Map: Wanderkarte Zugerland 1:25000
Horgenberg is a lovely region for walks.
Hirzel is a pretty village, but has something special: it is the
birthplace of Johanna Spyri,
the writer of the Heidi story.
Here Johanna Spyri has spent her time as a girl.
|Hirzel is easily reached:
||the pass road runs from Sihlbrugg to Horgen and Waedenswil.
then short walk (5 Min) to Bus Stop "Bergli", Bus to Hirzel (or
Wüeribach, Bruppacher, Zimmerberg, Höhi).
||Zug-Horgen/Oberdorf-Thalwil (change train)
Thalwil-Horgen/See or Wädenswil;
then Bus to Hirzel.
|Zug - Sihlbrugg Station (SBB)
|Sihlbrugg Dorf - Zug (Bus)
|Our route begins at the Railway station Sihlbrugg.
The bridge over the river Sihl is about 200 m downriver, along the main
The marked hiking trail undercuts the rail track of the SZU-Line, crosses
the bridge over river Sihl and undercuts the SBB-railway line.
A good although steep gravel road in leads up through the forest to the
plains on Horgenberg.
After about 20 Minutes we reach the crossing at Unterhus: to the left you
reach Wueribach. We choose the road to the right and, now on Bitumen roads
are ascending to Bruppacher.
Here is a turnoff for the "Bergweiher" (little mountain lake), a
popular place especially during summer.
||View into the alps and over lake Zurich
leftovers of last ice age.
We choose the road to Zimmerberg, Hoehi.
Every now and then we are being rewarded by marvelous lookouts. One time
we see the lower end of the Zurich lake with Zurich. At another place we
would see the upper end of the lake or even the whole length. Additionally
as a supplement gorgeous views into the alps with Saentis, Glaernisch,
Rigi, the Bern alps, Pilatus, the view into the Zugerland.
On the last part to Hirzel we meet the "Doktorhaus", where
Johanna Spyri passed her youth.
Remarkable from here is the view south with the many moraine hills that
were left behind by the glaciers.
The route down to Sihlbrugg Dorf begins about 100 m after the church on
the right. The field track starts at the end of local road with parking
lots and newly built homes.
First the track is smoothly ascending, but then a rather steep descent to
At Tobelmueli walking to Ruebgarten and down to Sihlbrugg we are following
the old "Saumweg" (old traffic route) Horgen-Sihlbrugg-Baar-Zug.
Quite remarkable when you imagine, that this steep have been used 400 or
500 years ago by horse driven wagons.
|The old "Saumweg"
Zug - Horgen as part of the trade route from Italy to Germany in the
middle ages has only lately been marked (brown signs). A remarkable
and interesting walking route.
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|Johanna Spyri, borne Heusser:
|was pastor on Hirzel. The tombstone is on the side of the
|was doctor on Hirzel. He built the relatively large house on
the hill (the "Doktorhaus"). The house not only served for his
family and the many aunts. It was also practice, pharmacy, hospital,
rehabilitation place. In a small appendix surgeries were done. Mentally
ill patients were treated and hospitalized as well.
Anna Margaretha Schweizer
|was one of the pastor's daughters. She was later the
"doctor's wife" and as such did all those jobs that were
expected of her. She was also a poet.
She was called Meta.
|was lawyer in Zurich and later a civil officer (recorder) in
Heusser, after marriage Spyri
|was borne on June 12th, 1827 on Hirzel in the
"Doktorhaus". The house (Meta Heusser Haus) is still there on
"Vorder Hoehi" and it can be seen from the church.
||in the public school on Hirzel for six years (1833-1839).
Her schoolhouse is still there. It's near the church and today it
accommodates a little museum.
|Johanna visited the repetition class. Later, during her stay
in Zurich for about 3 years, she had lectures in French and music. In
Zurich she met Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, one of the great Swiss writers.
Like many other girls, Johanna went for a year to the French talking part
|back on Hirzel
||At age 18 Johanna returned to Hirzel. Here she helped
teaching her sisters. Sometimes she visited friends in the Grisons
(Graubuenden) in Chur and Jenins. She loved literature.
with Johann Spyri
|At 25 she got engaged to Johann Spyri. After the marriage in
1852 she moved with her husband to Zurich. In 1884 her son died and in the
same year her husband passed away too.
She died in Zurich on July 7th 1901.
|Jürg Winkler: Biographisches zu Johanna Spyri,
"Ich möcht dir meine Heimat einmal zeigen"
Verlag Jürg Winkler, CH 8811 Hirzel, 1982.
"Johanna Spyri und ihre Zeit"
Nagel & Kimche
|Roswitha Fröhlich, Jürg Winkler
"Johanna Spyri, Momente einer Biographie, ein Dialog"
Neue Arche Bücherei
"Johanna Spyri und ihr Heidi"
Verlag Haupt Bern
|Museum in the old schoolhouse (built 1660):
open: sundays 2 PM to 4 PM,
or by special appointment (phone:  729 9157).
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