OH MY GÜTSCH, QUE VISTAS!!!!
Of all the places where to enjoy a view of Lucerna, we definitely chose Gütsch Hill, in the centre of the city but high above it.
A hill to the west of the city of Lucerne.
Long ago, guard fires were burnt here to warm the city in the event of war and dangers.
Nowadays, visitors can see the sumptuous Château Gütsch Hotel.
On this site stood the Gütsch Tower which was built in 1590 as the final point of the city’s fortifica-tions which remained in existence until a fire in 1888.
In 1859, the land of the town was bought by Burkhard Pfyffer who was granted the right to admin-istrate an inn on the hill. The inn was later converted into a hotel.
The construction of the funicular in 1884 made it easier for guests to reach the hotel.
A large part of the hotel was completely destroyed in the great fire of 1888.
In 1901, the hotel was given its actual appearance of a fairy tale castle with towers and oriels "à la Neuschwanstein".
During the First World War and until 1921, the hotel remained closed. During the Second World War it hosted refugees, returned emigrants, and war prisoners.
Over the last 130 years, the Château Gütsch has witnessed and exciting history, welcoming famous guests, included kings ans queens, diplomats, world starts, and, naturally, citizens of Lucerne.
The Gütsch Bahn is the funicular that runs directly from Baselstrasse in Lucerne to the Château Gütsch Hotel.
Built in 1881 to provide access to the hotel, it was inaugurated in 1884 as a water ballast railway.
It was always open to the general public. In 1990, the Gütschbahn switched to automatic operation and, in 2015, the old funicular was replaced by two modern inclined lifts.
Today, the funicular ride to Gütsch takes only one minute and a half, and only requires a drink in the cafeteria to admire the view from the imposing terrace.
Inclined train station at 6003 Lucerne, Switzerland.
Address: Kanonenstrasse, 6003 Luzern, Suiza
IT TASTES MUCH BETTER THAN IT SOUNDS!!!
If there is a typical meal in Lucerne, it is the Chügelipastete, a vol-au-vent stuffed with sausage meatballs in white sauce.
The names dereives form the city of Lucerne itself.
In the local dialect it is called Lozärner Chögelipastete, in German Chügeli, meaning beads or rings, which refer to the spherical shape of most of its ingredients.
Another name given to this pie is Fritschipastete, as it is filled with ragout made of veal and sau-sages meatballs. It owes its name to the Lucerne’s famous carnaval figure, the Fritchi, meaning old man, and one of the most symbolic characters of the 14th century, who represents the members of the oldest guild in Lucerne, the Safran Guild.
The oldest records of the preparation of this dish date back to the 18th century and demonstrate a constant change in its form and composition.
The basic form consists of a puff pastry pâté, with a ragout of meat, mushrooms and sultanas in the filling.According to tradition ‘Lozärner Chügelipastete’, is served as the highlight of the Safran Guild’s annual ‘Bärteli Meal’ on 2 January.
The classic preparation requires veal and thinly sliced pork and veal sausages. In central Switzer-land, this is available in shops under the name of chügeli.
It is made by making a ragout of veal in a white sauce with a creamy consistency and by adding mushrooms. The sausage meat is cooked in broth. Before serving, the ragout and meatballs are mixed with marinated sultanas and stuffed with duck pâté.
It is well known that prices in Switzerland are not cheap at all, but the dishes can be shared, so the costs, even it is possible to eat at one of the stalls at the station itself, in a more informal way, and cheaply!
MY CREDIT CARD IS SHAKING!!!
There is no doubt that a watch is one of the products that one can purchase in Switzerland with complete peace of mind that it will be of quality. Lucerne is full of places where one can buy them, of all kinds and tastes. We would like to be able to say that they are also for all kind of pockets, however that we leave that for you to decide.
Swiss watches are most famous in world but, since when is it like this? Let´s take a look at the his-tory of Swiss watches.
The first watchmakers´ guild was founded in Geneva in 1601, marking the beginning of Switzer-land´s position as the world´s leading watchmaker. By 1704, watchmaking dominated the Swiss economy.
There are several reasons for this boom:
The harsh Swiss winters forced many farmers to move to the big city, where they found work creat-ing and assembling various watch components for companies based in the country.
Moreover, unlike in France or Germany, the decentralised nature of Swiss watchmaking was well suited to mass production.
The history of Swiss watches curiously begins with a prohibition. When John Calvin banned the manufacture of jewellery in Geneva in the mid-16th century (as he considered it as an idolatrous practice), the city´s jewellers had to adapt and some moved to Lucerne. They decided to change their profession to watchmaking, a trade where they could continue to use their skilled hands
Mass production of Swiss watches began in the late 19th and early 20th century due to industrialisa-tion and new technologies. In this same century, Swiss watchmakers focused on the emerging American market by offering good quality watches at mid-range prices.
The end of the First World War saw the appearance of wristwatches, which soon became popular all over the world.
During World War II and the post-war period, Swiss neutrality played an important role, allowing it to become a supplier of watches to both sides, keeping its factories open and producing even during the most turbulent times.
During the 70s and 80s, the Swiss saw how the arrival of quartz watches from Japan caused them to lose market share. Faced with the advance of new technologies, Swiss watchmakers chose to differ-entiate themselves from the rest by specialising in luxury timepieces with carefully crafted designs and alluding to their heritage.
Today, most luxury watch manufacturers have their headquarters or operations in Switzerland. These operations are generally concentrated around Geneva or La Chaux-de-Fonds along the coun-try´s western border, and in Lucerne.
Address: Grendelstrasse 6004 Lucerne, Switzerland.
GO AHEAD MY LORD!
The photo you can´t miss out is at the Kapellbrücke. Did you know that it is the second most photo-graphed attraction in Switzerland?
The Lucerne Bridge dates back to the 14th century and was built as part of the fortifications to pro-tect the city. The large octagonal stone tower served as a watchtower at the time.
Now this wooden bridge is 204 metres long, but initially it was longer, reaching 285 metres to con-nect the old town with the new town, which were separated by the river Reuss.
The bridge has a wooden roof that protects its entire length. In the 17th century, triangular panels with Renaissance-style paintings telling stories of the city and the Republic of Lucerne were in-stalled on that very roof. With its roof, it shelters and protects pedestrians from the autumn´s rain or the winter´s snow, but in contrast, the walkway´s railings are filled with flowers when spring arrives in Lucerne.
An octagonal tower escorts the bridge and raises its one-and-a-half-metre-thick walls over the river. Around the tower, the two hundred swans that inhabit the waters of the River Reuss, a branch of the great Lake Lucerne, swim peacefully.
The river divides Lucerne in two, and the city rises and stretches even beyond the 800-metre-long old city wall.
At midnight on 18th August 1993, a fire destroyed a large part of the characteristic medieval (14th century) Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke) in Lucerne. The fire is believed to have been caused by a motorboat that was close to this large covered walkway, which is almost 200 metres long and made entirely of wood.
An insatiable tooth of flames was crushing in the night not only the passageway itself, but 78 of the 111 17th century paintings that decorated the trusses of the bridge.
But as a good Swiss city, Lucerne, in less than a year, rebuilt its Kapellbrücke and it has once again become the symbol that distinguishes and represents this place located in the central part of the Swiss country.
The iconic structure was rebuilt and reopened to the public on 14th April 1994 with an extensive fire prevention and surveillance system to prevent further fires.
When restoring it, the authorities finally decided to leave only the original paintings that were not affected by the fire.
What is more, the paintings that occupied the central part are still preserved, although not on the bridge, as they had already been removed in the mid-19th century.
FROM BRIDGE TO BRIDGE AND I WILL FLOW BY THE CURRENT
The Spreuerbrücke is another covered wooden bridge across the Reuss River, a little less famous than the Chapel Bridge, but also among the must-see attractions in Lucerne. It is also known as the Muhlenbrücke or Windmill Bridge. It connects the Muhlenplatz with the Kasernenplatz.
Built in 1408 and completely restored in 1889, it owes its name to the fact that it was the only place where the locals were allowed to throw wheat (spreu) into the river.
It is worth crossing the bridge to see the 67 decorative altarpieces inside depicting the dance of the dead and the small chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
The Spreuer Bridge is the third covered wooden bridge in the city of Lucerne, along with the Chapel Bridge and the Hofbrücke, which was demolished in the 19th century.
On the gables of the Spreuer Bridge there are still 45 of the 67 original painted wooden panels with a unique dance of the dead, created between 1616 and 1637 under the direction of the painter Kas-par Meglinger. It is the largest and at the same time the most famous of all known death dances. The triangular panels usually show the coats of arms of the founders on the lower left and the coats of arms of the women of the founders´ generation on the right. Explanatory verses and the names of the donors are written on the black wooden frame (number of images).
The images also show portraits of donors and other representatives of the Lucerne. But their depic-tions are already more advanced in their pictorial style. The images and texts on the Lucerne death tablets are intended to make it clear that there is no place in the city, in the countryside or at sea where death is not also present. The small bridge chapel "Maria auf der Reuss" is dedicated to Our Lady.
Address: Spreuerbrücke, 6004 Lucerne, Switzerland.
SWAN LAKE ON STEAM
Do you dare to sail the waters of Lake Lucerne on a steamboat?
You can hardly think of anything more stylish than one of the five modernist paddle steamboats from the turbulent history of ancient Switzerland.
Lake Lucerne fascinates every who visits it with the beauty of its landscape, its numerous branches and, of course, the centuries-old paddle steamers.
In Lucerne it is possible to sail the lake on one of the boats that offers the service. Not only does it offer the classic boat trips around Lake Lucerne, but it also offers the possibility of a more compre-hensive trip.
Depending on the time available, cruises can last from one hour to a maximum of six hours. The difference lies in the route the boat takes. It is possible to go a little further out into the lake to get a panoramic view of Lucerne, and it is also possible to reach some of the villages around the lake.
A trip on a steamboat on a beautiful sunny summer day on Lake Lucerne is undoubtedly a unique experience. But also, the trip with the last boat of the day on a pleasant summer evening or just be-fore Christmas, approaching the Lucerne´s sea of lights, proves to be unforgettable. Or the mystical air on the lake during the autumn fogs or the steam across the high waves of the Urnersee when the warm south wind (Foehn) is blowing.
The trip takes place in a cosy atmosphere and the lounges ensure that you can relax throughout the journey. You can also go out on deck to breathe in the lake breeze and mountain air.
The lake is surrounded by the three original Swiss cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden as well as the canton of Lucerne, and that’s why it is also known as the lake of the Four Cantons. In the past, the lake was an important traffic hub, being until 1863 even the only commercial link to the Gottardo Mountain pass.
THE HIDDEN MESSAGE OF THE LION OF LUCERNE MONUMENT
The monument is carved into a limestone cliff above the Glacier Garden, located to the east of the ancient medieval city.
It commemorates the 760 Swiss soldiers (mercenaries) who died in the defence of the Tuileries dur-ing the assault of 10th August 1792, at the beginning of the French Revolution.
Although it was initially criticised as an apology for absolutism, it actually includes some subtle criticism, and in any case over time has become more of a symbol of Swiss values than a memorial to those deceased Guardsmen. It was agreed that the relief would depict a dying lion surrounded by broken weapons, symbolising the strength and will of the soldiers, and their willingness to die rather than betray their oath.
The Swiss sculptor Pankraz Eggensschwyler was commissioned to carve the lion on the wall ac-cording to the model and began work on 19th August of the same year. With such bad luck that a few weeks into the project he fell from the scaffolding and died.
He was replaced by the German Lucas Ahorn, who completed the work on 7th August 1821. The monument was unveiled three days later, on the 29th anniversary of the Storming of the Tuileries.
Nowadays, the lion is seen to represent the bravery and courage of soldiers, with the monarchy rep-resented by the coat of arms of France in a not particularly glorious role, as it does not protect itself, but allows itself to be protected by the lion.
At the top of the monument is an inscription in Latin: Helvetiorum Fidei ac Virtuti (To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss). At the bottom of the monument are the names of the soldiers killed, as well as the approximate number of dead (760) and survivors (350).
Mark Twain called the monument "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world". And in Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, in the United States, there is a grave of an unidentified Confederate soldier, on which is placed a copy of the Lion of Lucerne 73 years later.
Address: Denkmalstrasse 4, 6002 Lucerne, Switzerland
MATE OF ROOK AND KING
Lucerne´s Nine Museggturme Towers are a series of towers in the city that once formed part of the city walls surrounding the city, spanning approximately 800 metres around the city centre: Mänli, Nolli, Luegisland, Heu, Pulver, Allenwinden, Dachli, Schirmer and Zyt.
These walls were built in 1386 and remained intact due to the fact that the town was never under any real danger, thanks to its strategic location in the Alps. Three of these towers are open to the public today: the Schirmer Tower, the Zyt Tower and the Männli Tower. However, the trio is only open from May to October.
If you are visiting Lucerne during those months, you might want to take a walk and climb one of them to get a good panoramic view of the city, along with the beauty of the lake. Also, keep in mind that the view of Lucerne from the top of any of these three towers is much more romantic when the sun is about to set, so take advantage of the 8 pm closing time to go a little earlier.
The Zyt (clock tower). One of its facades features two giants holding the sphere of this admirable clock, while its interior houses nine other historic tower clocks. It´s the closest one you can climb as you stroll through the western part of Lucerne, from the Weinmarkt along the river and past the modern hydroelectric turbines of the Reuss.This route takes you to the first of the fortified gates, Nölliturn, marking the southwesternmost point of the city wall. You pass through it and climb the hill to reach the Musegg battlements.
This part of Lucerne is a bit rustic and there are a few loose animals, but you keep climbing until you reach the Männli Tower and the Luegisland observation point.
The battlements walk starts specifically at the Wachtturn, from where you can walk along the para-pets along the Zyt tower and see the oldest clock in the city, dating back to 1535.
The walk takes about two hours, so it may seem long but we are sure you will enjoy it.
LIKE CIRCUS AND ARENA PERFORMERS
We chose this place where circus performers and merchants used to entertain the people, and it is now one of the most popular green spaces in the city of Lucerne: Vögeligärtli.
It owes its name to the aviary built in the park in 1901
It is a small park with towering trees and swings, slides, a sand pit, benches, etc.
In summer there is an open-air bar/restaurant in the park.
At this picnic meadow, you can bring your own food and drink and enjoy a relaxing time, watching life go by.
It is also in the city centre and was called Sempacherplatz, Sempachergarten, Englischer Garten, Zentralplatz or Zentralmatte.
It was built when the gas plant "Gasfabrik" on what was then called Sempacherplatz was moved to another location in 1899. This opened the way for the area to be used for a new purpose: relaxation and leisure became the primary objective of the authorities at that time for the enjoyment of the inhabitants.
The Vögeligärtli was also the place where artists and traders with small stalls met and entertained people.
The Pilatus Circus and Arena Bühlmann with their touring artists used to visit the site., However, large areas of green space were gradually built up.
Lukaskirche (Church of St. Luke) was built in 1935, and today is an ideal venue for meetings, con-ferences, concerts or club events.
It features an elegant 500-seat hall, a great hall with a kitchen for up to 200 guests and other ancil-lary rooms are available for a variety of uses. The re-opening took place in November 2019.
There you can also see the Central Library, which stands out for its entrance and its tower. It has been in operation for a century and is said to be the most complete in Switzerland.
It contains Johannes Fründ´s Manuscript of the Witch Trials in Valais, which consisted of a witch-hunt involving a series of witch trials that took place in the Valais - the House of Savoy and the Prince-Bishopric of Sion - now part of Switzerland, beginning in 1428. The Valais witch-hunt was the first of the systematic campaigns that would become much more widespread in the decades to come, ushering in the period of witch trials in Europe.
Address: Frankenstrasse 12, 6003 Lucerne, Switzerland.
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