In 1642, under the impression of the Thirty Years' War, the city council of Zurich decided to build a new fortification around its town. Most of the construction was finished in 1677; it had cost 1,863,800 pounds, 17 schillings and 9 hellers – an enormous amount of money.
Hundreds of workers were engaged in the construction work. In the year 1642 every one of them earned 16 schillings a day. That was an extraordinary good salary, due to the shortage of workers towards the end of the war. The salary was so good that the city fathers cut it down to 15 schillings only two years later. This quarter ducat equaled about 28 schillings, not quite two days' wages.