Today most people come to Fraumünster to see the magnificent stained glass windows in the choir created by French artist Marc Chagall in the early 1970s, or the windows by Augusto Giacometti. But in days gone by this Gothic abbey dating from the 9th century was more than just pretty. Fraumünster, which literally means women’s abbey, belonged to the Benedictine convent whose abbess had wide powers in Zurich. Women came on harder times in the 16th century. The little archway on the outer corner of Fraumünster (Poststrasse/Münsterhof) was used to limit decadence and elaborate clothing, and women’s wide hoop skirts had to fit through here, or else a fine was due. Since summer 2016 the crypt is open to visitors. Be considerate, no photos, no visiting during Sunday services.