Submitted by alvin on Tue, 2016-09-06 11:28 Chapel bridge and water towerAnyone who has seen “Biwi No.1”, “Lagaa Chunri Mein Daag”, and “Magadheera” would definitely recognise Luzern in Switzerland, whose lakes, Chapel Bridge, and Jesuit Church prominently figured in the song sequences of these movies.Being close to Zurich (just an hour's rail journey), Luzern is a quaint little medieval town, one of the most picturesque places in Switzerland. Lying between gentle hillsides, Luzern Lake dominates the town. Being 436 meters above sea level, Luzern has a pleasant temperature most year-round. Built in the early part of the 10th Century, the town of Luzern retains its old world charm even to this day.Part of city centreGaint wheel near Raliway StationAs you come out of the railway station, the first thing you see is the lake and a wooden bridge lying alongside a more modern concrete one. The older bridge, known as Chapel Bridge, is said to be as old as the town. Being part of the town fortifications, this bridge is named after St. Peter's Chapel located nearby. Built of wood, the bridge has a tiled roof. The 17th century paintings found within this bridge illustrate historical scenes.There is a tower attached to this bridge called the Water Tower. Standing 34 metres high, the octagonal tower was built in 1300 AD as part of the town fortifications and was used as archives and treasury. At one point of time, this tower also doubled up as prison and torture chamber! The Chapel Bridge and the Water Tower are the most photographed monuments of Switzerland.Luzern old part of townThe second most important landmark of Luzern is the Lion Monument. Chiselled out of a natural rock in memory of Swiss soldiers who died at Tuileries in 1792, the monument depicts a dying lion which has been hit by an arrow. The face of the lion has been so marvellously crafted that one can actually feel the pain. That's why Mark Twain described the lion of Luzern as "the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world''.Luzern has its boundary the Musegg Wall. This wall, built in 1386 as part of the ramparts of the town, is almost intact even now and has three towers attached to it. One of these towers, the Zyt Tower, hosts the oldest city clock. Built in 1535, this clock is special because it chimes one minute prior to all other city clocks in Luzern!Selfie near the stationThe Hofchurch, which is another place of tourist interest, is the main cathedral of Luzern. In the 8th century, a Benedictine monastery was founded here. However, the church was destroyed in 1633 due to a fire and re-built in 1645. The Hofchurch is the most important Renaissance church in Switzerland and is noted for its facade.Luzern has to be covered by foot, otherwise one cannot enjoy the many attractions its narrow lanes and by-lanes offer. There are a number of shops which sell souvenirs and the most popular one is the Swiss Cow-bell. The city square is quite beautiful and has historical buildings which include the Town Hall. Built between l602 and l606 in Italian style, this hall is one of the tourist attractions. The open arcades of the Town Hall which face the water front were once used as weekly market place.Lion monumentView of Swiss alps from train The most attractive place in Luzern is the lake itself, which offers many water sports. There are cruises along the lake where one can see many beautiful Swiss villages. The Alps, situated at a distance, add to the picture-postcard quality of the scene. We took a leisurely walk along the banks of the lake and fed the ducks that have made the lake their home.The famous Mount Pilatus is close to Luzern and is very popular with Indian tourists. An aerial cable car takes the tourists to the top of the mountain. There is also a steep railway line that can be used to go up. During summer months, tourists take a boat from Luzern Lake to a place called Alpnachstad, take the Cogwheel railway to the top of the mountains and come down by the cable car and take a bus back to Luzern.Luzern is a must-see place in Switzerland.