The lakeside medieval town of Lucerne (Luzern) is one of Switzerland’s prettiest destinations, well-deserving of a day’s exploration of its historic sites. A picture-perfect town, its proud symbol is the 14th-century Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke) spanning Lake Lucerne, the beautiful, fourth-largest lake in Switzerland.
Chapel Bridge is 670 feet (204 meters) long and was built in 1333 to protect Lucerne from attacks. It’s the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe. Seventeenth-century paintings line the interior, and the bridge leads to an eight-sided water tower, which has had a history as a prison, torture chamber, watchtower and treasury.
The half-timbered medieval buildings of Lucerne’s Old Town are surrounded by rampart walls and watchtowers. The town’s poignant sculpture of a dying lion is unforgettable, and its Picasso Museum is another must-see.