10 Top Highlights in Lucerne

Lake Lucerne Region

The most important highlights in Lucerne include the Chapel Bridge, the Water Tower, the Lion Monument, the Old Town, the Jesuit Church, the Musegg Wall and the KKL – Culture and Convention Center Lucerne, the Spreuer Bridge, the Town Hall and the Swiss Museum of Transport.

Chapel bridge with water tower

Chapel bridge with water tower

1. Chapel Bridge

The Chapel Bridge is Lucerne’s most famous landmark and one of the most visited sights in Switzerland. The Chapel Bridge was built in the first half of the 14th century as part of the city’s fortifications. It takes its name from the neighboring St. Peter’s Chapel. The panels added in the 17th century depict scenes from Swiss and town history and the biographies of the town’s patron saints St. Leodegar and Mauritus.

Unfortunately, the bridge was partially destroyed by fire in 1993, but has since been extensively restored and now shines in new splendor.

2. Water Tower

The water tower is another important landmark of Lucerne and a remnant of the medieval city fortifications. It was probably built on dry ground in the first half of the 14th century. In its long history, the massive structure has served various purposes. The water tower was initially a defensive and watchtower, later it was used as an archive, treasury and armory. The lowest room with its 4 1/2 meter thick walls was used as a dungeon – an underground dungeon. The poor sinners who entered had to be let down through a hole while sitting on a gag. There was also a torture chamber, as was the case in many other towers. Today, the water tower is a museum and offers a magnificent view of the town and Lake Lucerne.

Lion monument

Lion monument

3. Lion monument

The Lion Monument is one of Lucerne’s most famous sights and one of the most visited memorials in Switzerland. It is a monumental sculpture of a dying lion made of sandstone and carved into a rock face. The monument commemorates the Swiss soldiers who stormed into the Tuileries Palace in the service of the King of France and were murdered during the French Revolution in 1792.

The American writer Mark Twain described “the dying lion of Lucerne” as the saddest and most moving piece of stone in the world.

The Lion Monument is considered one of the most important works of sculpture of the 19th century and is a symbol of Swiss freedom and independence.

Lucerne Old Town

Lucerne Old Town

4. Old town

Another highlight in Lucerne: the old town of Lucerne is a beautifully preserved historic center with charming cobblestone streets, old half-timbered houses and picturesque squares.

Top sights include the Chapel Bridge, the Spreuer Bridge and the Musegg Wall. Particularly worth seeing are the Weinmarkt, where the people of Lucerne swore the Swiss Confederation with Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden in 1332, the Hirschenplatz, named after the medieval inn of the same name, and the Kornmarkt with the town hall and the frescoed Zunfthaus zu Pfistern as eye-catchers.

The old town is also a popular shopping and restaurant district and offers many opportunities to buy local specialties and souvenirs.

Jesuit Church

Jesuit Church

A walk through the old town of Lucerne is a journey into the past and an experience not to be missed.

5. Jesuit Church

The Jesuit Church in Lucerne is known for its baroque architecture and magnificent interior. The two towers of the Hofkirche dominate the cityscape. It is considered one of the most important baroque churches in Switzerland. The ceiling frescoes, altars and numerous stucco works are particularly impressive.

The Jesuit church is also known for its excellent acoustics, which is why it is often used for concerts.

6. Musegg wall

The city wall of Lucerne, also known as the Musegg Wall, is over 700 years old and surrounds the old town of Lucerne.

Musegg wall with towers

Musegg wall with towers

Lucerne’s Musegg Wall boasts 9 towers that command a breathtaking view of Lucerne city, Lake Lucerne, and the Central Swiss mountains. Constructed in the 14th century, this architectural gem has admirably withstood the test of time, standing as an integral part of Lucerne’s historic city defenses and forming an imposing crown over the cityscape.

A leisurely stroll along the wall invites visitors to explore the diverse towers and bastions, once formidable protectors of the city. Among the nine towers, four are open to the public, making a visit to the Musegg Wall an essential experience for aficionados of history, architecture, and panoramic landscapes.

KKL - Culture and Convention Center Lucerne

KKL – Culture and Convention Center Lucerne

7. KKL – Culture and Convention Center Lucerne

The KKL Luzern is an award-winning cultural and congress center on the shores of Lake Lucerne, renowned for its architecture and first-class events. It was designed by the famous architect Jean Nouvel and opened in 2000. The KKL hosts a variety of events such as concerts, operas, theater performances and exhibitions. It is also the home of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra.

The building also houses a restaurant, a bar and a concert hall with impressive acoustics, which is one of the best in the world. The KKL Luzern is an important cultural and tourist attraction in Lucerne.

Spreuer Bridge

Spreuer Bridge

8. Spreuer Bridge

Another highlight in Lucerne: in addition to the Chapel Bridge, there is another famous wooden bridge, the Spreuer Bridge, located a little further down the river. The Spreuerbrücke dates back to 1408 and is decorated with 67 panels depicting a dance of death. The Dance of Death on the Spreuer Bridge in Lucerne is an allegorical depiction of death and its power over people of all social classes and ages. Allegorical means that death is depicted as a figure that personifies an abstract idea or quality.

Each of the 67 panels shows a skeleton dancer accompanying a living person of different social status and professions. Death invites them to dance with him and reminds them that their lives are finite. The Dance of Death was originally intended to serve as a moral warning, encouraging believers to reconsider their lives in the face of death. Today, the Dance of Death on the Spreuer Bridge is regarded as an artistic and historical testimony to medieval art and culture.

Town hall

Town hall

9. Town hall at the Kornmarkt

The listed town hall was built between 1602 and 1606 in the Italian Renaissance style. The first floor of the town hall is now used for concerts and exhibitions. On the second floor of the building is the representative Parliament Hall, where the Great City Council of Lucerne meets, and the Tagsatzungssaal, where civil weddings can be held today.

Also worth seeing is the town hall tower with its large clock tower, which was once used as a watchtower. The historic town hall tower in the heart of Lucerne’s Old Town offers an authentic ambience for aperitifs, celebrations and cozy evening events. A small kitchen as well as furniture and crockery are also available.

Museum of Transport

Museum of Transport

10. Swiss Museum of Transport

Opened in 1959, the Museum of Transport is now the most visited museum in Switzerland. The whole family gets their money’s worth at the Museum of Transport in Lucerne. Cars, ships, trains and airplanes can be viewed and climbed on. Immerse yourself in the world of electronic media and become a star for a brief moment in the Media World television studio.

Visitors can experience more than 3000 objects, simulators, multimedia shows and interactive exhibitions on an area of around 20,000 m2.

Thanks to state-of-the-art technology, the planetarium takes you on virtual space walks. Under an 18-metre dome, the impressive starry sky opens up to you and you learn lots of interesting facts about astronomy.

Video LUCERNE SWITZERLAND: Top 10 Things to Do in Lucerne | Pilatus, Chapel Bridge, Old Town, & More

Hey guys! In this video we’re headed to Lucerne, Switzerland! We’ll hit all of the must-see tourist spots: like the chapel bridge, lion monument, & old town, Lucerne city walls, and Lake Lucerne. Then we’ll head up to the Pilatus for some mountain top fun!

LUCERNE SWITZERLAND: Top 10 Things to Do in Lucerne | Pilatus, Chapel Bridge, Old Town, & More

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