Three martyrs

The patron saints of Zürich.

This fountain, on the side of a government building in downtown Zürich, likely depicts the story of “Felix and Regula, together with their servant Exuperantius, [who] are the patron saints of Zürich” [Wikipedia]. (Kudos again to Jean Rosston ’77 for the tip that led me to this interpretation.)

In this story, told in more detail on Wikipedia, they were members of a Roman legion that escaped when their legion was to be executed, later caught in Zürich, tried and executed in the year 286. “After decapitation, they miraculously stood to their feet, picked up their own heads, walked forty paces uphill, and prayed before lying down in death. They were buried on the spot where they lay down, on the hilltop which would become the site of the Grossmünster.”

Siblings Felix and Regula, with their servant Exuperantius.

This story “largely contributed to the massive conversion of the inhabitants of these regions to Christianity and had such an impact on Zurich that these three saints still appear on the seal of Zurich today.” [Wikipedia]

A fountain with a depiction of the three martyrs of Zürich.

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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