Lucerne is a city in central Switzerland which we visited as part of Daniel's Swiss-themed 33rd birthday. We enjoyed a stroll along the banks of the Reuss River where it meets Lake Lucerne and marvelled at the architecture and the famous bridges spanning the river.
|The Jesuit Church built in 1666 with the Alps behind|
The most famous bridge is the Chapel Bridge, erected in 1333, which is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe, as well as the world's oldest surviving truss bridge. It is 170m long and has a water tower in the middle, which has been used as a prison, torture chamber, and municipal archive throughout the centuries. Today it is a tourist gift shop...
|The iconic Chapel Bridge|
|A restored 17th-century painting depicting the history of Lucerne|
|Sunset over the bridge|
|Us on the Chapel Bridge|
Another famous wooden bridge is the Spreuer Bridge, the oldest timber bridge in Switzerland, which was completed in 1408. It overlooks the Needle Dam which regulates the water level in Lake Lucerne through an ingenious system of the removal or insertion of needles (wooden pins). The design was developed by Poiree in 1859 and was only renovated in 2007. The main 'needle' is still operated by hand.
We also took a stroll along the Musegg Wall which forms part of Lucerne's historic fortifications. There are nine towers along the wall, four of which are open to the public. We climbed up two of the towers to see some views over the city. The Zyt Tower was particularly interesting as it houses the oldest clock in Lucerne. It is possible to see all of the inner workings of the big Swiss clock, which has the privilege of chiming the hours one minute before all the other clocks in Lucerne.
|Spreuer Bridge with three towers of the Musegg Wall in the background|
|View over Lake Lucerne and the Alps|
Another compelling site in Lucerne is The "Dying Lion of Lucerne", one of the world's most famous monuments. It commemorates the heroism in 1792 of the Swiss soldiers who died attempting to protect the Tuileries Palace in Paris during the French Revolution. Mark Twain described the lion as "the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world". Having seen it, we agree. It is incredibly moving.
|The Lion of Lucerne|
We loved our trip to Lucerne, especially enjoying the temporary rush of being in a big city with bustling sidewalks and restaurants. We enjoyed a sundowner on the banks of the Reuss to celebrate our trip to the centre of Switzerland.
|Restaurants along the river bank|
|Sunset over the city|