Opening times

Museum, boutique and bistro

Tu – We 10:00 – 17:00

Th 10:00 – 19:00

Fr – Su 10:00 – 17:00

Mo closed

Library

Tu – Fr 10:00 – 17:00

Th 10:00 – 19:00

Sa – Mo closed

Special opening times

Sa 12/21/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Su 12/22/2019 10:00 – 17:00 Fourth Advent

Mo 12/23/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Tu 12/24/2019 10:00 – 14:00 Christmas Eve

We 12/25/2019 10:00 – 17:00 Christmas

Th 12/26/2019 10:00 – 17:00 St. Stephen´s Day

Fr 12/27/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Sa 12/28/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Su 12/29/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Mo 12/30/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Tu 12/31/2019 10:00 – 17:00 New Year´s Eve

We 1/1/2020 10:00 – 17:00 New Year´s Day

Th 1/2/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Saint Berchtold

Fr 4/10/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Good Friday

Su 4/12/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Easter

Mo 4/13/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Easter Monday

Mo 4/20/2020 closed Sechseläuten

Fr 5/1/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Labour Day

Th 5/21/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Ascension Day

Su 5/31/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Whitsun

Mo 6/1/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Whit Monday

Sa 8/1/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Swiss National Holiday

Sa 9/5/2020 18:00 – 23:59 Zurich's long night of museums

Su 9/6/2020 0:00 – 2:00 Zurich's long night of museums

Mo 9/14/2020 closed Knabenschiessen

Show all

Opening times

Museum, boutique and bistro

Tu – We 10:00 – 17:00

Th 10:00 – 19:00

Fr – Su 10:00 – 17:00

Mo closed

Library

Tu – Fr 10:00 – 17:00

Th 10:00 – 19:00

Sa – Mo closed

Special opening times

Sa 12/21/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Su 12/22/2019 10:00 – 17:00 Fourth Advent

Mo 12/23/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Tu 12/24/2019 10:00 – 14:00 Christmas Eve

We 12/25/2019 10:00 – 17:00 Christmas

Th 12/26/2019 10:00 – 17:00 St. Stephen´s Day

Fr 12/27/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Sa 12/28/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Su 12/29/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Mo 12/30/2019 10:00 – 17:00

Tu 12/31/2019 10:00 – 17:00 New Year´s Eve

We 1/1/2020 10:00 – 17:00 New Year´s Day

Th 1/2/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Saint Berchtold

Fr 4/10/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Good Friday

Su 4/12/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Easter

Mo 4/13/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Easter Monday

Mo 4/20/2020 closed Sechseläuten

Fr 5/1/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Labour Day

Th 5/21/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Ascension Day

Su 5/31/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Whitsun

Mo 6/1/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Whit Monday

Sa 8/1/2020 10:00 – 17:00 Swiss National Holiday

Sa 9/5/2020 18:00 – 23:59 Zurich's long night of museums

Su 9/6/2020 0:00 – 2:00 Zurich's long night of museums

Mo 9/14/2020 closed Knabenschiessen

Show all

History of the National Museum

The 19th century is generally regarded as the century of nations and nation states. While other countries were busily erecting memorials, monuments and institutions, though, the young federal state of Switzerland was struggling with the idea of setting up a national museum. Plans to create one met with widespread scepticism, and there were also entirely pragmatic reasons for rejecting the enterprise. Almost every one of the cantons had its own collections, reflecting the federal character of the young state. However, encouraged by the popularity of the national art exhibition organised as part of the Swiss national exhibition in Zurich, in 1883 National Council member Salomon Vögelin of Zurich launched the discussion on the founding of a national museum.

After much wrangling over the proposed site of the Swiss National Museum, Zurich finally won through in 1891, seeing off its rivals Lucerne, Basel and Bern. The young architect Gustav Gull drew on various historicising architectural features from the late medieval period and the modern era, combining them to create a single whole. The design of the Swiss National Museum was intended to express a unity between collection, exhibition and architecture. It was also combined with a school of art, thereby satisfying a further important requirement of the era: having both institutions side by side, allowing the past to act as an example and an inspiration for the work of students. Today, the National Museum Zurich is regarded as one of the outstanding 19th-century constructions of its type, and an architectural monument of national importance.

The new building designed by Swiss architects Christ & Gantenbein, opened in 2016, flawlessly complements Gustav Gull’s wing of the building. It houses large, flexible exhibition halls, a modern library and an auditorium for public events.

Blog article on the history of the National Museum

Fabian Müller

25. June 2018

The National Museum's opening parade in 1898

Exactly 120 years ago today, in the afternoon of 25 June 1898, the three-day festivities marking the opening of Switzerland’s National Museum culminated in a lavish parade through downtown Zurich. The individual cantons presented themselves on the theme “Local Swiss costumes in portraits of traditional life”.

Continue

Fabian Müller

26. June 2018

A tour of the National Museum around 1900

After the National Museum opened 120 years ago it quickly began drawing large numbers of visitors. The lengthy construction and numerous political issues surrounding the institution’s inception had no doubt aroused the public’s curiosity. Free admission and the central location near Zurich’s main railway station did the rest, but enthusiasm centred on the spectacularly fitted-out exhibition halls.

Continue
© Copyright by SNM

Alexander Rechsteiner

29. June 2018

The long road to enlargement

Behind what in 2016 became reality lay over 100 years of planning. Funding issues, quarrels and a retirement stood in the way of enlarging the National Museum throughout the 20th century.

Continue
All blog posts

Art in Architecture

In 2016, the façade areas and recesses of the railway station wing, which had remained empty since the National Museum was opened in 1898, were finally decorated with new pieces of art. In his work ‘Die Verletzten schreien aus vollem Hals: Es lebe die Schweiz’ (The wounded shout at the top of their voice: Long live Switzerland), known for short as DVSAVHELDS, Winterthur-based artist Mario Sala combines rocks and layered stone strata. The work is a conceptual reference to the Museum’s stone façades and the idea of the mosaic.

© Studio Willen Mario Sala. DVSAVHELDS, 2016 Feld 1
© Studio Willen

What are you looking for?