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About Lucerne
General Information
Lucerne, the 8th biggest city with 60,000 inhabitants, located in the very heart of Switzerland, is one of the most popular tourist locations in the country, offering everything from paddle-steamer tours of the local waterways, to quiet cafés and famous monuments. Rich in panoramic views and breathtaking vistas, the unusual landscapes present one of the most romantic settings in the country. The mediaeval castles, folklore and kind residents create a postcard picture of Switzerland.
Location
Lucerne is situated on the most important route between north and south and therefore can be easily reached. Direct fast trains link Lucerne to the international airports in Zurich (65 km/ 40 miles) and Geneva (250 km/ 155 miles).
Places to visit
The Kapellbruecke - Chapel Bridge
Constructed first half of the 14th century as a part of the city's fortifications. Named after nearby St. Peter's chapel. The paintings that were added in the 17th century illustrate scenes of Swiss and local history including the biographies of the city's patron saints, Leodegar and Mauritius.
The Lion Memorial
The "Dying Lion of Lucerne" is one of the world's most famous monuments. In 1812 it was hewn out of natural rock in memory of the heroic death of the Swiss mercenaries at the Tuileries in 1792. Globetrotter Mark Twain described the Lion of Lucerne as "the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world".
Water tower
This octagonal over 34 m (111.5 feet) high t tower was built around 1300 as part of the city wall. Used as archives, treasury, prison and torture chamber. Lucerne's trademark and the most photographed monument in Switzerland.
Glacier Garden
Outstanding natural monument with gigantic glacial potholes and erratic blocks from the Ice Age 20,000 years ago, fossilized shells and palm leaves from 20 million years ago featuring the oldest relief maps of Switzerland, historical model of the city and a fun hall of mirrors.
Best views
The Pilatus
The most striking landmark in the Lucerne area with a height of 2132 m/ 6995 feet a. s. l. offers fabulous views of Lucerne, Lake Lucerne, the Alps and the central Swiss lowlands. Ascents by aerial cableway or by the world's steepest rack railway at 48%.
The Rigi (1800 m/ 5906 feet a. s. l.)
The "queen of mountains" has been a preferred viewpoint in Central Switzerland for over 100 years, and was the site of Europe's first-ever rack-and-pinion railway (1871). The trip up to Rigi Kulm can be made by rack railway, aerial cableway and Lake Lucerne steamer.
Churches
Jesuit Church
The church, which was built in 1666/67, is the first and one of the finest baroque churches in the country. Highlights include the sacristy, the rich stucco work, the church treasures, and the penitential robe St. Nikolaus von Fluee.
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