Centrally located in Switzerland, Lucerne is a great place to spend some time in. A leisurely stroll through its streets enables one to relish the kind of buildings which dot its streets and also appreciate the art which adorns their outer walls.
Since the city straddles the Reuss where it drains the lake, it has a number of bridges. For a globe trotter, here are some of the tourist attractions on offer in Lucerne.
The Chapel Bridge
The most famous is the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), a 204 m long wooden covered bridge originally built in 1333. It is said to be the oldest covered bridge in Europe, although much of it had to be replaced after a fire on 18 August 1993, allegedly caused by a discarded cigarette. Part way across, the bridge runs by the octagonal Water Tower (Wasserturm), a fortification from the 13th century. Inside the bridge are a series of paintings from the 17th century depicting events from Lucerne’s history. The Bridge with its Tower is the city’s most famous landmark.
The Jesuit Church
Lucerne’s Jesuit Church is the first large baroque church built in Switzerland north of the Alps.
Bollywood buffs would be delighted to recall the appearance of both the above in a song from the movie ‘Laga Chunari Mein Daag’.
The Spreuer Bridge
Down the river, between the Kasernenplatz and the Mühlenplatz, the Spreuer Bridge zigzags across the Reuss. Constructed in 1408, it features a series of medieval-style 17th century plague paintings by Kaspar Meglinger titled ‘Dance of Death’. The bridge has a small chapel in the middle that was added in 1568.
The Lion Monument
Bertel Thorvaldsen’s famous carving of a dying lion (the Lion Monument, or Löwendenkmal) is found in a small park just off the Löwenplatz. The carving commemorates the hundreds of Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution, when an armed mob stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris.
Glacier Garden Museum
Great informative museum about the nature, earth science and Lucerne history. It is amazing to know that centuries back, this area was on the sea coast!
The mirror maze is a must see, beautiful and real fun. Good view-point at the top. One down side is that it does not have all the descriptions in English.
The Transport Museum
A visit to the Transport Museum is highly enlightening. It has a large and comprehensive museum exhibiting all forms of transport, including locomotives, automobiles, ships, and aircraft.
There is a separate section devoted to the history and the execution of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which is a railway base tunnel through the Alps in Switzerland, which opened on the 1st of June 2016, with full service to begin in December 2016. With a route length of 57.09 km it is the world’s longest and deepest traffic tunnel and the first flat, low-level route through the Alps.
The Natural History Museum
A permanent biological exhibition shows flora and fauna from Central Switzerland, and a variety of live animals can be seen in aquariums and terrariums. Rotating panels show butterflies and insects from all over the world.
The Culture and Convention Center
The Culture and Convention Center (KKL) beside the lake in the center of the city was designed by Jean Nouvel. The center has one of the world’s leading concert halls, with acoustics by Russell Johnson. Here are some snippets from a recent art exhibition at the KKL Gallery.
A cruise in the lake is invigorating, to say the least.
Pilatus nearby beckons
At 2,132 meters above sea level, Pilatus is the ideal adventure mountain for the whole family.
A visit to the Pilatus using the cog-wheel funicular, the world’s steepest at a maximum gradient of 48%, is exhilarating.
The Rosengart Museum has a delectable collection the works of Pablo Picasso and many others. More about this later.
Each city has a unique characteristic of its own. Lucerne in Switzerland is no exception.
(Note: Some of the photographs have been taken from Wikipedia)