If we would translate the German word “Schweizer Heimatwerk” It would mean, Swiss Home Crafts and that’s what it is! It’s a boutique which sells hand made things from Switzerland. There are about 8 shops or rather boutiques in the whole of Switzerland. And out of that 8 shops 5 are in Zürich. Two at the Zürich Airport, two in downtown Zürich, pictures of one of those you are going to see in the pictures below.
This one is one of my most favorite shops. The building where this shop is, is rather special. It’s the last remains of the Ottenbach Monastery from the 13th Century. The paintings on the either side of the building are from the 1930`s. These paintings are from the famous Swiss painter Wilhelm Hartung. The location of the shop is absolutely perfect, you have the view of the old town, the Limmatquai and the Grossmunster church in the background. It’s very close to the Bahnhofstrasse and the old town as well. It’s a regular route for me when I am taking the tourists to the old town, we pass by the shop. Although the building is old but they have very big windows so the shop is very bright. And don’t forget to go to the last room, from the window here you have a spectacular view of the Limmat and the Church (See the photo below) the Limmatquai and the whole of the old town.
They have a huge selection of things like Cow bells, Cuckoo clocks, Swiss wooden toys, puzzles, cooking aprons, watches, jewelry, clothes, china, chocolate etc. and also homemade ice-crème in the summer months. The quality is a perfect Swiss quality, very elegant and made with great aesthetics. There is a huge collection of things you can choose from.
The staff is very friendly, and they are happy to assist you well and of course English is very well spoken here. If you want to buy a gift, they are also very happy to pack it for you and in the red Swiss Cross wrapping paper.
The idea of the Schweizer Heimatwerk or the “Swiss Crafts Association” came to be in the 1930. Actually, the idea arose from the need to be able to provide some jobs to the farmers in the hard winter months. The farmers did not have much work to do in the winter months but they of course needed a source of income to be able to survive. That’s when this organization was formed. Some of the farmers used to make hand crafted things and some who didn’t know they were given lessons, so that they could work from home and under the Schweizer Heimatwerk shop, these products were sold.
In 1931 it was made into a Non-Profit organization and for a long period of time the farmers used to make products to be sold at this shop. But slowly things started to change and now the products are being made by skilled craftsmen and Schweizer Heimatwerk is the place where hand made Swiss products and souvenirs are sold.
Have a look at the Swiss quality products, the cow bells were made very famous in India from the very famous movie by “Sharukh Khan” “Dilwale dulhanaye le jayenge” Most of our tourists coming from back home, carry a bell or two with them.
So you see there is a huge collection of different types of things to satisfy everyone. You can also just pass by and enjoy a good ice-creme by the river Limmat.
Here is how you can reach here. Tram No 4 & 15 and the stop is Rudolf Brün Brucke. If you are walking from the Bahnhofstrasse then its a 5-7 minutes walk from the main train station.