Lake Of Zurich - Encyclopedia




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LAKE OF ZURICH, a Swiss lake, extending S.E. of the town of Zurich. It is formed by the river Linth, which, rising in the glaciers of the Todi range in Glarus, was diverted by the Escher canal (completed in 1811) into the Walensee, whence, by means of the Linth canal (completed in 1816), its waters are carried to the east end of the lake of Zurich. This river issues from the lake at its north-west end, passing through the town of Zurich, but is then called the Limmat. No streams of importance flow into the lake. Its area is about 34 sq. m., its extreme length 25 m., its greatest breadth 21 m., and its greatest depth 469 ft., while its surface is 1342 ft. above sea-level. It is included, or the greater portion, in the Canton of Zurich, but at its east end 84 sq. m. towards the southern shore are in that of Schwyz, and 4 sq. m. towards the northern shore in that of St Gall. The great dam of masonry, carrying the railway line and carriage road from Rapperswil to Pfaffikon, which cuts off the extreme eastern part of the lake from the rest, is passed only by small boats; steamers (of which the first was placed on the lake in 1835) do not go beyond the dam, as the eastern portion of the lake is shallow and choked by weeds. West of this dam is the small island of Ufenau, where in 1523 Ulrich von Hutten took refuge and died. Both shores are well cultivated and fertile. There are many villas, particularly near Zurich, and elsewhere numerous factories in the various flourishing villages. Zurich, at the north end of the lake, is the principal place on it. On the west shore (which gradually becomes the south shore) are Thalwil, Horgen, Wadenswil, Richterswil, Pfaffikon, and Lachen. On the opposite shore are Meilen (near which the first lake dwellings were discovered in 1853-54), Stafa, and the quaint town of Rapperswil, the castle of which shelters a Polish museum, wherein is the heart of Kosciuszko. Schmerikon is close to the east end of the lake, and a little beyond is the more important town of Uznach. (W. A. B. C.)

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