Böögg awaits his fate on new Sechseläutenplatz
As previously reported, Sechseläutenplatz has been transformed from an open turfed area to one covered in splendid stone slabs from Vals in the canton of Graubünden.
On Tuesday evening this was ceremonially opened by city mayoress Corine Mauch of the SP party. In her speech she mentioned how important these open public spaces were as a place for people to meet up with each other. Rather than cut through any ribbon the mayoress set off the new trick fountains similar to the ones on Bundesplatz in Bern, which have proved so popular. As part of the celebrations, a number of events will be taking place over the next few days, not least the opportunity to have one's photograph taken with the traditional Böögg snowman figure, though of course only until Monday, when he is to be set on fire.
This newly paved area between Bellevue and the Opera House, with a number of seats and places set aside for trees to be planted, now covers a further 16,000 square metres than it did before, making it the largest inner-city public open space in the country. It was back in 2012 that citizens were asked in a referendum whether they felt it was right to spend CHF 17.2 million on the project and they duly agreed. Then the city of Zurich contributed a further CHF 10 million out of its own expenses.
In addition to the Sechseläuten festivities next week, the area will continue to be used by Circus Knie, the Zürifäscht, the Street Parade as well as the Zurich Film Festival, with the public free to use it on as many as 180 days a year.
While on the matter of the Sechseläuten festivities, it is normal to invite a guest canton to the event but, as a result of the high finances involved, the canton of Lucerne pulled out for 2015. However, their place will be taken by the principality of Liechtenstein instead.