Meet the Swiss Alps in Lucerne

William

Jan 18, 2019

Today we are bound for exploring Lucerne (Luzern in German), which is a beautiful city in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. I visited it last summer as a part of my Swiss itinerary. Owing to rich history of the city, we can nowadays admire a wooden footbridge over the River Reuss dating back to the 14th century, medieval walls where you can get a nice view of Lake Lucerne, we can meet the Alps going on top of 7000-feet-tall Mount Pilatus and much more. Let me take you to this city today and show you why it is worth visiting. So sit down comfortably and discover what to see in Lucerne.

Located on the foot of the Alps in Central Switzerland, Lucerne is surrounded by high mountains on one side and by Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee) on the other one.

What to see in Lucerne What to see in Lucerne What to see in Lucerne

Kapellbrücke

If you don’t stay in the city centre, you will probably take a bus to the train station where you will start the tour. Just within a minute of walking is the Chapel Bridge, which stands in the heart of the city over the River Reuss. It’s a covered wooden footbridge and the most iconic and photographed landmark in the city. Dating back to 1365, it’s the oldest wooden bridge in Europe. The length is 205 metres and it was built alongside the city’s fortifications. Another thing which makes this bridge unique is the paintings. You can get impressed by art from the 17th century on every one of triangular frames under the roof showing important events and legends from the history of the city.

Unfortunately, in August 1993, two thirds of this bridge were destroyed by fire from a boat underneath it. Most of the under-roof paintings burned as only the pillars and a small part of the bridge were saved, tower included. One year afterwards, Kapellbrücke was renovated to its original state, however, you can still see some of the paintings being black from the fire nowadays.

Wasserturm

 

The Water Tower is an unforgettable part of the Chapel Bridge. It’s about 3 decades older than the bridge itself and throughout its history, it was used as a prison and a torture chamber. The fire in the 90s didn’t damage the tower owing to the stone it’s built from so it guards the city in the original state for centuries, but is not open to the public.

The Musegg Wall

Just a short walk up a hill from the city centre are the medieval walls with its 9 towers, also called Museggmauer, which were built to protect the city. From there, you can get nice views of Lake Lucerne, Mount Pilatus and the city itself. Unfortunately, windows in the towers are covered with a metal lattice so taking photos might be a bit hard. Entry is free of charge.

In this picture, you can see part of the wall with a tower and another wooden bridge over the river. This bridge is called Spreuerbrücke and is quite old too, but definitely not as popular as the Chapel Bridge.

And I must apologize for the quality of this photo.  It started raining a bit and I forgot to clean the lens of my camera afterwards. Sorry mates.

The Old Town

 

The Lucerne downtown is one of the prettiest in Switzerland in my opinion. Many buildings are nicely decorated on their facades and the medieval houses are home to many shops and restaurants. You should definitely visit the Kornmarkt square in the left picture with the town hall and its tower.

Hofkirche St. Leodegar

 

If you like to visit churches, the best one is the Church of St. Leodegar. It’s a Roman Catholic church dating back to the 17th century and was one of only few churches in the Alps built during the Thirty Years War.

Löwendenkmal

 

The Lion Monument is not located in the city centre itself, however,  can be reached easily within 10 minutes of walking from the downtown. The sculpture of wounded lion in a rock commemorates the Swiss soldiers killed in 1792 during the French Revolution. A little pound underneath the lion and surrounding trees make this place really impressive, but mournful.

Mark Twain, who was an American writer, praised the sculpture as the most mournful piece of stone in the world.

 

Lake Lucerne

The lake and the River Reuss are the true heart of this city, as probably in most of the Swiss cities, so Lucerne is not an exception either. Take a walk along the embankment and get impressed by the city and Mount Pilatus watching you from the distance.

Also, a few boat trips leave from here giving you an hour or more of relaxing sailing. Or combine it together with the Pilatus mountain and leave for a day trip.

At the time I was there, in summer 2018, the world football championship was in ongoing and Switzerland was playing a match against Sweden. Many people were enjoying this event watching the match on TVs in cafés and restaurants by the lake and river. The atmosphere was great!

KKL Lucerne

The Lucerne Congress and Culture Centre is a multi-purpose venue on the opposite side of the river, mostly used as a concert hall due to its great acoustics. Concerts from operas to rock take place here alongside other special events.

Mount Pilatus

Pilatus is a must for every traveller coming to Lucerne. This 7000-feet-tall mountain is located very close to the city and is accessible by using a cable car or with the steepest cogwheel railway in the world. The impressive views are going to take your breath away! I have covered this in another article to show you everything it offers.

Trip summary

Time (h)

Price (CHF)

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Willflies Rating

Aforementioned time is only approximate. The price does not include Mt. Pilatus.

 

So that’s it for now. I hope this article will help you when visiting Lucerne and exploring its beauties.

Have you been to Lucerne yet? If so, what did you like the most? Let me know in the comment section down below.

And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more photos.

 

Safe Travels

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