Lucerne

What to see

Kapellbrücke & Wasserturm (Chapel Bridge)

more than a year ago

Lucerne's most famous landmark is certainly the Chapel Bridge, which stretches across the entrance to the River Reuss (over nearly 203 metres) in a peculiar diagonal direction. Built in 1365 as part of Lucerne's fortifications, it is the oldest covered wooden bridge still standing in Europe. Part of its fame is due to the originally more than 150 triangular paintings positioned inside the bridge in the gabels. The paintings date from the 17th century and show scenes from Lucerne's and Switzerland's history, and they can be seen as a mass media of the time, used to advocate allegiance to Catholicism during the Counter-Reformation.

In 1993 a fire destroyed a large part of the bridge (towards the centre) including 78 of the paintings. When you walk across the bridge you will see burned, blackened paintings on either end which mark the point where the restored parts begin. The Chapel Bridge is really only complete with the octagonal Wasserturm, literally the 'water tower', which stands in the water next to it. Built before the bridge (i.e. before 1365), the Wasserturm was part of Lucerne's military fortifications and was also used as a dungeon. It is seldom accessible to the public.

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Bus stop

Bahnhof

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