The Medieval Charm of Lucerne, Switzerland

On the shores of Lake Lucerne, within sights of mounts Pilatus and Rigi, lies the charming medieval city of Lucerne. Out of all the places that Rebecca and I visited within the Swiss Alps, this German-speaking village was probably our favorite.


A shout out goes to Pius Hofer for providing us these gracious accommodations through Airbnb.

Our little Alpine adventure began here in the upstairs apartment of this charming farmhouse. Even though we were close to the city, we were far enough removed to enjoy the peace and serenity of the Swiss countryside.

This skylight in the livingroom brightened the apartment and offered an amazing view of the surrounding Alps.

We awoke to a light snowfall on our little farm outside Lucerne.

A view of the garden outside our kitchen window.


The view from our balcony was phenomenal!


The historic Chapel Bridge (“Kapellbrücke”) in Lucerne, Switzerland

The Chapel Bridge was built for pedestrians to cross the Reuss River when traveling to and from Lucerne. Having been erected in the year 1333 A.D., this is the oldest surviving wooden bridge in all of Europe. The tower pictured just behind the bridge, pre-dating the structure by about 30 years, has been used as a torture chamber, a prison, and a hold for the town’s treasury.


Rebecca is all bundled up at the Chapel Bridge in Lucerne.


These ancient painting inside the bridge’s interior depict colorful scenes of the local history.


These pictures, taken from inside the Chapel Bridge, reveal Lucerne’s fascinating riverwalk.


A view of the Lucerne on the Reuss River.


Rebecca wore her red boxing gloves just in case we ran into some riffraff along the river.


The tallest structure seen in this photo is the Jesuit Church, opened in 1677.


Medieval Lucerne is full of both Romanesque and Gothic styles of architecture.


Big John poses for a colorful photo at this neo-Rennaissance water fountain .

This fountain, named the Fritschi, was built in 1918 and is said to have been built over the body of a legendary 15th century character. Knowing that, I’m glad I didn’t take any sips of the water.


Inside Kornmarkt (Old Town), Lucerne


Lucerne is one of the major marketplaces for Swiss watches, with dozens of different brands to offer its visitors.


This recently renovated church, St. Peter’s Chapel, was built in the 12th century. It is the oldest place of worship still operating in Lucerne.


The Mr. Pickwick Hotel and Pub offers its guests a fantastic selection of British cuisine and beers.


More of Lucerne’s medieval charm can be seen adorning the walls of the various structures and businesses.


The restaurant, Fritschi, situated in the old town of Lucerne serves traditional Switzerland meals.



Rebecca is all smiles at the Lindt chocolate shop in Lucerne.

This shop boasts a literal wall of flowing chocolate!


Lucerne offers diverse restaurants and pubs for every variety of visitor to its city.


Even Big John, an international man of mystery, sports a scarf from time to time.


The restaurant, Valentino, is housed in the famous “Hotel Linde”. The Italian diner serves its patrons a “special class” of spaghetti and pizza.



Rebecca finds imported Thai food at the Hotel Krone.

So, after exploring the city for a few hours it was nearing lunch and Rebecca and I were famished. While in the Old Town we happened to come across a menu displayed in the window of the Hotel Krone. To our surprise and delight, the hotel restaurant listed both red and green curry on their lunch menu. Anybody that really knows Rebecca, knows how much she loves Thai curry. Without a second thought on the matter, we quickly entered the establishment and found us a seat near the window. The hotel restaurant, although beautifully arranged, was deserted inside with the exception of a single woman working inside of a small kitchen at the back of the room.

Shortly after taking our seats, the woman emerged from the kitchen and took our order. It wasn’t that long after that we observed the same woman exiting through the front doors of the hotel and go scurrying down the street. Rebecca joked that she was probably going to get our food from some place else. I had a good laugh at the thought of it.

Not fifteen minutes later we observed the woman through our window as she returned to the hotel carrying numerous styrofoam containers. The woman reentered the hotel, walked straight through the lobby and disappeared into the kitchen. Shortly thereafter, when she approached our table carrying our hot platters of Thai curry, she hadn’t the faintest look of suspicion on her face. Although the food was a bit pricey, it was very delicious and the atmosphere inside the hotel restaurant was nice, quiet and clean. After enjoying our meal, the only questions in our minds was where had the food come from? It certainly wasn’t prepared in their small kitchen in the back.

Our great mystery didn’t remain unsolved for too long. After finishing our meal at the Hotel Krone we walked just a few hundred feet when we came across the Asian takeaway pictured above. I entered inside and asked the lady working there if she had just prepared an order of Thai curry for the Hotel Krone. The woman smiled, said that she did, and asked how we enjoyed the food. I told her that we enjoyed the food immensely. However, I informed her that the next time we had a craving for Thai food, we would get it directly from the source for a much cheaper price.


The Weinmarkt fountain in the Baroque Square of Lucerne


Rebecca strikes a pose at a Lucerne lamppost.


More photos of the Baroque square in Lucerne.



Big John standing on the steps leading up to the Church of St. Leodegar.

The Church of St. Leodegar is a Roman Catholic Church built from 1633 to 1639 on the foundation of a Roman basilica that had burnt to the ground in 1633. This church was one of the few built north of the Alps during the Thirty Years War and one of the largest  of German late renaissance period.


These fascinating statues, guarding the doors of this church, are just a small part of Lucerne’s medieval charm.



I have no idea what one might find inside of Lucerne’s Ass-Bar!



Despite their ancient appearance, all water fountains in Lucerne are deemed quite safe for drinking.


It wouldn’t be right to travel all the way to Switzerland and not sample as many chocolates as possible.


Lucerne has quite the selection of refreshing ciders and delicious lagers. 

I would recommend the Eichhoff lager even without the cool squirrel imprinted on each can.


I’m so sorry that I missed the wedding of this beautiful couple!


My little “Swiss Miss” is already making friends inside the city!


I just love these old cuckoo clocks and hope to own one someday.


Bucherer stores are located in some of the best-known and most beautiful shopping and downtown areas in Switzerland. The main Bucherer house is located in Lucerne.


This five-star-hotel, the Schweizerhof Luzern, is situated right on the shores of Lake Lucerne and only a stone’s throw from the city centre of Lucerne. It has been managed by the Hauser family for over 150 years. 


The Hotel Chateau Gütsch, pictured on this hilltop above the city, is a 19th century fairy-tale castle.

This grand hotel offers visitors a beautiful view of Lucerne, Lake Lucerne and the alpine mountains of central Switzerland.



Just another example of the beautiful water fountains one might discover while roaming about in Lucerne.



A glimpse of Lucerne’s ancient walls and towers can be seen on the hill pictured in the background.


Rebecca enters through Lucerne’s medieval  city walls.


Big John at the Lion Monument in Lucerne


The Lion Monument, or the Lion of Lucerne, was designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen and hewn from the rock in 1820–21 by Lukas Ahorn. It commemorates the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the height of the French Revolution.


On the busy docks of the scenic Lake Lucerne


Hustle and bustle amidst the splendor of Lucerne, Switzerland


The Reuss River Needle Dam in Lucerne

This picture of the needle dam is probably one of the best pictures I took while visiting Lucerne. If you agree, then I guess I saved the best for last. I hope you enjoyed visiting my post as Rebecca and I explored the medieval city of Lucerne. For more of our adventures in Switzerland, please click on the following link to Zermatt and the Matterhorn. Explore this and much, much more at Big John’s Adventures in Travel!


Happy travels,

Big John

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