If not the top, Lucerne is one of the best cities in Switzerland that never fails to please the eye. Whether looking for stunning scenery, charming historic architecture, or lovely “little gems”—Lucerne is a fantastic place to be.
It’s easy to understand why Lucerne is a beautiful city. First, Lucerne is tucked in the Alps and perched beside Lake Lucerne; you are guaranteed scenic views when you come to this city. Second, it has a charming medieval city that aesthetically transports imagination back to the past.
They’re only two of the many reasons Lucerne is a beautiful city, though. And for today, I will show you what else makes this city an apple of the eye for many travelers. You’ll see not only picturesque places but also beautiful things you can discover in the city.
As a person deeply fascinated by medieval cities and mountains, I honestly think Lucerne is my utopian city. Not to mention the high-quality life in Switzerland, everything that I know about Lucerne makes me think that it is not only my ideal destination but also my dream home.
So… Yeah, I’m excited to share my favorite city in Switzerland!
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I hope what you’ll find here can spark your wanderlust to visit Lucerne. Or at least give you an idea of what you should not miss on a trip to Lucerne.
…and if you’re still researching Lucerne, currently thinking about seeing Lucerne or not, or finding clues if Lucerne would be worth it for you, I’ll give you my brief opinion that might answer your doubts.
Okay, we all have different preferences, but I think:
Lucerne is worth visiting, unmissable because it offers a combined experience involving nature, architecture, history, and culture. That said, this city has beauty more profound than just aesthetics & stunning scenery. You can notice it from the tourist attractions like the Chapel Bridge & Lion Monument.
Are you curious how I came up with that? I’ll explain it to you as we tackle the 10 beautiful things which make Lucerne a beautiful city. Let’s get started with photos:
1. Chapel Bridge — A Unique & Beautiful Landmark
Arriving by train in Lucerne, you can expect to see a beautiful landmark in Lucerne right away. That is the Chapel Bridge… and it is Lucerne’s most iconic and famous landmark. The Chapel Bridge is also the first uniquely beautiful thing you can find in Lucerne.
The entrance to the Chapel Bridge is a 5-minute walk from Lucerne’s train station. But, you should be able to spot the Chapel Bridge a few steps from the train station as you move closer to Reuss River.
The Chapel Bridge makes Lucerne beautiful because its quaint look perfectly matches the old city. Made of wood, you can feel that “you’re really visiting an alpine settlement” when you see it. You know, wood is a readily available and sustainable building material in the alpine region.
Here’s the image of the Chapel Bridge:
What’s so notable about the Chapel Bridge is it’s actually a world record, thus a bucket list destination! This is why you would really want to see the Chapel Bridge on your Switzerland trip.
Did you know? The Chapel Bridge is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe and the World’s oldest surviving truss bridge.
The Chapel Bridge dates back to the 14th century! Although it was mostly destroyed in its fire incident in 1993, it was rebuilt immediately and finished a year later.
Today, this famous bridge in Lucerne is the photographer’s favorite. I bet you would not be able to resist taking photos of the Chapel Bridge, especially during warmer months when it is embellished with colorful flowers along its length.
You must read my post dedicated to the Chapel Bridge, explaining why it is so famous. In that post, I will also show you how beautiful the Chapel Bridge is at night, in summer, and before sunset. You’ll also get a preview of what’s inside the wooden covered bridge.
2. Unique Triangular Paintings — Artistic Glimpse To The Past
What you may not know yet, but the Chapel Bridge is more than just the oldest surviving truss bridge in the world. It is a gallery of historically important paintings in Switzerland.
These paintings inside the Chapel Bridge are approximately 400 years old and are indeed special. Why? Because they have a triangular shape and were painted on a technique, you can’t find anything similar anywhere else so quickly.
Other people call them gable paintings because they are placed under the triangular truss roof of the Chapel Bridge. Check them out:
At the gables, these paintings beautifully preserve the history and culture of Lucerne or Switzerland in a distinctive way. They make Lucerne an enticing destination for wanderers, historical urban explorers, or history buffs.
Know that you can also find similar paintings at Spreuer Bridge, another covered wooden bridge across the Reuss River.
However, in Spreuer Bridge, the gable paintings do not directly depict history, but they form a cycle of paintings called the Danse Macabre (Dance of Death). The cycle of Danse Macabre in the Spreuer Bridge is known to be one of the largest in the world.
Visiting the bridges in Lucerne and seeing the paintings can be one of your uniquely beautiful experiences in Lucerne. Not only will you discover the events that happened in Switzerland, but you will also tap into the people’s ideas during the medieval ages.
You can learn more information about the gable paintings of Lucerne in the resources section at the end of this post.
If you are planning a Lucerne trip, make sure to include exploring Lucerne’s old city on your itinerary (not only the Chapel Bridge and other city landmarks). Beautiful things await you there for you to discover!
3. Fountains In The Squares — Lovely Gems In The Old City
I used to think I could only find beautiful fountains in Bern in all of Switzerland. But it turned out I was wrong. Lucerne also has a few of these elaborate fountains, which are gems that make Lucerne a beautiful city.
If you have been to Bern or other cities in Germany, these fountains in Lucerne may look familiar. They have a well or through, and in the middle is a pillar often adorned with sculptures and colorful flowers.
Have a look:
There are hundreds of fountains in Lucerne, but the most notable are found in the squares of the old city. The water from these fountains is so clean that you can drink from them directly. This is why you may see people refilling water bottles from these fountains.
Believe it or not, these fountains in Lucerne have provided fresh water to the city residents for more than 600 years!
Like the residents, you can also get water from these fountains for free. According to my sources, the water from the fountains comes from an alpine lake at the foothill of Mount Pilatus.
When I checked Lucerne’s old city, I found three fountains I think you’d also like to see. These fountains are called Fritschibrunnen, Weinmarktbrunnen, and Neptunbrunnen.
Let’s say you visit the Chapel Bridge and cross the River Reuss from Bahnhofstrasse to Rathausquai. Then the first beautiful fountain in Lucerne that you’ll find is Fritschibrunnen. It is located in Kapellplatz, a few steps from the northern entrance of the Chapel Bridge.
Of the charming fountains in Lucerne, Fritschibrunnen is the most colorful. This fountain has a hexagonal trough and an intricate column decorated by splendid masks of Fritschi and his wife. On top of the column, you’ll see the statue of the standard-bearer.
Strolling westward, you may stumble upon Weinmarkt, a beautiful square where Weinmarktbrunnen is. The last time I saw the fountain, it was unpainted, yet it still appeared imposing because of its gothic architecture. Its column looks like a spire of a church, though.
From Weinmarkt, if you continue walking westward, you’ll reach Mühlenplatz. It’s the part of Lucerne where Neptunbrunnen is. You can find Neptunbrunnen at the far corner of this square—the part where you can already see the Reuss River.
Neptunbrunnen is a beautiful fountain for its body, elaborated with Renaissance-style embellishments. Based on its name, I assume the figure on top of the fountain is the Greek god Poseidon.
In case you’re visiting Musegg Wall, you might like to drop by Speuzerbrunnen. It’s a simple fountain in Musegg, outside the old city and a few steps from the Musegg Wall.
Speuzerbrunnen has a sculpture of a face with water spouting from its mouth. You might want to come here as it’s a fantastic vantage point for taking photos of Musegg Wall, particularly Schirmerturm.
4. Murals Of The Houses — City Beautiful Decoration
For me, Bern’s the most beautiful city in Switzerland in terms of city architecture. It is pretty visible from the places with the best views in Bern. However, in some ways, Lucerne’s old city looks more charming.
It’s more apparent in the squares of Lucerne’s old city. Aside from the city’s elaborate fountains, here lie the houses with murals, which some people call Lüftlmalerei. They are mesmerizing.
Wait, what? Lüftlmalerei? Lüftlmalerei is a German folk art characterized by the use of bright colors and intricate designs, often depicting religious or historical scenes, on the façades of buildings. Here are some examples:
In pictures, these building murals in Lucerne’s old town do not look as impressive as they should because you can’t see their real size. But, just imagine, these Lüftlmalerei artworks cover the entire facade of a three or four-story house.
Masterpieces like these require both talent and tremendous effort!
If you want to see the most impressive house in the old city of Lucerne, I suggest going to Hirschenplatz. There are 5 houses in this square with murals on their facades, but two of them are absolutely imposing.
Most of the Lüftlmalerei or murals on the facades of some buildings in Lucerne has a historical or religious motif, excluding the facade of Restaurant Fritschi in Sternenplatz. It has the most bizarre artwork; instead of saints, there are witches; instead of soldiers, there is a plant with a face. It’s modern mural art.
You may also want to see Pfistern Restaurant and Hotel des Balances for spectacular Lüftlmalerei from other places in Lucerne’s old city.
5. Lion Monument — A Stunning Memorial
As mentioned in the beginning, I think Lucerne is beautiful in several ways. Aside from its scenic and charming appearance, I think Lucerne is profoundly beautiful. Why? Because it has a very meaningful landmark—the Lion Monument.
For me traveling is learning, an activity for self-improvement; I feel sad when people only travel to show off. In my opinion, the Lion Monument is an opportunity for every traveler to make their trip fruitful. This is why I think this monument is a beautiful destination in Lucerne.
Here’s what the Lion Monument looks like:
So, what is the Lion Monument all about?
The Lion Monument in Lucerne, Switzerland, is a large sculptural work commemorating the Swiss Guards killed during the French Revolution. It’s a remarkable landmark, artwork, and memorial that even Mark Twain was moved by its sorrowful appearance.
Mark Twain said in his travelog, A Tramp Abroad, the Lion Monument is “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.”
Discover what you can expect to experience when you visit the Lion Monument in Lucerne here.
Reflecting on the story behind the Lion Monument, you’ll realize that it does not only remind us about the sacrifice of the Swiss Guards. It also causes us to awaken our sense of bravery, loyalty, and dedication to duty.
Aside from this “deep” outlook of beauty towards the Lion Monument, there’s no doubt that this memorial is indeed a stunning work of art!
One of the most striking features of the Lion Monument is its size and scale, as it is carved into a massive block of stone. Believe it or not, the Lion Monument is 10 meters long and 6 meters wide!
The detail and craftsmanship of the sculpture are also notable, as the lion is depicted in a dramatic and lifelike pose with a face that can move people’s emotions.
6. Interiors Of Jesuit Church — Spectacular Architecture
Lucerne is beautiful because it also has places having marvelous architecture. And if you’re an architecture enthusiast visiting Lucerne, it’s the Jesuit Church you must see.
For me, the Jesuit Church is a surprising landmark. Outside, it looks underwhelming with its simple baroque facade. But that impression quickly changes when you enter the church.
Here’s what the Jesuit Church looks like outside and inside:
In my opinion, the most eye-magnetizing part of the Jesuit Church’s architecture is its ornate rococo stucco ceiling. Its pastel colors and intricate, elaborate designs, such as scrolling, floral patterns, and curving lines, create a light and heavenly atmosphere.
Oh, by the way, what is the Jesuit Church all about?
The Jesuit Church in Lucerne is a Catholic Church that was constructed in the second half of the 17th century to strengthen the presence of Catholicism in the region.
The church was designed in the baroque style, which helped to highlight Catholic traditions, particularly through its ornate decorations and focus on the veneration of saints. The choice of the baroque style was likely motivated by the desire to assert the distinctiveness and importance of Catholicism in the face of the spread of Protestantism.
If you want to learn more about the Jesuit Church and its architectural details, you may check my post, “Jesuit Church In Lucerne: Visiting An Architectural Gem.” I’ll also show you where its best photography spots are.
7. Facade Of Hofkirche — The Picturesque Church
Hofkirche, or the Church of Saint Leodegar, is another beautiful place or church that you can visit in Lucerne, aside from the Jesuit Church. It is located on the eastern part of the old city; it should be easy to see from Seebrücke, Schweizerhofquai, or anywhere along the shore of Lake Lucerne.
I think it is the most eye-catching building in Lucerne’s skyline when sightseeing along the shores of Lake Lucerne, thanks to its twin pointed spires. It’s also the most picturesque because of the mix of gothic and gorgeous German Renaissance architecture, most visible on its facade.
Have a look:
For me, the best part of visiting Hofkirche happens when you walk towards its entrance. You will be immediately struck by the elegance of its German Renaissance facade and sky-scraping twin gothic towers.
The intricate wood carvings, frescoes, and sculptures on the main portal are sure to catch your eye and draw you in to explore the church’s beauty further. Even if you don’t end up going inside, the main portal alone is sure to impress and amaze you with its craftsmanship and artwork.
Do you want to see what’s inside this church? Check out my post about the Church of Saint Leodegar. I’ll also tour you virtually inside it, showing you the beautiful little details of the parish church of Lucerne.
8. Musegg Wall — Scenic Views Of The City
As a fan of movies and series set in the middle ages, castles, medieval walls, and towers are, for me, the beautiful destinations to turn my fantasies into reality. If we are the same and you’re visiting Lucerne, Zytturm and Musegg Wall are fantastic places to go.
Zytturm is one of the nine remaining medieval towers of the Musegg Wall, which is Lucerne’s outer fortification built in the 14th century. The wall is a remarkable landmark in Lucerne because no other structure in Switzerland is as intact as this today.
See Zytturm and Musegg Wall here:
I think Musegg Wall is a beautiful place in Lucerne because it’s an excellent example of medieval defensive architecture, a time-transporting landmark, and offers scenic views of the city and mountains.
It’ll surely transport your imagination back centuries to the scenes of armies, swordsmen, and knights. That’s more likely the case when you start walking along the ramparts and see the views of the countryside to the north.
Let’s say you’re really in the ramparts currently. If you look south, you’ll be rewarded by the scenic panorama of the city. The view from the ramparts of the Musegg Wall reaches as far as the Swiss Alps, beyond Lake Lucerne.
A few paragraphs aren’t enough to explain the experience and beauty you can find in Musegg Wall. I encourage you to check my post about Musegg Wall to know the reasons why you should visit it. I’ll also discuss the best way you can visit the wall.
9. Lake Lucerne — Idyllic Scenery
As you may already know, Lucerne sits beside a lake named after itself—Lake Lucerne. And without a doubt, it’s the reason why Lucerne is beautiful. The lake provides a calming natural backdrop for the city.
I suggest going to Reussteg bridge for a panorama that includes the old city, Lake Lucerne, Chapel Bridge, and Jesuit Church. It’s where you can clearly see the beauty of Lucerne because of Lake Lucerne.
Indeed, it’s an eye-pleasing view: the charming old city plus the clear, blue waters of Lake Lucerne, surrounded by verdant green hills and snow-capped mountains. Actually, if you like, you can take a boat ride in Lake Lucerne to see all the idyllic scenery in Lucerne.
Check out these views:
Do you want to see what the available activities in Lake Lucerne are? You can check this list. You can find a 1st class cruise with a gourmet lunch, a simple boat cruise with a city tour, or a 1-hour cruise on a panoramic yacht here.
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)
10. View From Mount Pilatus — Breathtaking Beauty
One of the mountains that adds to the beauty of the panorama of Lucerne’s skyline is Mount Pilatus. This mountain is a beautiful backdrop for some landmarks in the city, especially when it is capped with snow. With Mount Pilatus, I think the Jesuit Church and the Chapel Bridge look more picturesque.
There’s no other direct way that Mount Pilatus makes Lucerne a beautiful city when it comes to the city’s appearance. But Mount Pilatus undoubtedly gives a beautiful travel experience that one can easily have from Lucerne.
What’s that experience? It’s seeing the heaven-on-earth view of the Alps. Have a look:
There are a lot of things I want you to know about Mount Pilatus. Like, why I think it’s a beautiful experience you can have from Lucerne. If you want to get an idea why you should visit Mount Pilatus, aside from epic views, check my article “5 Reasons To Visit Mount Pilatus (Lucerne Day Trip).”
In that post, you’ll also discover (1) how you can visit Mount Pilatus, (2) the best time to go to Mount Pilatus, (3) and how much time you need in Mount Pilatus.
Sources: Beautiful Things In Lucerne
Aside from the links in the post, you may check these websites to learn more about the beautiful things you can find in Lucerne.
Are you not convinced to visit Lucerne? Or do you need more ideas where to go in Lucerne? Check out: 10 Must-See Landmarks In Lucerne (Free Things To Do) and 10 Unique Things To Do In Lucerne, Switzerland
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