Expat’s video shows Zurich before and now

If you want to see how little the centre of Zurich has changed over the past century check out Cora Drimus’s video.

Expat's video shows Zurich before and now
Photo: Cora Drimus/YouTube

The 30-year-old Romanian expat has painstakingly taken photographs of buildings and monuments in the heart of Switzerland’s largest metropolis, matching them with views from yesteryear.

The pictures have been gathered on a video called Zürich Then and Now that Drimus has posted to YouTube.

Her documentation and the photos she has taken show that while areas outside Zurich are rapidly changing, the downtown is remarkably well preserved.

Views along the Limmat River, of the Paradeplatz and of the celebrated Bahnfofstrasse have barely changed since the late 1800s.

Based in Zurich for the past five years, Drimus is working for an energy trading company after studying quantitative finance at the Federal Institute for Technology in Zurich (ETH) and the University of Zurich.

“I didn’t intend to prove anything with this project,” she told The Local.

Like similar video projects she has done for other cities, including New York, she said she “only intended to present a well documented side-by-side comparison of interesting old pictures and their corresponding ones today.”

“I started working on this project in February by first collecting all the old photos from different sources and identifying their location,” Drimus said.

“I shot the new pictures during the weekends, over the period March 13th to May 25th.”

Drimus said one of the most challenging aspects of taking the photos was the weather.

“Almost all of the new shots had to be taken two or three times,” she said.

Drimus also researched information about the locations, which accompany the before-and-after pictures.

For example, she notes with the photos of the University of Zurich that it was the first university in Europe to accept women.

“I enjoy taking pictures and the idea of trying to find the exact spot and angle of a shot taken 100-150 years ago fascinates me,” she said.

“My favourite shots are always those which show people or vehicles, as they are the best at capturing the lifestyle back then.”

She cites as examples pictures of St. Peter-Bahnhofstrasse, Zürichbergbahn or the Villa Windegg.

Take a look for yourself:


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Swiss rail to close ticket counters in Zurich, Bern, Vaud, Ticino and Zug

Switzerland’s Federal Railways (SBB) will be removing the ticket counter from nine stations in the cantons of Zurich, Vaud, Bern, Zug and Ticino

Swiss rail to close ticket counters in Zurich, Bern, Vaud, Ticino and Zug

The SBB made the announcement on Wednesday, saying the decision was made due to a lack of demand. 

Instead, commuters will need to buy tickets from automated machines. 

In the canton of Zurich, the ticket stations in Dietlikon, Hinwil, Kloten, Männedorf and Oberwinterthur will be closed. 

In neighbouring Zug, Cham’s ticket counter will be closed, while the Herzogenbuchsee station in Bern will also go fully automated. 

MAPS: The best commuter towns when working in Zurich

In Latin Switzerland, Pully in Vaud and Biasca in Ticino will see their ticket counters closed. 

The SBB told Swiss news outlet Watson that approximately 95 percent of ticket sales are now made via self-service machines or online. 

The advent of navigation apps has meant the need for personal advice on directions and travel has fallen, particularly in smaller areas or stations with lower traffic.