The "saddest and most touching piece of stone in the world" ~ Mark Twain
Hi Hive Friends,
Today I would like to tell you more about the city of Lucerne. In my last post I introduced you to Mount Pilatus. The mountain is not far from the city of Lucerne. If you are interested in a great alpine panorama, feel free to check out my last post. Our accommodation was relatively central in Lucerne. We even had a great view of the mountain landscape and even saw a rainbow over Lucerne on one day.
I must confess, Switzerland was not one of my "dream destinations" on my bucket list. In the end, however, it turned out to be one of the most beautiful countries I have seen so far. It is incredibly diverse and there is so much nature. I'm slowly starting to really love hiking. You can really say Lucerne is a perfect mix of city and nature. If you want to experience the "typical Swiss city" once, this is the place for you.
There are plenty of landmarked sights (today I want to introduce you to one of them). And in addition there is the Vierwaldstättersee with a lot of nature. For hikers, this place is perfect.
The old town alone is a sight in itself, and full of history to boot. Here are a few impressions of the old town:
the old town of luzern
Through the old town on the way to the Lion Monument
A lion monument, a touching piece of stone
Through the old town we walked on our way to the famous Lion Monument of Lucerne.
This monument shows a dying lion. You can see it among others on the first picture of this post. It is a monument made of stone. It was named the "saddest and most moving piece of stone in the world" by American writer Mark Twain. Today I want to tell you a little more about it, because as you may know, I find such historical buildings (okay, the word may not fit here;)) very interesting.
The "Lion of Lucerne", in the middle of a rock grotto
The lion, although carved in stone, has seemed deceptively real to me. And, although so many other visitors and tourists were standing in a semicircle around the monument at that moment, I forgot them for a moment and also felt a little sadness. Just by looking at the lion. But somehow it still didn't feel bad.
The lion is more than just a monument, especially for the Lucerne natives. Some see it as a memorial, others as a work of art or a memorial. But one thing it definitely is: a landmark of the city. Everyone who comes to Lucerne to visit the city stops at the lion. This is a good idea, because the lion is right in the center of Lucerne.
A storm in Paris
You will find the "Lion of Lucerne" in the middle of a rock grotto in an idyllic park. On ten information panels we learned more about the lion. With its image of a dying lion, it commemorates the Swiss Guardsmen who fell during the Tuileries Storm in Paris on August 10, 1792. That is why it is also called sad.
The lion is bigger than you might think at first. In fact, I think it looks very small. I think this impression arises because the rock grotto is relatively large. Nevertheless, I find the dimensions very nicely chosen. The lion should not radiate power. But how did it come to the storm in Paris?
In 1792, about 1000 Swiss protected the life of the French king Louis XVI. On August 10, the revolutionaries stormed the king's residence. The Swiss were killed. The monument pays homage to the Swiss Guard.
However, one of the Gradists was missing that day. Instead of Paris, he stayed at home in Lucerne. It was the officer Karl Pfyffer from Altishofen. The loss of his comrades prompted him to erect a monument in their honor. He suggested the rock face below the Wesemlin as the site of the monument. In order to build the monument, he collected money. The monument was created by the Danish artist Bertel Thorvaldsen. It took him about a whole year, then the monument stood.
How do you like the lion monument? And what do you think of Mark Twain's words? I find the story behind the Lion Monument very interesting, sad but the idea to create a monument for the fallen comrades very nice. I hope you enjoyed the post. Feel free to write me your feedback in the comments. See you next time!