Sunday, September 03, 2006

Trip To Lucerne (Luzern in German) With Grandma Cris

Lucerne, located in the heart of Switzerland, is known for its narrow cobblestone streets, slender spires and turrets, frescoed houses, fountains, and covered bridges.

The lake is the fourth largest in Switzerland (24 miles long, 2 miles wide).

The Kapellbruke (Chapel Bridge) - pictured below - crosses the Reuss River. Built in 1333, the bridge is 558 feet long and one of the best preserved bridges in Switzerland. It was originally used for defense (I laughed when I heard this because I was thinking ..."quick everyone, onto the bridge." Brian, on the other hand, believes it was most likely the only bridge crossing the river). The bridge was also known for its 122 paintings (depicting daily activities) that hung within - from the roof. Unfortunately, 2/3 of the paintings were destroyed in a fire in 1993.

While the paintings below are from Mills Bridge, they are quite similar to the paintings seen in Chapel Bridge. Mills Bridge, on the other hand, was built in 1407 and restored in the 19th century. The series of paintings, called The Dance of Death, commemorate a plague that swept the city. They were painted by Kaspar Meglinger in the 17th century.

The Lowendenkmal (Lion Monument) is a monument to the bravery of the Swiss Guards who died in Tuileries of Paris in 1792 trying to save the life and honor of Marie Antoinette. Mark Twain once said the Dying Lion of Lucerne was "the saddest and most poignant piece of rock in the world." I have to agree.

We also viewed the Panorama, one of the largest canvases in Europe, covering 10,861 square feet (thanks mom!). Couldn't take a picture inside.

Taking a break at Lake Lucerne...

While Chase appreciated the history of Lucerne, she found her toes to be more exciting ...

Historical information provided by Frommer's Switzerland