Zürich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich. The municipality has approximately 390,000 inhabitants, and the Zurich metropolitan area nearly 2 million. Zurich is a mixed hub for railways, roads, and air traffic. Both Zurich Airport and railway station are the largest and busiest in the country.
Permanently settled for around 7,000 years, the history of Zurich goes back to its founding by the Romans, who, in 15 BC, called it Turicum. During the Middle Ages Zurich gained the independent and privileged status of imperial immediacy and, in 1519, was the place of origin and centre of the Protestant Reformation in German-speaking Switzerland, led by Ulrich Zwingli.
Zurich is a leading global city and among the world's largest financial centres. The city is home to a large number of financial institutions and banking giants. Also, most of the research and development centres are concentrated in Zurich and the low rate of tax attracts overseas companies to set up their headquarters there.
Monocle's 2012 "Quality of Life Survey" ranked Zurich first on a list of the top 25 cities in the world "to make a base within". According to several surveys from 2006 to 2008, Zurich was named the city with the best quality of life in the world as well as the wealthiest city in Europe.
Many museums and art galleries can be found in the city, including the Swiss National Museum and the Kunsthaus. Zurich also hosts one of the most important theatres in the German-speaking world.