Housed in an abandoned silk factory just on the bank of Lake Zurich sits the Rote Fabrik, or Red Factory. Opened in the 1980s, the Rote Fabrik has come to represent the heart of experimental theater, film, and music in Zurich. The factory, distinctive for its titular red bricks, was reclaimed by young members of the Social Democratic party in 1977.
The Rote Fabrik was a site of a veritable culture war, as young people rejected the then-mayor of Zurich, Sigi Widmer, who believed that rock music could not be considered real culture and attempted to ban it. After decades of conflict, the Rote Fabrik emerged triumphant and remains a popular destination with both locals and visitors alike.