Ulrich Zwingli Statue

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Huldrych Zwingli was born on 1 January 1484 in Wildhaus, in the Toggenburg valley of Switzerland, to a family of farmers, the third child of nine. His father, Ulrich, played a leading role in the administration of the community (Amtmann or chief local magistrate). Zwingli's primary schooling was provided by his uncle, Bartholomew, a cleric in Weesen, where he probably met Katharina von Zimmern. At ten years old, Zwingli was sent to Basel to obtain his secondary education where he learned Latin under Magistrate Gregory Bünzli. After three years in Basel, he stayed a short time in Bern with the humanist, Henry Wölfflin. The Dominicans in Bern tried to persuade Zwingli to join their order and it is possible that he was received as a novice. However, his father and uncle disapproved of such a course and he left Bern without completing his Latin studies. He enrolled in the University of Vienna in the winter semester of 1498 but was expelled, according to the university's records. However, it is not certain that Zwingli was indeed expelled, and he re-enrolled in the summer semester of 1500; his activities in 1499 are unknown. Zwingli continued his studies in Vienna until 1502, after which he transferred to the University of Basel where he received the Master of Arts degree (Magister) in 1506.