Musegg Wall: discover Lucerne from above

Lake Lucerne Region

Lucerne’s city wall – known as the Musegg Wall – with its 9 towers offers a breathtaking view of the entire city of Lucerne, Lake Lucerne and the mountains of Central Switzerland. It was built in the 14th century and has been largely preserved to this day. The Musegg Wall is part of Lucerne’s historic city fortifications and forms an impressive city crown.

Visitors can walk along the wall and explore the various towers and bastions that once protected the city. Four of the nine towers are open to the public. A visit to the Musegg Wall is a must for anyone with a passion for history, architecture and panoramic views.

Walk along the Musegg Wall

Walk along the Musegg Wall

Musegg Wall: once defense, now sightseeing

The Musegg Wall is 870 m long, approx. 9 m high, 1.5 m wide and served as a defense against enemy attacks and played an important role during ancient battles and wars. The wall was built in the year 1,370 to protect the city from enemy attacks. Over the centuries, however, the wall lost its military significance. The towers and wall were restored in 2007 – 2015 and preserved in their original form.

Today, the Musegg Wall is an important part of the cultural heritage of Lucerne and a popular excursion destination for tourists. It is the longest preserved city wall in one piece in Switzerland. Of the original 30 towers, 9 have been preserved. Visitors can walk along the wall, explore the towers and enjoy breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding area.

Behind the wall is the “Hof Hinter Musegg”, where guests can experience the farm feeling with animals and an organic farm store.

The towers have names such as Schirmer, Zyt, Wacht, Männli and Luegisland, some of which can be traced back to old families or events.

Nölli Tower

Nölli Tower

9 Musegg towers over the city

The Musegg Wall with its 9 towers Nölli Tower, Männli Tower, Luegisland Tower, Wacht Tower, Zyt Tower, Schirmer Tower, Pulver Tower, Allenwinden Tower and Dächli Tower is a landmark of the city of Lucerne and, together with the Chapel Bridge and the Water Tower, defines the historic townscape of the city:

Nölli Tower

The Nölli Tower was built in 1513 and its name apparently goes back to a guardian of that name. There was already a gate tower on this site before it. The current road opening was created in 1901. The somewhat massive tower is 28 meters high. The Nölli Tower housed gunpowder for several centuries until 1852. After that, it was used for a short time as a weapons and petroleum store.

Männli Tower with a view of the Pilatus

Männli Tower with a view of the Pilatus

From 1875, the Nölli Tower was rented out as a storage room to a saddlery and to the Saffron Guild. The Nölli Tower is the home of the saffron guild and houses the guild room and the archives.

Männli Tower

The “iron Männli”, a figure with a standard, can be seen far out on the land. It is the second tower in the ascending rocky ridge and is open to the public. Measured from the ground to the pinnacle, its height is 33 meters.

The tower was an important part of the town’s defenses, as it offered a strategic view of the surrounding valleys and the Lake Lucerne area. The tower has been restored several times over the years and at times served as a prison. Today, the tower houses a small museum that offers an insight into life on the wall and the history of the town.

Luegisland Tower

Luegisland Tower

The Männli Tower is a symbol of Lucerne’s strength and pride and an important part of the city’s historical heritage. During the summer months, the Männli Tower is open to the public from 08:00 to 19:00.

Luegisland Tower

The tower takes its name from the nearby Luegisland meadow. Its high pointed roof shows a wind twist from left to right.

With its height of 52.6 m, the tower is the highest of the 9 Musegg towers and the only one that is open to the city.

According to archaeological research, the tower was built around or shortly after 1367 together with the Musegg wall, which continues on both sides.

Wacht Tower

Wacht Tower

The tower once served as a lookout point and watchtower for the defense of the city. The Luegisland Tower is largely preserved in the condition in which it was built and offers a unique testimony to the history of architecture.

Wacht Tower / Hay Tower

It takes its name from the hay that was once stored here. At that time, gunpowder was also stored behind its thick walls. In 1701, a lightning strike caused 350 hundredweights of gunpowder to explode and blow up the tower. The chunks of stone falling over the town caused considerable damage. Even people were killed in the explosion. The rebuilt tower is 44 meters high.

Zyt Tower

As the name suggests, this tower is equipped with a clock. This clock was built in 1535 by Hans Luterer and is still in operation.

Zyt Tower

Zyt Tower

The dial with the numbers is so large that the time could also be read by fishermen on the lake. The bell belonging to the clock tells the time 1 minute before the town hall clock. The Lucerne painters Schobinger and Schmidiger renewed the frescoes on the tower at the beginning of this century.

Since April 2012, the Zyt Tower has housed an exhibition of historical tower clocks, which is maintained by the “Lucerne Tower Clocks Association”. The height of the Zytturm, which is open to the public, is 31 meters.

Schirmer Tower

The tower was named after the Schirmer, who once lived in the tower and supervised the city wall. The Schirmer was an official who was responsible for the defense of the city wall and ensured that the wall and the watchtowers were in good condition.

Schirmer Tower

Schirmer Tower

At the Schirmer Tower, the gate of the same name leads from the town out into the countryside. Cities were once a self-contained unit within their walls. This was also true of Lucerne. Anyone passing through the Schirmer gate was in the countryside. Apart from the widely scattered farmhouses, there were no buildings to be seen.

The Schirmer Tower, which stands in front of the Musegg wall, is a plastered quarrystone building with embossed corner ashlars. As with other towers, it has a round-arched frieze at the top with projecting brackets. A low pyramid roof rests on the battlements. The tower is open to the public. Its height is 27.5 meters.

Pulver Tower

Pulver Tower

Pulver Tower

The tower was used to store gunpowder and was an important part of the city’s defense. At that time, gunpowder was stored in two towers as a precaution. If an accident occurred, as was the case with the Heuturm in 1701, half of the powder was stored in the other tower.

The Pulver Tower is one of the oldest buildings on the Musegg. It was built from a “stone house”. It also measures 27.5 m in height. The Wey guild has repaired the Pulver Tower with voluntary labor and uses it as a guild hall.

Allenwinden Tower

The Allenwinden and lower Dächli towers no longer stand out in the maze of houses on Musegg. The tower is also known as the Holdermeyer tower after a former treasurer. It is 1.8 m thick and is one of the former shell towers.

Allenwinden Tower

Allenwinden Tower

The Allenwinden Tower has been used as a clubhouse by the “Tambourine Association of the City of Lucerne” (lower half) and the “Lucerne Mask Friends Association” (upper half) since 1972.

Dächli Tower

The last of the nine towers, the Dächli Tower, is also known as the Chutzen Tower. It is the smallest of the entire Musegg line. Its pyramid roof is striking and is probably older than most of the roofs of the other towers. The Swiss Association of Master Carpenters – Lucerne Section has had its clubhouse in the tower since 1936.

Four of the 9 museum towers are open to the public:

  • Männli Tower
  • Wach Tower
  • Zyt Tower
  • Schirmer Tower

Four of the 9 Musegg towers were leased to guilds by the city of Lucerne:

  • Nölli Tower to Saffron Guild
  • Pulver Tower to Wey guild
  • Allenwinden Tower an Masques and Tamburen Guild
  • Dächli Tower to carpenters’ guild

For those who are specifically interested in the Musegg Wall and its history, there is the themed tour Lucerne’s city fortifications – the Museggmauer.

Video of the Musegg Wall from above

Aerial film Musegg wall Lucerne by Day and Night…

Museggmauer Luzern

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Video Musegg Wall by Brigitte Heller

Musegg Towers in the most beautiful weather…

Luzern Stadtmauer mit 9 Museggtürmen

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