Theodor Mommsen gained the Nobel Prize for Literature, 1902, as "the greatest living master of the art of historical writing, with special reference to his monumental work, A History of Rome". This opus was written during his time as a professor at the University of Zurich. He used to enjoy spending time with a couple of friends in the then Café Littéraire on the Weinplatz.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1913 was awarded to Alfred Werner "in recognition of his work on the linkage of atoms in molecules by which he has thrown new light on earlier investigations and opened up new fields of research especially in inorganic chemistry". Werner's flash of inspiration came when he was staying at what was the Hotel Pfauen in 1892. The work resulting from this idea was published in 1893, the year in which he was appointed Professor of Chemistry at the University of Zurich.
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1921 was awarded to Albert Einstein "for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect". Einstein was a student and later professor in Zurich. From 1909, he was an Extraordinary Professor at the University of Zurich and 1912-1914, Professor of Theoretical Physics at ETH Zurich. He often spent time in the Café Metropol.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1937 was awarded to Paul Karrer "for his investigations on carotenoids, flavins and vitamins A and B2". Karrer spent 40 years teaching and researching at the University of Zurich. He used to go to the Tonhalle concert hall every Tuesday to listen to classical music.
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1945 was awarded to Wolfgang Pauli "for the discovery of the Exclusion Principle, also called the Pauli Principle". Pauli was appointed professor of theoretical physics at the ETH Zurich in 1928 and, after spending some of the war years in the United States, came back to Zurich in 1946. Pauli formed an association with psychiatrist and psychologist Carl Gustav Jung, who founded the Psychology Club Zurich (pictured).
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1949 was given to Walter Rudolf Hess "for his discovery of the functional organization of the interbrain as a coordinator of the activities of the internal organs". The Kurhaus Rigiblick (now Theater Rigiblick) was where Hess would take his grandchildren for a cup of Ovomaltine after one of his highly educational walks around the city.
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1981 was awarded to Elias Canetti "for writings marked by a broad outlook, a wealth of ideas and artistic power". Canetti mostly lived in Zurich for the last 20 years of his life and was often seen riding the tram around the city.
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1986 was divided, with one half of it awarded jointly to Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer "for their design of the scanning tunneling microscope". Rohrer worked at the IBM Research Laboratory in Zurich for 34 years. The city hall, also home to the exhibition, has been chosen as his favourite place in Zurich.
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1987 was awarded jointly to J. Georg Bednorz and K. Alexander Müller "for their important breakthrough in the discovery of superconductivity in ceramic materials". This came after their long-standing collaboration at the IBM Research Lab and was the second Nobel in a row for the lab. The Zurich opera house is one of his preferred places in the city.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1991 was awarded to Richard R. Ernst "for his contributions to the development of the methodology of high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy". He was appointed Professor of Physical Chemistry at ETH Zurich in 1976. He has a love for Asian art, with his main interest directed towards Tibetan scroll paintings. Thus the Rietberg Museum, the only art museum for non-European cultures in Switzerland, is a perfect match for him.
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1996 was awarded jointly to Peter C. Doherty and Rolf M. Zinkernagel "for their discoveries concerning the specificity of the cell mediated immune defence". Zinkernagel helped establish the Institute of Experimental Immunology, attached to the University of Zurich, which he co-led for almost 30 years. When Zinkernagel left the institute in the evenings, the University Hospital’s park offered him a taste of his own garden.
The 2002 Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to Kurt Wüthrich "for his development of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy for determining the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules in solution". He has a passion for sports, which is reflected in the choice of the Letzigrund Stadium as his Zurich place.
Many illustrious academics have associations with Zurich. But what did they do in their free time when they were in the city? This gallery shows some of the favourite places of 12 Nobel Prize winners, all featured in the Hall of Fame at the Einstein & Co - Zurich and the Nobel Prize exhibition.
Text: Isobel Leybold-Johnson/swissinfo.ch