Things to do while in Zurich

Zurich, Switzerland. (Shutterstock)
Updated 25 August 2018
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Things to do while in Zurich

To escape the Gulf summer, you might want to consider a trip to Zurich in cool, mountainous Switzerland. It’s just a short flight from the Middle East and there are always deals, but beyond bankers and fresh water, what does this lakeside city offer the weekend visitor? Arab News went to find out.

Walk the old town

Start your weekend with a stroll through the city’s pedestrian-only district of Niederdorf. Lined with bars and restaurants, Niederdorfstrasse – the cobbled street that winds through the neighborhood – is the most characterful street in the city. It is an ideal place to unwind after a long flight.

Eat Swiss-German food

Let’s be honest, Swiss-German food is not the finest cuisine in Europe, but in Zurich it’s more about where you eat, rather than what you eat. And for that, there’s nowhere finer than the Zeughauskeller, a Swiss-German restaurant with a six-foot cannon over the main door.

Picnic at Lake Zurich

Zurich is blessed with its star attraction, Lake Zurich, and Zürichhorn Park on the banks of the lake is the finest spot in which to relax and picnic. Swimming is permitted, but be prepared for rather chilly waters: Unless you’re feeling particularly brave, staying dry might be a better option.

Visit a quirky museum

Zurich is liberal yet conservative. That doesn’t mean it lacks those quirks you find in every city. In the Moulagenmuseum, you can see wax models of diseases and injuries that were previously used by health professionals. But if this too much, then try the Pegasus Small World toy museum, which boasts 700 Steiff teddy bears.

Ride the cable car

Switzerland is well known for its Alps and hilly landscapes. So why not venture up one? There’s no need to dig out the hiking boots, because you can enjoy the grace of a cable car effortlessly climbing the Felsenegg and enjoy the views from above the city.

Drink from a fountain

It’s important to keep hydrated – we all know that. But in Zurich you can do it in style, with 1,200 individually unique and ornate water fountains that provide drinkable water 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Not just good for an Instagram photo: You’ll also save money on bottled water.


Five historic mosques to be restored in Asir province

The historic mosques will be restored and renovated so that they can receive worshipers again. (SPA)
Updated 17 November 2018
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Five historic mosques to be restored in Asir province

  • Abdullah bin Ali Al-Asmari, a 100-year-old resident, said that he had served and supervised the mosque’s services 40 years ago and ascertained that according to some books, the mosque was built 400 years ago

JEDDAH: Five mosques in Asir have been added to the first phase of a SR50 million ($13 million) project to restore historic places of worship in the Kingdom.
The mosques have been added to the “Mohammed bin Salman project for Developing Historical Mosques” project, which includes 30 historic mosques in 10 of the Kingdom’s regions.
The historic Asir mosques will be restored and renovated so that they can receive worshippers again.
They have been abandoned in recent years as worshippers became used to visiting modern mosques in the light of urban development in the Kingdom. Some older mosques have been neglected and destroyed despite their historical value.
The historic Al-Mudfat in Abha is one of the mosques included on the list of buildings to be restored. Abdullah bin Ali Al-Asmari, a 100-year-old resident, said that he had served and supervised the mosque’s services 40 years ago and ascertained that according to some books, the mosque was built 400 years ago.
Al-Asmari said that the mosque consisted of a musalla that was six meters wide and 20 meters long, standing on five pillars of juniper trees; 92 branches of juniper trees were used to cover the ceilings.
The musalla has an entrance on the southern side, and an outdoor guest room with an old minaret where the muezzin stands. The lake was removed during previous restoration works and replaced by a modern water tank, he said.
Saudi resident Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Asmari said that the mosque is characterized by the ablution spaces, like the rest of the area’s historic mosques.
The second mosque to be renovated is the archaeological Sadreid Mosque in the north of Al-Namas governorate. The mosque’s features are very similar to those of the rest of the mosques in the area, but it is characterized by historic inscriptions. Saudi resident Mansoor bin Saad Al-Aajlan said that these inscriptions show that it is one of the oldest mosques in the Arabian Peninsula, built in 728, according to credible historical sources.
The Al-Sarou is the third mosque that will be renovated in Asir. Residents said that the history of the mosque remains unknown but that it is very old.
The Aaqisa Mosque in the old village of Asir is also on the list. This mosque is situated near an old fortress and houses and is considered to be very old, according to information from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).
The mosque occupies an area of 72 square meters with an outdoor space and a lake for ablution.
Al-Nusb Historic Mosque, the fifth on the list, is situated in the center of Abha city.
A local resident, Bandar bin Abdullah Al-Moufarreh, said that the mosque was built in 1744 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Moufarreh and later restored in 1841 by his grandson Sheikh Mohammed bin Ahmed Al-Moufarreh, and again in 1897 by Sheikh Abdullah bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Moufarreh.