Lucerne:Top Things To Do9:34 PM
It is believed that “Some 20 million years ago, there was a shallow sea here with the Glacier” said she, and I could only think of what happened to that Sea. There is more mystery to Lucerne than just the Glacier Garden.
The Dying Lion: Memoir Built For Lost Soldiers
For all previous posts on Switzerland,click here
Lucerne is one of the top 10 destinations in Europe with around 7-8 thousand inhabitants. Walking past the Dying Lion, the 9 towers, the old Rampant walls, the Chapel Bridge(Kapellbrücke); Lucerne is one place where you will find Indians in plenty, chilling out by the Lake for their excursion to either Mt. Pilatus or Mt. Titlis. It was also where I thought of asking a few people on road on what it feels to be like in Switzerland. It was funny to know half of the Indian wives didn't know where they were going, around quarter of the Indian Men too were oblivious. When I dig in deeper, they gave a stern reply, “Tour Guide Jaha le jaega,waha jaenge” (Where the Tour Guide will take us, we will go there”).They might have come on a packaged tour, and wouldn't have known where to go in Lucerne ,and therefore making the Lake as their home in their free time. So for those Indians who remain clueless when they are there and for those who are yet to go, I have places to take you today.
Just to update you before we start on travelling the city, Mt. Pilatus and Mt. Titlis both can be reached from Lucerne but you do have specific timings for the rope way. Even though the darkness of the night comes out late in Lucerne in Summers, you can’t reach Mt. Titlis if you say leave by 3 pm because the coming back rope way stops by 5 pm. And the best way to get all that information is from the Lucerne Station Tourist Center. And it’s very much do-able on your own .In fact the whole of Switzerland has got the best connectivity making it an easy and preferable choice for both solo and group travelers.
The Lake Lucerne
Lucerne is incomplete without the Lake Lucerne. When we cruised along the other day to the Lake, we could see the fountains welcoming us by the shore with the backdrop of Snow Clad Mountains. The view was to die for, Lucerne is beautiful. The name of Lake Lucerne is also called the Lake of four forest cantons due to the trail of Switzerland along the lake.
Lake Lucerne = Lake of Four Forest Cantons
As we discussed in the first blog post on Switzerland, Switzerland is divided into Cantons. In the middle of the 13th century, three primitive cantons were found around the lake and Lucerne was simply the first to join the young union. The culture in Switzerland is so diverse that the joke goes out that Every child - the German, the French or the Swiss is determined by the fact that the German says they are obviously bought by the stork, the French says they came out of the cabbage and the origin of Swiss national various from one canton to another.
Lucerne Celebrates in summer
Crazy and Delicious Eat Outs:One such was Restaurant Lapin
Lucerne is just over with its half marathon on Sept 7 and its going forward with Bike Marathon on Sept 14.Meanwhile September 14 looks like a happening day for Lucerne when we also have culinary theme walk, the Central Switzerland Organic Market, a culinary theme tour, the Milk and Cheese Trail or the Swiss Museum of Agriculture at Genuss'14 Lake Lucerne .Lucerne also celebrates the Cheese Festival in October. So if you are in Lucerne or around, enjoy!
Lucerne Celebrates in winter
Dancing in the ally with the cacophony of carnival music, bizarre clad people and fantastic masks that may not be your idea of Lucerne. But during February, the whole of Lucerne including the entire region surrounding Lake Lucerne celebrates the carnival. The three highlights of the festival are “Dirty Thursday”, "Fat Monday” and “Shrove Tuesday”.
The Fritschi Parade, which starts from the Hotel Luzernerhof at 13:45 on 12 February, the day known locally as “Schmutziger Donnerstag” (“Dirty Thursday"
The Wey Parade, which starts from the Hotel Luzernerhof at 13:45 on 16 February, the day known locally as “Güdismontag“ (“Fat Monday”)
17 February (Shrove Tuesday) is the day of the Monstercorso Parade, which starts from the Bahnhofstrasse at 19:30.
The carnival starts here at thirsty morning and they call it fat thirsty because it starts at 5 in the morning with a big bang and celebrates till the last early hour of Wednesday and sometimes even till Dirty Thursday.
Bourbaki Panorama is panorama round circular painting which has got a 3 dimensional foreground. The main subjects of these paintings either depict Battles, Bible or Landscapes. An episode from the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71 has also being highlighted.Defeated in several battles, the French army of General Bourbaki was driven towards the French-Swiss border in February 1871.The painting shows an endless trek of soldiers in deplorable condition crossing the border. 21 life-sized dolls in historical uniforms, a real railway box car and scattered historical army equipment on a faux-terrain in front of the painting add to the illusion taking the spectators right into the scenery. Also this was the first humanitarian action by the Red Cross society after the war happened. Initially the panorama painting was in Geneva where the Red Cross Society was there, and then it was shifted to the Lucerne Library.
The Dying Lion
In former Switzerland, there was Food Trade and there were mercenaries who hired Soldiers to Foreign armies. As a country Switzerland had Barren soil, only 30% of the surface was where people live and work and therefore in earlier times where they lived Food trade was one of the means of their livelihood. It also happened that there were some 800 Swiss mercenaries who were bodyguards for some French Royal families i.e Loui VI and his wife. During French Revolution in Paris the castle to the Royal Family was invaded and captured. Some 800 Swiss mercenaries died in Paris and when this happened, their commanding officer was on leave. And it was then he took the initiative to have a memoir built for his lost colleagues. And it took him some 40 months to carve the detail of the proud animal suffering in his battle. The dying lion symbolizes loyalty. Once the carving was complete, the artificial pond was built .
According to local sources, when the digging started for building a wine cellar in the area around the Dying Lion, just by accident they found Shells, Rocks, and even pieces of dead Shark. It was then it was found that there was some shallow sea in the area around 20 million years ago with the Glacier. Currently the Glacier Garden has Ice At Different Temperatures, Maps on how they used to live in previous Lucerne, Stories of Evolution etc .It also contains the mirror labyrinth "Alhambra", which has 90 mirrors and was originally built in 1896 for the Swiss National Exhibition in Geneva, is also located in the Glacier Garden which resembles the courtyard of Alhambra of Granada in South Spain. And behind that is another small attraction called Alpineum (3D-Alpine Panorama) of Alps where you have semicircular painting similar to the panorama we saw at Bourbaki, over here you get a feeling of staying on the peak of one of the mountain surroundings and this was a huge tourist attraction before they had cable cars.
The Chappel Bridge
Walking in Lucerne is a delight. What you will cross through are these wooden bridges that color the panorama and the crystal clear water with swans that sweeps off your feet. All this and more in the backdrop of snow clad mountains. It is said that the very first settlement of Lucerne was in the 8th century when all it had was a very small chapel, Benedict monastery and some wooden houses. The Chapel Bridge got its name from the chapel of the patron saint in the city hall. Build in 1333, the bridge formed fortification from one bank to another bank to defend the city.
The bridge also contains some very old 17th century paintings and architecture on the roof which has influences of Italy and Germany as well as the history of the city. Why so? Because, in those days, during the middle 80’s the only to transport was through mules in the Alpines as there were no Alpine passes and they only could transport goods on the back of mules. So these goods they came from northern Italy and were unloaded on southern part of the lake and then was transported to 38 kms in the lake of Lucerne and therefore the market price of Lucerne kept growing. They were really on the core of Western Europe at a very important transit, and this also influenced the architecture (influences of Italy, Germany) in Lucerne.
The Chappel Bridge - No Smoking Zone
Around 21 years ago there was a big fire on the bridge, and in that fire about 2/3 of those paintings were lost. The bridge was rebuilt but the paintings were lost. It is said that the fire was due to carelessness, because of the Cigarettes which flamed the boat underneath the bridge which was loaded with fuel and another is said to be arsenal or criminal act, but no threatening letter was found. Ever since smoking is banned on the bridge.
The Mill Bridge, The Rampart Walls and The Watch Towers
A part of the old rampart walls was built in 1386 and we could see them from our walk on the Chapel Bridge. Between the inner and outer run of Rampart Walls were vineyards. There was a hotel from the 19th century and also a place where Queen Victoria stayed on a month holiday as she fancied Switzerland and went onto Climb Mount Rigi on mules as in those days there were no cable cars. There is also a mill bridge which is situated on where there used to be artificial mills.
How the old Lucerne used to look like....
There are watch towers open to the public(Schirmer, Zyt, and Maennli) Which you can also climb for free. The oldest city clock built was by Hans Luter in 1535 is on the Zyt tower. This clock is privileged to chime every hour one minute before all the other clocks and big enough for the fisherman from the lake to see.
Jesuit Church is one of the first sacred Barrack Church in Switzerland.Initially it was built without the onion shaped towers. Then they were added in the 19th century with the money won in the lottery. This church is dedicated to Jesuit missionary Saint Francis Xavier patron of Lucerne's Jesuit Church.Saint Francis Xavier is buried in a missionary in Goa. Isn’t the world connected!
Museum Collection Rosengart
The Rosengart offers a selection of Classical Modernist art, with collections by Pablo Picasso and Paul Klee plus further world-famous 19th- and 20th-Century artists as Monet, Cézanne, Vuillard, Bonnard, Matisse, Braque, Léger, Mirò and Chagall. Thanks to his friendship with S. and A. Rosengart, Picasso is particularly well represented with 32 impressive paintings and some 100 drawings, watercolors, graphics and sculptures. Photos by David Douglas Duncan also offer an insight into Picasso the artist and Picasso the man. The Klee collection extends to 125 watercolors, drawings and paintings from all creative periods.
Lucerne - The Old Town
We had the yum fondue in the Old Town
More to do in Lucerne,read here
Stroll around the narrow pedestrian street of Old Town Lucerne to find the local stuff in the boutique shops. Even if you do not get to buy, the feeling of walking around in this street is amazing. Meanwhile, we end our trip with some Fondue in the old town and a piece of delicious lamb we had our heart on.
Lucerne - Where to Stay
Short walk to the hotel and check-in
Ibis Styles Luzern City
CH- 6004 Luzern
Phone: +41 41 418 48 48
The hotel is located in the historic center of the city of Lucerne and the distinctive old town with its boutiques and cafés is easy to reach on foot. We stayed there,and it was very comfortable due to its proximity to important places in the city.
Here is a list of best casinos and bars in Lucerne.Hope you enjoy!