Last up on our Discovery of Switzerland was Lucerne. Lucerne is a compact city known for its preserved medieval architecture and sits amid snowcapped mountains on Lake Lucerne.
The Old town is colorful with decorated buildings and wondering cobblestone streets. One of the main attractions is the Chapel Bridge and Water Tower.
The Bridge is a covered wooden footbridge spanning the River Reuss diagonally between the two sides of the river. It is probably the oldest wooden bridge in Switzerland dating back to the middle of the 14th century. It also has old paintings under the roofs.
Some of it was rebuilt in the 20th century after a fire. The bridge traffic also provided Janeen with a sighting of a St. Bernard puppy. The northern end of the bridge once lead directly into St. Peter’s Chapel,
today a riverside promenade separates the two.
Another notable site to see is the Lion Monument. This Monument is dedicated to the memory of the Swiss mercenaries who, in the service of Louis XVI King of France were killed during the French Revolution in Paris when the Tuileries were invaded on August 10, 1792.
The inscription “Helvetiorum fidei ac virtuti means” To the loyal and bravery of the Swiss”. The Lion’s Swiss Cross Halbard is covered by the fleur- de- lys of France, which the soldiers had pledged to protect. The Danish sculptor, Bertel Thorvaldsen, designed the Lion Monument when he was in Rome in 1819. It was installed in the sandstone rock in 1820 or so and is 6 meters high and ten meters long.
Mark Twain praised the sculpture of a mortally wounded lion as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world”.
After walking around the Old Town and enjoying the sites (peonies in the flower market)
and sounds (church bells) of the city market (it was market day after all) we went back to our hotel to get ready for our boat ride and cable car ride to the summit of Stanserhorn arranged for the following morning.
We had opted for the Lake Lucerne cruise for a chance to take in the wonderful mountain scenery from the water and enjoy a leisurely lake cruise before boarding our coach again for a quick ride to the funicular and open top cable car to the top of Mount Stanserhorn.
We have been on several funiculars throughout Europe so this wasn’t as impressive as the cable car.
This is the world’s only sun deck cable car with an enclosed cabin below and standing space on the roof!
The double cable system gives a very stable ride and was quite impressive as we climbed to the mountaintop at over 6,000 feet.
At the top, which still had snow, we had a lovely hot chocolate and headed back down seeing a double rainbow along the way!
That evening was the final gathering and dinner was delightful. The following morning we were off to Zurich and the airport for a flight to Paris.