600-year-old Charlemagne insignia found in Zurich

The insignia was one of the archaeological finds made by excavating near Zurich's Fraumünster church Photographer:Martin Bachmann

Archaeologists working on an excavation near Zurich’s Fraumünster church have found a 600-year-old metal insignia depicting the emperor Charlemagne at the graves of the city’s patron saints. 

This content was published on December 21, 2015 - 15:30 and agencies

A similar scene of Charlemagne discovering the graves of saints Felix and Regula can be seen in another church in Zurich, the Grossmünster. According to legend, Charlemagne was led to their graves by a stag, where his horse kneeled down before the saints. At that place, Charlemagne was said to have founded the Grossmünster church.

Charlemagne, who was crowned emperor in Rome on Christmas Day in AD800, has been regarded as a holy figure in Zurich since the 13th century. This latest archaeological find strengthens theories that he was regarded as such by the general public many hundred years ago, according to the city of Zurich. 

Excavations have been taking place near the Fraumünster for several years, and archaeologists are now identifying and dating their findings. In addition to the 35mm-wide insignia, they uncovered a star-shaped spur believed to be at least 700 years old and believed to have been lost by a rider crossing the church courtyard. 

This article was automatically imported from our old content management system. If you see any display errors, please let us know:

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?