Musegg Wall is a Must-See (Here are the Five Reasons Why)

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Similar to the Lion Monument, Musegg Wall is another free attraction in Lucerne that contributes to the city’s beauty. It’s one of my favorites because it offers a unique travel experience in Lucerne… like time-traveling back to the Medieval Ages.

Dating back to 1370, Musegg Wall is one of the most intact medieval walls remaining in Switzerland. In fact, it’s the longest city wall preserved in one piece in the country! Like Lauterbrunnen in the Jungfrau Region, Musegg Wall remind me of my favorite fantasy novel movies like LOTR. It looks magical. From the foot of the wall to the top of the tower, this landmark is a breathtaking sight. And if you’re interested in old-world architecture, you’d love this wall for its towers — they have various architectural styles. For example, one has a twisted roof, while another is decorated with a clock and murals.

Overall, Musegg Wall is a beautiful destination you wouldn’t want to miss on a walking tour of Lucerne. I highly recommend adding it to your itinerary, whether you’re planning a 1-day visit, a 2-day stay, or a 3-day journey in Lucerne. If you’re not yet familiar with Musegg Wall, let me provide five reasons why it’s a must-see.

By the way, Here is a quick history fun fact! Did you know that Lucerne had inner and outer rings, composed of walls, towers, and bridges? There were also 30 towers; the Chapel Bridge and the Spreuer Bridge were part of the defensive system. As of today, the inner wall is barely visible. However, the outer wall, the Musegg Wall, remains intact. Its towers even dominate the skyline of modern Lucerne!

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Drone shot of Musegg Wall in Lucerne, Switzerland
Drone shot of Musegg Wall
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1. A Unique Landmark in Switzerland

My first reason why Musegg Wall is a must-see? It’s a unique attraction in Switzerland. It’s the longest intact medieval city wall in the country, spanning almost 900 meters (0.56 miles)!

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View of Schirmerturm near Speuzer Brunnen in Lucerne, Switzerland
View of Schirmerturm near Speuzer Brunnen
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While it may not be as grand as the walls of Carcassonne in France or Avila in Spain, I can assure you it’s the best you can see in Switzerland. Other cities like Sion, Fribourg, and Thun still have castles and similar fortifications, but they are not as imposing as Musegg Wall, which, by the way, stands at a height of 9 meters.

Interestingly, Musegg Wall also has 9 towers… 900 meters long, 9 meters in height, 9 towers — a fascinating coincidence, right?

When it comes to travel experiences, Musegg Wall is one of those places where you can have something unique: a medieval experience of walking on the ramparts, going inside a giant clock tower to see some mechanisms, and ultimately taking in a 360-degree view of a beautiful city from a medieval tower. Where else can you get that experience? Well, it’s only at Musegg Wall.

2. A Cultural Monument In Lucerne

If you spend more time at the Chapel Bridge admiring the intriguing artworks on its gables one by one, you’ll discover that Musegg Wall is more than just a medieval city fortification. It’s also a cultural monument, and the triangular painting panel 039 of the Chapel Bridge is proof. The painting depicts Musegg Wall as a site for religious activity, known as the Musegg Procession.

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View while strolling in Museggmauer Weg in Lucerne, Switzerland
View while strolling in Museggmauer Weg
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Some say the great fire of 1340 in Lucerne is the reason the procession takes place. Others suggest that the procession was a petition for protection from war and against conflagrations, which makes more sense.

With a bit of imagination during a visit to Musegg Wall, one can picture out the clergy and parishioners walking and praying beside Musegg Wall, all in honor of the Virgin Mary. You can go to the outer side of the wall (north) for a more vivid glimpse of what the procession was like. And if you want to experience it first hand, according to my sources, the procession still takes place every spring, specifically on March 25.

There’s a walking path beside the wall, mostly shaded by trees and the wall itself. All things considered, if you’re looking for a unique historical stroll in Lucerne, Musegg Wall is definitely the place to be. And if you decide to visit Musegg Wall during your trip to Lucerne and want your visit to be more insightful, I recommend asking a local guide to share all the secrets and interesting facts about Musegg Wall.

3. A Time-Transporting Experience

Did you know that visitors are allowed to walk on the ramparts of Musegg Wall? It’s one of the most amazing experiences a wanderer can have at Musegg Wall. You’ll literally get the same experience that the medieval guards, who were once stationed on the wall, had back in the day.

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Get your imagination running! Pretend that you’re a medieval guard who has spotted the enemy’s army from afar. Imagine the thrill you’ll feel as you alarm the city of the impending danger! If you can’t make your imagination work, don’t worry, you can still feel some excitement by simply exploring the ramparts and towers of Musegg Wall. The breathtaking view of Old Town Lucerne is all there for you to take in there. The interiors of 4 of the 9 towers await you for a bit of adventure.

However, you can expect a lot of stairs! Have your knees ready because there is no elevator, sadly. It’s very rustic inside the tower, although I found nothing particularly spectacular. On a good note, you can try going inside the Wachtturm (Watch Tower) to see the pictures of the Hofbrücke, an old bridge (the 3rd bridge) in Lucerne that no longer exists today. The tower’s small windows, stairs, and dark wooden truss won’t fail to give you a sense of nostalgia.

Suppose you start visiting Musegg Wall from its western end (touching the Reuss River) and go east. The accessible towers are in this sequence: Männliturm, Wachtturm, Zytturm, and Schirmerturm.

4. Its Towers Offer More Than Architecture

When wandering through the length of Musegg Wall, like me, you might also find yourself surprised by one of its towers. It’s Zytturm, which I think is the most notable tower of the wall. This one is Lucerne’s version of Zytglogge in Bern, a beautiful iconic clock tower.

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Interestingly, Zytturm is also the oldest clock in the city. Its mechanism dates back to 1535! Its most eye-catching features are the murals 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.

During your visit here, spare some time to see both sides of Zytturm as two of its faces are adorned with murals. After that, don’t go to another tower just yet! Inside Zytturm, there are clock mechanism exhibits which are quite interesting. There’s even one I found that is powered by gravity! As an engineer, I’m impressed by how Medieval mechanics designed their clock mechanisms. Precisely converting 9.8 meters per square second to time using interlocking gears is mind-blowing!

Here’s a tip: visit the Zytturm a minute before the full hour to hear the tower’s bell ring.

5. Panoramic Views

If there’s one really compelling reason to visit Musegg Wall, in my opinion, it would be the 360-degree view of Lucerne and the Swiss Alps from the towers and ramparts of the wall. This is particularly the case when Old Town Lucerne is your destination before visiting top Swiss Alps attractions like Mount Pilatus, Interlaken, Grindelwald, and more.

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The view from the tower simply serves as a stunning visual appetizer to the overall unforgettable experience you can have in Switzerland.

If you are visiting Zytturm, you can already expect to see breathtaking views, but if you really want an immersive experience, challenge yourself to climb Männliturm. This is the only tower with a roof deck, and the only one where you don’t have to take in the views through a glass window. Literally, you’ll be standing on top of it. A subtle exhilarating experience. There are more than a hundred steps to get to the top, though, and the stairs are a bit high compared to the standardized stairs we have today.

When you reach the top, here’s my little challenge to you: aside from taking good photos, try spotting other interesting attractions in Lucerne like the Jesuit Church and Hofkirche. See how they also dominate the skyline of Lucerne.

Visiting Information & Tips

See the exact location of Musegg Wall from my map of Old Town Lucerne.

While exploring the Musegg Wall, I realized there are several ways to spend time at the landmark. However, if there are experiences not to be missed, they include (1) the view from the top of Mannliturm, (2) the walk on the ramparts from Wachturm to Schirmerturm, and (3) the visit to Zytturm.

Fun fact! Among the towers, the Luegisland Tower stands out as the most unique and authentic example of medieval military architecture. It’s the oldest and least altered. The tower’s appearance today is virtually unchanged from when it was built in the late 14th century. When you arrive near it, take a moment to notice the Luegisland Tower’s tall, pointed roof. At first glance, you might think it simply looks like a pyramid—but it’s not. It’s actually a twisting octagonal shape that transitions to a square at the base. Amazing.

Now, if you ask me, “What’s the best way to visit Musegg Wall?”

Let’s assume you’re not following a specific itinerary or walking route. In that case, the best way to see Musegg Wall is to start at Schirmerturm and end at Nölliturm (the westernmost tower near the River Reuss). Follow the downhill path along “Museggmauer Weg,” north of the wall, to see the unmissable parts of the Musegg Wall one by one on the ground. For a more scenic experience, you might choose to skip a part of the Museggmauer Weg and use the ramparts that connect Schirmerturm, Zytturm, and Wachturm instead.

So, here’s the summary:

  1. Enter Schirmerturm and climb the tower. Then, descend and proceed to Zytturm via Museggmauer Weg. (Optional: Walk the ramparts)
  2. Enter Zytturm. To do so, you must visit the shop on the tower’s first floor and obtain a key. You can visit its six floors, which have small open windows for sightseeing and taking pictures. The tower also houses different mechanisms and a bell that rings a minute before the hour. After your visit, proceed to Wachturm.
  3. Visit Wachturm. This tower is the exit from the ramparts (assuming you entered the ramparts from Schirmerturm). Continue to Mannliturm via Museggmauer Weg.
  4. 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 consider visiting the short hiking trail called Luegislandegg, which starts at the fork on Museggmauer Weg before you reach Nölliturm. Luegislandegg is a hiking trail located a little farther from the wall compared to Museggmauer Weg. There, you can enjoy 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.

Wondering how much time you’ll need at Musegg Wall? Well, it really depends on your approach to visiting the wall. However, you should plan to spend at least 30 minutes and no more than 2 hours for a visit. To give you an idea of how quickly you can visit Musegg Wall: You can complete a leisurely stroll along Museggmauer Weg from Schirmerturm to Nölliturm (and see Musegg Wall) within 10 minutes. That’s if you’re just strolling without taking photos, pausing to relax, or entering and climbing the towers.

Finally, before you plan your visit, ensure that Musegg Wall is open. The wall is accessible to visitors only from April 1st to November 1st, between 8:00 AM and 7:00 PM. There’s no admission fee. Be sure to check for updates on the official Musegg Wall website, which you can find in the resources section.

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Reuss River and Nölliturm of Musegg Wall in Lucerne, Switzerland
Reuss River and Nölliturm of Musegg Wall
Spreuer Bridge and the towers of Musegg Wall in Lucerne, Switzerland
Spreuer Bridge and the towers of Musegg Wall
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Resources

For the latest news and announcements about Musegg Wall, as well as more information for your visit, please see the links below.

If you’re planning to stay in Lucerne for two days or more and haven’t secured accommodations yet, I recommend checking out my partner’s website for the best hotel deals in Switzerland. Please note that this is an affiliate link, and I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you book your hotel through it. If my article has been helpful to you in any way, this small commission is a way for you to support me in creating more useful content like this. Your support is greatly appreciated! Thank you, and I hope you enjoy your trip to Switzerland.

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For additional ideas on where to visit in Switzerland, take a look at my 4-day and 6-day itineraries. These are centered around central Switzerland, including Lucerne and Musegg Wall. By following these itineraries, you’ll have the opportunity to explore some of the most interesting and breathtaking destinations in Bernese Oberland and Lucerne. Some of the places included are the turquoise waters of Lake Brienz, the fairytale-like town of Thun, and even the Bern Cathedral, which holds the title for the tallest church in the country.

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