Heritage sites from the medieval ages fascinate me. I love their soulful architecture and the quaint discoveries they offer… and their old-world appearance helps me escape reality—giving me a different kind of travel experience.
Assuming you are traveling to Lucerne or Switzerland. Do you also like that kind of travel experience? If yes, you must be looking for Musegg Wall. For me, it is one of the unmissable places to see in Lucerne, and today in this post, I will tell you why.
As we discuss why you should visit Musegg Wall, you will discover the interesting things it has. By knowing them, you can make your trip to Musegg Wall more worth it. We’ll also answer a few questions that the visitors of Musegg Wall… Cool, so let’s get started!
Did you know that Lucerne had two layers of medieval fortifications back in the day? There was the inner and outer ring, composed of walls, towers, and bridges. And overall, there were 30 towers; the Chapel Bridge and the Spreuer Bridge are a part of the defensive system.
As of today, the inner wall is barely visible. However, the outer wall, the Musegg wall, is still intact. Its towers still even dominate the skyline of the modern Lucerne!
Like most medieval structures we can still find in Europe today, I am impressed how Musegg Wall withstood the test of time. Musegg Wall dates back to the late-mid-14th century (1370), and it’s pretty fascinating to think that the wall is older than some nations today.
Assuming that you are currently making your Lucerne Itinerary and you are wondering whether visiting Musegg Wall is a good idea—I can say that it’s a “yes, definitely!”
Musegg Wall is worth seeing because it is a notable landmark not only in Lucerne but in all of Switzerland. It’s the longest city wall preserved in one piece in Switzerland! Most importantly, it’s a beautiful architectural attraction where you can see nice views of the old city, lake, and mountains.
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I’ll explain more as we continue.
Reasons To Visit Lucerne’s City Walls And Towers (Musegg Wall)
As a lover of medieval architecture, I can’t miss discovering the most medieval landmark of Lucerne—the Musegg Wall. People like me should make visiting the wall a priority when visiting Lucerne. However, Musegg Wall isn’t only for travelers like me.
With the beautiful reasons to visit Musegg Wall you will see later, I can say that it’s a fantastic destination for more types of travelers… like history lovers, curious wanderers, and slow travelers—the people wanting to discover the little gems of the city.
I also think Musegg Wall is a great destination for imaginative travelers—the guys and gals who want to make their fantasies come to life. I mean… Have you watched any series or movies set in the middle ages and imagined yourself being one of the characters in it?
Of course, that is only my opinion.
But I guess you can agree with the 5 reasons why everyone needs to see Musegg Wall when visiting Lucerne.
1. Switzerland’s Special Landmark
I have no doubt that the Musegg Wall is a notable landmark not only in Lucerne but also in the whole of Switzerland. Why? Musegg Wall is 870 meters long—giving itself the title the “longest intact medieval city wall in Switzerland.”
Musegg may not be Europe’s or the world’s most impressive medieval walls… But, considering what was previously mentioned, Musegg Wall is remarkable enough to be included on a “medieval” theme bucket list destination.
Not to mention its size. It may not be apparent from the pictures, but Musegg Wall is stunningly huge! Musegg Wall is 9 meters tall—can you imagine how bent your neck will be to see its top from the ground?
2. Cultural Monument In Lucerne
Aside from being a notable landmark in Switzerland, Musegg Wall is also a place of cultural heritage. The Chapel Bridge’s cycle of paintings is proof.
One of the triangular paintings (Panel 039) in the Chapel Bridge depicts Musegg Procession. It shows the clergy and parishioners lining and walking beside the Musegg Wall to honor Mary, the Mother of God.
Other sources tell that the procession was a petition for protection from war and against conflagrations. Historians regard the great fire of 1340 in Lucerne as the reason behind the procession.
The Musegg Procession is an important ecclesiastical event in Central Switzerland. I am not sure if the procession is still being done today. But my sources say that it took place in the medieval Lucerne every spring, March 25 to be exact.
When you come to the Musegg Wall, you can imagine yourself back centuries ago, joining or just watching these cultural events that took place in Lucerne.
3. Time Transporting Place In Switzerland
It’s not only the events and stories about the Musegg Wall that can send your imagination back in time. The actual appearance of this gigantic landmark will do it, even if you haven’t discovered its history.
Did you know? You can walk on the ramparts of the Musegg Wall. It is the same place where the medieval guards of the city were stationed.
Have fun with your imagination. Like, pretend that you’re a medieval guard and have spotted the enemy’s army from afar. Imagine the thrill you’ll get to alarm the city of the danger coming!
You can also walk along Musegg Wall’s length and enter 4 of its 9 towers for a more time-transporting experience. Suppose you start visiting Musegg Wall from its western end (touching the Reuss River) going east. The accessible towers are in this sequence: Männliturm, Wachtturm, Zytturm, and Schirmerturm.
The tower’s small windows, stairs, and dark wooden truss look nostalgic. It’s very rustic inside the tower, although there’s nothing much spectacular.
You can try going inside the Wachtturm (Watch Tower) to see the pictures of the Hofbrücke, an old bridge (3rd bridge) in Lucerne that no longer exists today.
Overall, I think it can be a nice experience, especially if you’re like me, who grew up where castles, towers, and medieval walls did not exist.
4. Towers of Musegg Wall
Surely, even a glimpse of the Musegg Wall can already transport you back to the bygone days. Especially with its beautiful towers and their imposing old-world appearance that tell the centuries-long history of Lucerne.
But did you know that the towers of the Musegg Wall are more than just imposing preserved medieval fortifications that still exist today?
One of them has special features, making it another notable landmark in Lucerne. That tower is called the Zytturm. Zytturm is notable because it’s the most beautiful and the most elaborate among the towers of the Musegg Wall.
Its most eye-catching features are the mural of two wild men holding the clock dial. It is said that the image depicted by the mural can be traced back to Diebold Schilling’s Lucerne Chronicle from the early 16th century.
Most importantly, the oldest clock in Lucerne is also in Zytturm. Amazingly, it still works even today. As far as I know, the clock mechanism inside Zytturm dates back to 1535. You can come inside the tower to see its mechanism and other exhibits.
If you like, you can visit the Zytturm a minute before the full hour to hear the tower’s bell ring.
5. Lucerne’s Panoramic Views
Of all the beautiful things you can find on Musegg Wall, I think the panoramic views from the ramparts and towers make visiting the wall even more worth it.
The panorama combining the overlooking views of the city, lake, and mountains is a compelling scenery you wouldn’t miss taking photographs of.
I think you should not miss climbing the tower, especially on a bright sunny day. The view from the tower reaches as far as the snowy peaks of the Swiss Alps. It’s just you have to climb little-over-hundred-step stairs in the towers to see the tower’s rewarding view.
Lucerne is surrounded by numerous panoramic vantage points. However, the Musegg Wall is the simplest to visit and the most budget-friendly.
BONUS: Architectural Gem Of Lucerne
Besides the breathtaking views from Musegg Wall, another reason you should include Musegg Wall in your Lucerne itinerary is that it is an excellent example of medieval military architecture.
What’s exciting? Visiting the wall, you see not only one architectural style but nine! Thanks to the nine towers that were designed differently.
Among the towers, it’s Luegisland Tower which exhibits the most unique and authentic example of medieval military architecture.
Why? Because it is the oldest and the least altered. Believe it or not, its appearance today is virtually the same as the one built in the late 14th century and the renovations made during the 15th century.
You should notice the Luegisland Tower’s tall pointy roof. At first glance, it’ll make you think it simply looks like a pyramid—but it’s not. It’s a twisting octagonal, transitioning to square at the bottom.
Do you want to learn more about the towers? I linked a resource at the end of the post. You may check it later if you want. 🙂
Do you need more ideas where to go in Lucerne? I can help you with that! You can try reading: 10 Must-See Landmarks In Lucerne (Free Things To Do), 10 Unique Things To Do In Lucerne and Lucerne Is A Beautiful City: 10 Beautiful Things To See. (Links open in a new tab)
How To Visit Lucerne’s Towers & City Wall (Musegg Wall)
Exploring Musegg Wall, I realized there are a few ways to spend time in the landmark. However, if there are experiences not to miss, they are (1) the view on top of Mannliturm, (2) the walk on the ramparts from Wachturm to Schirmerturm, and (3) the visit to Zytturm.
But here’s my answer if you ask me, “what’s the best way to visit Musegg Wall?”
The best way to see Musegg Wall is to start at Schirmerturm and end at Nölliturm, the westernmost tower near the River Reuss. One way to do that is to walk on the downhill path, “Museggmauer Weg,” north of the wall to see the unmissable parts of the Musegg Wall one by one on the ground.
For a scenic experience, you may skip a part of the Museggmauer Weg and use the ramparts that connect Schirmerturm, Zytturm, and Wachturm, instead.
So, here’s the summary:
- Enter Schirmerturm and climb the tower. Then, go down and proceed to Zytturm through Museggmauer Weg. (Optional: Ramparts walk)
- Enter Zytturm. To enter, you must visit the shop on the tower’s first floor and get a key. Overall you can visit its 6 floors with small open windows for sightseeing and taking pictures. The tower also houses different mechanisms and the bell that rings a minute before the hour. Proceed to Wachturm after the visit.
- See Wachturm. This tower is the exit from the ramparts (let’s say you enter the ramparts from Schirmerturm). Continue to Mannliturm through Museggmauer Weg.
- Enter Mannliturm and climb the tower. It is the only tower in Musegg Wall with an open rooftop—so don’t miss it! Continue to Nölliturm to finish the visit.
I suggest you try visiting the short hiking trail called Luegislandegg, which starts at the fork on Museggmauer Weg before you reach Nölliturm.
Luegislandegg is the hiking trail located a little farther from the wall compared to Museggmauer Weg. So, when strolling in Luegislandegg, you can see a more extensive view of the wall and a better viewing perspective of the towers.
One advantage of seeing Musegg Wall from Schirmerturm to Nölliturm is that you’ll end up near the Reuss River. There you can find more attractions in Lucerne, like Spreuerbrücke. Spreuerbrücke is only a 3 to 5-minute walk from Nölliturm.
Lastly, before you visit, make sure you come when Musegg Wall is open. Visitors can access the wall only from April 1 to November 1, 8:00 am to 7:00 pm. There’s no entry fee.
Make sure to check for announcements at the official website of Musegg Wall, linked in the resources section.
If you are interested to visit more tourist attractions in Lucerne, my articles about the Mount Pilatus, Church of Saint Leodegar (Hofkirche), Lion Monument, Jesuit Church, and Chapel Bridge can help.
How Long To Visit Lucerne’s Towers & City Wall (Musegg Wall)
It really depends on your approach to visiting Musegg wall. But you should at least allocate 30 minutes and 2 hours maximum for a visit to Musegg wall.
To give you an idea of how fast you can visit Musegg Wall: You can finish strolling at Museggmauer Weg from Schirmerturm from Nölliturm (and see Musegg Wall) within 10 minutes. That’s the case if you only have a leisurely stroll (no taking photos, relaxing for a while, entering and climbing the towers).
Are you looking for ways to visit Lucerne? Do you want to know how much time you must spend? My posts below can help. (Links open in a new tab)
Sources: Musegg Wall
- The Paintings In the Bridges of Lucerne
- Musegg Wall and Procession
- Towers of Musegg Wall
- Musegg Wall Opening Hours
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