The most famous landmark of Lucerne and probably one of the most famous of Switzerland as a whole is the Chapel Bridge or Kapellbrücke and its watertower. Indeed, as soon as you cross the river to enter the old town of Lucerne, you note the covered, wooden bridge spanning the Reuss river, and somehow you recognize the watertower; even though you have not been here before, you have seen it somewhere. The bridge unfortunately caught fire in 1993, but it was quickly rebuilt, and you can once again walk the more than 200 metres inside, while looking at the paintings depicting Swiss life in the 12th century attached to the ceiling.
The bridge was constructed in the 1330s in order to defend Lucerne against attacks. Now, it has turned into a major magnet for visitors who come enjoy the bridge meandering over the Reiss river, embellished by flowers (unfortunately only on one side) and the picturesque sight of the oldest wooden bridge of Europe and the octagonal watertower. The latter served torture chamber, prison, watchtower and treasury; right now, it serves as the guild hall of the artillery association. At the moment of its construction, it was actually part of the city wall.
The Chapel Bridge is by far the best known bridge of Lucerne, and there are several other, much newer bridges that span the Reiss river. But a little bit downstream you can find the oldest covered bridge in Europe, the Speuerbrücke or Mill Bridge. A little shorter than the Chapel Bridge, this bridge was also built as a fortification in 1408. In the early 17th century, Kaspar Meglinger decorated this bridge inside, much like the Chapel Bridge, representing the Dance of Death. On it, you can find several different kinds of persons, warriors, princes, nuns and young brides, all depicted with Death. Instead of a watertower, it has a chapel in the middle. Both bridges have protected anyone crossing the river from rain for many centuries, and have deservedly turned into major attractions for visitors in our times.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Lucerne Bridges (Switzerland). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Lucerne Bridges.
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