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Switzerland: Lucerne

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Lucerne | Switzerland | Europe

[Visited: August 2006]

Lucerne lies on the northwestern corner of the Vierwaldstättersee, or Lake Lucerne, and is most famous for its wooden covered bridges. However, the city has much more to offer. I decided to start walking along the shore of the lake, with some nice views towards the higher mountains in a distance and lots of boats. I first came across the Leodegar cathedral, alternatively called Hofchurch, or Hofkirche, one of the remarkable sights of the city that can be seen from far away, thanks to its sharply pinned spires. Originally, there was a Benedictine monastery on this same spot, constructed in the early 8th century, which was destroyed by fire. The current building was built in the 17th century.

Picture of Lucerne (Switzerland): Musegg wall, Männli tower and tree just outside the old town wall

From here a short walk took me to the Lion Monument, erected in memory of the Swiss mercenaries who died during the French revolution, in defence of King Louis XVI. The design of the sculpture was made by Bertel Thorvaldsen, but Lucas Ahorn carved the lion out of the rock. The lion clearly invokes feelings of sadness in its onlookers, you can almost feel the pain in this rocky lion when you look it into its eyes. Next destination was the Musegg wall, rampart walls that have protected Lucerne against invaders from the 14th century. The wall is further fortified by nine towers, three of which can be climbed in summer. You can walk the wall between several towers which offers good views over the old town.

Picture of Lucerne (Switzerland): View on the Jesuit church from the old town

The best view is to be had from the Männlitower, which is the only tower in which you can actually stand on the open roof. From here, Lucerne lies at your feet, you have an undisturbed view over the lake, the surrounding mountains, the bridges of Lucerne, the old houses, squares and alleys of the old town. When I came down of this tower, i came across some roaming cows with their bells, and then it was time to explore the old city. Here, I just criss-crossed the old town through the streets and alleys, marvelling at the painted fronts of many houses, the elegant little towers on some houses, the small, peaceful squares, the picturesque, friendly atmosphere of this old and very lively town.

Picture of Lucerne (Switzerland): View over Lucerne from the Männlitower
Picture of Lucerne (Switzerland): Modern art painting on house front in the old town
Picture of Lucerne (Switzerland): Wall painting on old house at the Weinmarkt in the old city
Picture of Lucerne (Switzerland): Watchtower and view over the old city
Picture of Lucerne (Switzerland): View over Lake Lucerne with swans and mountains in a distance
Picture of Lucerne (Switzerland): Typical spires of the Hofchurch or Leodegar cathedral
Picture of Lucerne (Switzerland): Lion Monument with a small pond and flower in the foreground
Picture of Lucerne (Switzerland): Detail of a hand of the clock of the Town Hall
Picture of Lucerne (Switzerland): Clock of Town Hall seen through a lantern

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Lucerne (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.
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