Lucerne is known as the pocket-sized version of Switzerland. History, culture and of course, spectacular scenery come together in a perfect blend that’ll have you longing to extend your stay.
Lucerne, a compact city in Switzerland known for its preserved medieval architecture, sits amid snowcapped mountains on Lake Lucerne. Its colorful old town is bordered on the north by 870m Museggmauer (Musegg Wall), a 14-century rampart. The covered Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge), built in 1333, links the Aldstadt to the Reuss River’s right bank.
Lucerne has a curious history as it is still debated when the city was actually founded. Some sources say the first semblance of a settlement dates back to 840 AD, while others say the city was born much later around 1178.
One of the best things about Lucerne is that it is at the heart of Switzerland, meaning you can explore the surrounding area on some great day trips. You can head to the icy heights of the Jungfraujoch, Europe’s highest railway station and home to the Great Aletsch Glacier, as well as a number of famous peaks.
There are so many reasons you should visit Lucerne, in Switzerland most especially for its natural wonders. For instance, Lucerne Switzerland’s fourth largest lake is one not to be missed. Its setting is simply stunning, with the tops of the nearby mountains glistening all year round and the lake’s fjord-like offshoots giving a more Scandinavian feel than Swiss. You can take it all in from one of the historic paddle-boats that ply the lake, or tour the water’s edge on foot.
Another wonder, The Museggmauer and its nine towers are an icon of Lucerne, dating back to the 14thcentury. They make up the remnants of the old wall that surrounded the city, defending it against would be attackers. Four of the towers are open to the public and you can gaze out of the ramparts at the city below.
Also, Kapellbrücke, the Chapel Bridge is Lucerne’s most iconic site. It’s an old wooden footbridge, the oldest of its kind in Europe, with a number of decorative paintings all along its interior.
For the best panoramic views of Lucerne and the surrounding landscape, you’ll have to scale nearby Mount Pilatus .The mountain is steeped in history, some of it rather fantastical, as it is said a dragon once dwelled there in the Middle Ages. But most people come for the breathtaking views which allow you to count 72 other mountain peaks on the clearest days.
Depicting one of the great tragedies of the region, the famous Lion of Lucerne in its death throes is a must visit. During the French Revolution, hundreds of Swiss mercenaries fighting for Louis XVI were massacred. Many years later, the Lion monument was carved to commemorate those who died. It is a powerful and moving monument and has become one of the city’s top tourist attractions.