Perched on the edge of a broad, serene lake and overlooked by the spectacular Mount Pilatus, it is no wonder that Lucerne is a favorite with travelers from around the world. However, while the natural setting is undoubtedly stunning, the man-made Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) remains one of the city's finest attractions.
A symbol of resilience
Chapel Bridge crosses the Reuss River and is one of Switzerland's most popular attractions. Dating back to the 14th century, it is thought to be the oldest wooden bridge in the country. This land-connecting structure is also one of the only bridges that still has old paintings underneath its roof. These 110 paintings were added in the 17th century but then in 1993, disaster struck. In that year a fire tore through a significant section of Chapel Bridge, destroying 85 of the pictures. Within a short time, the structure of the bridge had been repaired but only 25 of the paintings could be restored. However, the story has a positive ending and each year during the carnival season modern paintings are placed in the bridge, reinvigorating it with creative vibrancy.
Connecting the old and new town
The Reuss River divides the city into the old and new towns, connected by the famous wooden bridge. At the southern end of the bridge, you can find the water tower, or Wasserturm. This iconic structure is featured in millions of photos due to its pretty octagonal shape and ancient architecture. It has played many roles in the past including a lighthouse, torture chamber, prison, and treasury. Now you can head there to pick up gifts and souvenirs from the shop inside. Chapel Bridge is one of Lucerne's most enjoyable and satisfying attractions.