I'm not sure how to explain my feelings about this..... The museum is HUGE. There's a ton of information in a very large amalgamation of rooms. Someone else used the term chaotic - that's pretty close to what I felt. Instead of going by time period, the rooms go by subject/category; i.e. you might be viewing political information and history that ends with the current day political structure in one section, then the next section reverts back to the impact of industry on the country; again, starting in the middle ages, ending in current times. And this continued to happen from room to room, so for someone with absolutely zero Swiss history, it was a bit disorienting. In many rooms, there are English explanation boards that you have to pick up and hold from the beginning of the room's exhibit through the end. I'd say that covers maybe 60% of what you'll see, maybe not as in-depth as you want. I did not get the audio guide here, maybe that would help. Although, by the time I got to the Waffen Turm (weapons tower), I had about had it - was pretty bored and did not feel much enlightened about the Swiss. But I went up the tower anyway, and wow - what a great collection of old swords/lances, and an amazing number of old guns (think dueling pistols, the first rifles, etc), even uniforms through the ages -- don't miss this section! I did also enjoy the rooms that had been reassembled from old abbeys/monasteries/churches. I wasn't much interested in the furniture, but that was at the end and I really couldn't wait to get out of there. I almost hate to say how disappointed I was, because it's clear that a ton of effort has gone into the displays, and there is so much there. Perhaps my best advice is to skip what doesn't interest you and move on to the next room - there might be something in there that grabs your attention. I did not get to the two special exhibitions. Remember, if you use your Zurich Card, it's free.
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