Christelle Daunay of France broke away from Italian Valeria Straneo in the final stages of the marathon to win the European Championships title.
Jessica Augusto of Portugal, who had been in lone pursuit of the pair for much of the race, took bronze.
At age 39, Daunay won the biggest title in her career in championship record time of two hours, 25 minutes, 14 seconds on a tough course hugging Zurich lake with four steep climbs. Straneo finished 13 seconds behind for her second silver in as many years after she took second place at the 2013 world championships.
Elsewhere, Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers ran the fastest 200 metres this year on Friday to collect her second gold medal of the championships.
Schippers, who has switched from the heptathlon event where she claimed a world championship bronze last year, powered down the final straight to win in 22.03 seconds and easily beat American Tori Bowie's previous best 2014 time of 22.18.
World champion Bohdan Bondarenko won the men's high jump, clearing 2.35 metres at the second attempt to push fellow Ukrainian Andriy Protsenko (2.33) into second place.
Bondarenko's great rival, Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov of Russia, was third on 2.30.
Britain took two track golds as Adam Gemili won the men's 200 in 19.98 seconds, ahead of Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre, and Martyn Rooney was first in the 400.
Kariem Hussein brought the house down when he won the 400 hurdles in 48.96 seconds for hosts Switzerland.