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Lucerne (Luzern) Travel Tips, Switzerland

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Lucerne, SwitzerlandLucerne, Switzerland

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Lucerne (German: Luzern) is a city in the German-speak central part of Switzerland. It covers 29 sq km (11.2 sq mi) and has a population of 60,000 before the 2010 merger with Littau, and 76,000 (2011 estimate) after the merger. The city is located on the shore or Lake Lucerne, at an average elevation of 436 m (1,430 ft), and serves as the capital of the Lucerne canton. The Lucerne metropolitan area covers three cantons and has a population of around 250,000 people.

Kapellbrücke, LucerneKapellbrücke, Lucerne

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Lucerne is the biggest city in central Switzerland. it serves as the regional transportation and telecommunication hub. The city is a popular tourist destination and is famous for its iconic Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), the wooden bridge across the Reuss River.

Human habitation in the Lucerne area goes back to around the 6th century (and quite likely earlier). In any case, the founding of the Benedictine Monastery of St Leodegar in AD 750 led to the establishment of Lucerne.

View of Lucerne from MuseggmauerView of Lucerne from Museggmauer

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authorshipLaszlo Daroczy
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By 1295, Lucerne had grown to a city of some 3,000 inhabitants. At that time, King Rudolph I of Habsburg attempted to bring Lucerne into his realm, but the citizens were unwilling to come under Habsburg influence, so they entered the alliance forged by the neighbouring cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden, called the Swiss Confederacy. Other cities later joined in, including Zürich, Zug and Bern, and this successfully prevented Habsburg from exerting sovereignty over them.

Lucerne merged with the adjacent town of Littau on 1 January, 2010, creating a bigger city, still called Lucerne, with a population of 76,000. This makes it the 7th most populous city in Switzerland. The success of this merger may pave the way for other similar mergers, expanding many Swiss cities.

Spreuerbrücke, LucerneSpreuerbrücke, Lucerne

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Visiting Lucerne

Its location in central Lucerne puts Lucerne in the path of railway lines connecting it to major cities in Switzerland.

Sights & Attractions in Lucerne

  1. Boubaki Panorama
    A giant circular mural depicting the invasion of French troops into Switzerland during the Franco-Prussian war (1870-71).
  2. Franziskanerkirche
    The Franciscan church of Lucerne, built in the Gothic style in 1270, is the oldest building in the city.
  3. Gletschergarten
    The Glacier Garden protects an unusual rock formation discovered in 1872.
  4. Historisches Museum
    The Lucerne History Museum is housed in a Renaissance building from 1597. It houses exhibits illustrating the history of the city.
  5. Hofkirche
    A collegiate church in the late Renaissance Swiss architectural style. Only two towers are still standing after a fire in 1633.
  6. Jesuitenkirche
    The Jesuit Church of St Francis Xavier, on the south bank of the Reuss river, was built in 1666-75.
  7. Kapellbrücke
    The iconic Chapel Bridge is a covered footbridge with a history going back to the 14th century. It was built to protect the city from enermy attacks.
  8. Kapellplatz
    A charming square in front of the Peterskapelle, the Chapel Place is abuzz with activity on market days.
  9. KKL
    A modernist glass-and-steel building of the Kultur- und Kongresszentrum Luzern (Lucerne Culture and Convention Center) was completed in 1998, becoming a modern landmark of the city.
  10. Löwendenkmal
    The famous sculpture of a lion dying from a spear injury is a monument to the Swiss Guards who died protecting King Louis XVI of France during the French Revolution.
  11. Museggmauer
    Remains of Lucerne's medieval wall extends some 850 m along the north bank of the river Reuss.
  12. Picasso Museum
    16th century mansion that exhibits a superb collection of late works by Pablo Picasso.
  13. Rathaus
    The Lucerne Town Hall was built in the grand Renaissance style in 1606.
  14. Richard Wagner Museum
    Museum celebrating the works of the famous German composer and regular visitor to Lucerne.
  15. Rosengart Collection
    The private collection of art dealer Siegfried Rosengard and his daughter, of some 200 modernist paintings, including works by famous painters.
  16. Spreuerbrücke
    Wooden covered bridge with panels painted by Kaspar Meglinger depicting the Dance of Death.
  17. Swiss Transport Museum
    A comprehensive showcase of all forms of Swiss transportation, from the earliest bicycle to the latest aircraft.
  18. Weinmarkt
    The Wine Market is a square in Lucerne's Old Town surrounded by historic buildings.

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