Lucerne is very popular among tourist who visit Switzerland. I personally find Lucerne very beautiful and I can understand the reason to its fame. Unlike some cities, one gets to see everything there – mountain covered with snow, lake, churches, old bridges, towers…etc. It took us less than an hour to reach Lucerne by train. However, it was raining all the time we were there. Although the weather was pretty bad, the scenery was still amazing! Once we walked out the railway station, there was an arch outside. Most people would stop and take a photo of it, same did we. As we crossed Seebrücke, we could see the famous Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke) at the opposite, that was once caught in a fire. As we walked along Schweizerhofquai, far ahead us along the horizon, a faint view of the shape of mountains appeared dark behind the clouds.
Our first stop was Abbey Court Church (Hofkirche), which sits on the site of the first monastery in Lucerne. The impressive main doors are carved with the two patron saints of Luzern. On the left is St. Leger, a French bishop who was blinded with a drill and on the right is St. Maurice, the martyred Roman soldier-saint. The interior design and furniture are almost wholly original Renaissance from the 1630s and 1640s. The church was set admist a lovely Italianate cloister, lined with the graves of Luzerner patrician families.
Then we walked to Museggstrasse. Along the this street, we could see Musegg Wall (Museggmauer), which was constructed between 1370 and 1442, is part of the historic town fortifications that once boasted 30 towers. Today, the remaining wall measures 870 metres, is an average of 9 metres high, 1.5 metres thick and has nine towers.
After that we passed through the old town (Altstadt) and came to the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke). It is one of the oldest wooden bridge spanning across the Reuss River, named after St. Peter’s Chapel. It contains a number of interior paintings dating back to the 17th century but most of them were destroyed in a fire in 1993.
After we crossed the bridge, we visited Jesuit Church (Jesuitenkirche). This is one of the most beautiful Baroque church in Switzerland. Today, it is a major tourist attraction and serves as a concert hall while it has become almost irrelevant to local church life from a religious point of view. After that we also visited two other smaller churches in Lucerne.
The Mill Bridge (Spreuerbrücke) is also a must visit in Lucerne. The design is similar to the Chapel Bridge but smaller. It also spans across the same river. This bridge, which was constructed in 1408, features a series of medieval-style 17th Century plague paintings by Kaspar Meglinger titled Dance of Death (Totentantz). It has a small chapel in the middle that was added in 1568. At the nearby Mühlenplatz, there was a small water craft work.
We walked around the old city before having some snacks at Migros Take Away. The old city is an interesting place to visit. There are lots of shops and the architecture of the houses here is unique.
We were invited to Giulia’s place for dinner. She was a year in Malaysia a few years back. Before we met her up, we quickly walked to have a look at the Lion Monument (Löwendenkmal), a famous sculpture designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen. Although I had been to Lucerne several times but I had never seen the monument. Therefore, this time I was very persistent in finding it. Lukas Ahorn carved this 10m-long sculpture of a dying lion into the rock face in 1820 to commemorate Swiss soldiers who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution. It was already dark when we got there, thus the pictures did not turn out well. Still I was really happy to finally see it myself.
Giulia picked us up and drove us to her house, which is about 15 minutes drive away from Lucerne city. Her Dad is Italian and could not speak English very well but could understand us. Her Mum speaks good English. Her brother joined us for dinner too. Her Mum prepared so much Swiss food for dinner, such as Rösti, Fondue, Bratwurst…etc and the food was so delicious, especially the Apfelmus. We planned to leave earlier but it was an interesting dinner and everyone was so engaged in the conversation. It was past 11pm when we left. We could not go back too late as Giulia was driving us and we were going to the mountains early the next day. It was really nice to see her and meet her family! We all had a great time at Lucerne!