Lucerne: I will return when the sun is shining

Lucerne
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Lucerne’s Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrucke )

Lucerne seemed more like a large, gray city than a quaint, pretty town like the brochures hyped it to be.  It was probably the drenching, dismal drizzle that colored our perspective.

Tourist signage is located throughout the central city making it easy to get around without a tour book.
Tourist signage is located throughout the central city making it easy to get around without a tour book.
Signage points tourists to where they need to go
Signage points tourists to where they need to go
You can easily walk around Lucerne on foot, but if you feel like riding, the ubiquitous little tourist trains wind through the streets with frequent stops.
You can easily walk around Lucerne on foot, but if you feel like riding, the ubiquitous little tourist trains wind through the streets with frequent stops.
Phone booth Lucerne, Switzerland
Phone booth Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne

Lucerne is a busy city center with tourists tucked around lots of street activity.

Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
Private banking in Lucerne, Switzerland
Private banking in Lucerne, Switzerland
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Lucerne, Switzerland
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Lucerne, Switzerland
Street musicians - really talented!
Street musicians – really talented!

We waited our turn to take photos of each other in front of the lake. Here are Tracy and Rachel in Lucerne, Switzerland

We waited our turn to take photos of each other in front of the lake. Here are Tracy and Rachel in Lucerne, Switzerland

The swans were as domesticated as ducks, swimming right up to tourists for hand-outs
The swans were as domesticated as ducks, wimming right up to tourists for hand-outs
Barbara, Maureen, Tracy, Rachel in Lucerne, Switzerland
Barbara, Maureen, Tracy, Rachel in Lucerne, Switzerland
Hotel high above Lucerne
Hotel high above Lucerne
Chocolate

Where do I start?  More important, where do I stop?  The chocolate in Switzerland is perfect:  Rich, creamy, delicately flavored.  One shop after another displays pretty little confections worthy of gifting but begging to be tasted.  So we tasted.  My favorite is a dark chocolate filled with a raspberry filling.

Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland

 

Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
When you're tired of chocolate (as, if!), you can always choose ice cream.
When you’re tired of chocolate (as, if!), you can always choose ice cream.

 

Kappelbrucke

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Kapellbrucke Lucerne, Switzerland

Kapellbrucke Lucerne, Switzerland
Kapellbrucke Lucerne, Switzerland

We agreed to skip the boat ride into the harbor and settled for a stroll through the extraordinary covered bridge with 17th century paintings still intact even though exposed to the elements for nearly 500 years.  Part of the bridge burned in a 1993 fire but it was quickly restored and is extraordinary.

The oldest truss bridge in the world, the Kapellbrucke (Chapel Bridge) is a covered wooden foot bridge built in 1333 as part of the city’s fortifications. It’s 560 feet long and  crosses the Reuss River at an angle in the center of Lucerne.

The Kapellbrucke is named for St. Peter’s chapel which is located near one end of the bridge.  In the 1600’s, artists added 110 paintings to the inside support beams of the bridge.  Lucerne’s city councilmen paid for the paintings that illustrate scenes of Swiss and local history, including the biographies of the city’s patron saints, St. Leodegar and St. Maurice.  The councilmen got to include their coats of arms in the paintings they sponsored.  Blogger Michele writes, “The depictions of St. Leodegar and Swiss history were meant to call the citizens of Lucerne to recall that a pious way of life and service would lead to happiness as well as a strong city.”

Kapellbrucke Lucerne, Switzerland Painting # 77
Kapellbrucke Lucerne, Switzerland Painting # 77
Kapellbrucke Lucerne, Switzerland Painting #8
Kapellbrucke Lucerne, Switzerland Painting #8
Kapellbrucke Lucerne, Switzerland Painting #105 I think this is a painting of a devil tempting a priest
Kapellbrucke Lucerne, Switzerland Painting #105 I think this is a painting of a devil tempting a priest but it might also be a part of several paintings as the next painting is related to this one some how.
Kapellbrucke Lucerne, Switzerland Painting #107
Kapellbrucke Lucerne, Switzerland Painting #107
Kapellbrucke Lucerne, Switzerland Painting #4 Mary and baby Jesus appear before church officials and a knight
Kapellbrucke Lucerne, Switzerland Painting #4 Mary and baby Jesus appear before church officials and a knight
Kapellbrucke Lucerne, Switzerland Painting #3 - this is a painting of three bridges crossing the River Reuss
Kapellbrucke Lucerne, Switzerland Painting #3 – this is a painting of three bridges crossing the River Reuss
Kapellbrucke Lucerne, Switzerland bridge and paintings burned by 1993 fire
Kapellbrucke Lucerne, Switzerland bridge and paintings burned by 1993 fire. Apparently it started with a cigarette and quickly spread to a boat parked beneath the bridge.

After visiting the Kapellbrucke, I found interesting information about the fire:  “85 of the 110 pictures under the roof, dating back to 1611, were destroyed by the 1993 fire, only 25 could be saved or restored. The others have been replaced by pictures from the second part of the bridge that had been safely stored since 1834. A few burnt panels are still shown to remind of the fire. During the carnival season, the ancient pictures are replaced by modern ones showing carnival motives. This provides a platform for the creativity of today’s population and besides the original pictures can be saved from thoughtless ‘attacks’ with all sorts of fun materials like paint and glibber bombs used during carnival these days. So if you’re interested in the old paintings don’t choose the carnival season for your visit to Lucerne” (http://lucerne.all-about-switzerland.info/lucerne-chapelbridge-watertower.html).

Shrine in middle of Kappelbrucke, Lucerne, Switzerland
Shrine in middle of Kappelbrucke, Lucerne, Switzerland
DSC02779 (1) Lucerne copywrite Barbara Grano x
Shrine in middle of Kappelbrucke, Lucerne, Switzerland
Shrine in middle of Kappelbrucke, Lucerne, Switzerland
Shrine in middle of Kappelbrucke, Lucerne, Switzerland
Maureen on the Kapellbrucke Lucerne, Switzerland
Maureen on the Kapellbrucke Lucerne, Switzerland
The River

Lucerne is all about the river and the lake.  These geographic features first brough people to Lucerne.  These are the same waters we saw upriver in Interlaken.

Water is controlled by sluices
Water is controlled by sluices – valves and gates control the flow of water into the lake
Water is controlled by sluices
Water is controlled by sluices
Giant gears - I'm not sure if they control the sluice or the bridge
Giant gears – I’m not sure if they control the sluice or the bridge
Water available on the street - no charge!
Water available on the street – no charge!
Painted Ladies

We saw many painted buildings in Switzerland.  They are beautiful but require constant maintenance.  I kept bumping into people because I was so busy looking up to the stories above the street.

Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland

 

Shopping in Lucerne
Shop sign in Lucerne, Switzerland
Shop sign in Lucerne, Switzerland
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Shop sign in Lucerne, Switzerland
Maureen was intrigued by this giant shoe, reminding her of Mardi Gras and the Krew of Muses
Maureen was intrigued by this giant shoe, reminding her of Mardi Gras and the Krew of Muses
Dog leashes feature little Swiss flags.
Dog leashes feature little Swiss flags.
Want a dirndle? It's yours for about $120
Want a dirndle? It’s yours for about $120
Watches are available throughout Switzerland - but it's Mickey Mouse!
Watches are available throughout Switzerland – but it’s Mickey Mouse!

Good-bye, but not forever!  The main reason we stopped in Basel– in addition of the bonus of sharing days with Stephan and his family – is that we launch from Basel on our week-long Viking river boat cruise.  Much more of that in the next blog entry as we bid good-bye to Rachel and Tracy.

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  All good things come to an end – Rachel traveled to Bruges for a week and will meet up with us in Amsterdam; Tracy flew back to the US and work. We miss them already!

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Author: barbgrano1

Just let me see the world! I'm currently focusing on the US and Europe and invite you to share my travels. I teach ethics and political science at St. Petersburg College part time; I retired as a college administrator in Ohio. I am a total geek about government with huge wishes for continued freedom and respect for the individual. We must each do our part.

2 thoughts on “Lucerne: I will return when the sun is shining”

  1. Thank you so much for including me in your post. I’m so glad that I came to check out who it was that “pinged” me today. Most of my ‘travels’ these days is via the Internet. Your wonderful photos allowed me to truly visit this beautiful bridge and see even more of Lucerne.

    I couldn’t help but want to explore your posts further. I’ve enjoyed all of them!

    I feel like I got to travel to many the beautiful places in Europe. Even, if only, looking over your shoulder as you share your photos and recollections of your time there.

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