Vonlanthen original; Rolf uses ultrastrong black carbon fibres as the base for his pieces, which may be adorned with the biggest of gemstones, trimmed in gold or platinum, or worn in elegant simplicity. Sounds a bit bizarre, but the result is exquisite. It was on the finger of a SWISS flight attendant that I noticed a Vonlanthen and being ever helpful, he gave me the address of Rolf’s atelier just a few steps from busy Bellevueplatz.

Park Hyatt Zurich china and
silverware chandelier

Theatre is another art form not often associated with Zurich, but performances abound all year ’round in wonderful venues such as the Zurich Opera House and the more intimate Bernhard Theatre right next door. English-language productions are regularly featured on the city’s theatre calendar.

Swiss Army knife in field
next to Zurich Airport
Carbon jewellery made to order with as much bling as you can handle

Comedies are well attended; whoever thinks the Swiss do not have a sense of humour is very wrong. Subtle it may be, but it’s there and happily allowed to be displayed. Have a look out the windows on the right side of your SWISS flight as it arrives in Zurich and see the farmland with a perfect image of a Swiss Army Knife cut into the crops. Once the plane lands, passengers on the short trainride from Terminal E to the main building will wonder where the moo sounds are coming from. Not from other passengers; it’s just another Swiss surprise to catch people’s attention in an unexpected way. Once in town, don’t be surprised to come across shops with some funny window displays. Even the staid on the outside but happening on the inside Park Hyatt Zurich has a sense of humour; just have a look at that chandelier.

Swiss International Air Lines
Zurich Tourism’s gay and lesbian page
Switzerland Tourism’s gay and lesbian page
Switzerland Tourism’s Art Basel page


Source = e-Travel Blackboard: R.L.B

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