Enjoy “history with a view” amid the natural beautyof Lake Lucerne from Europe’s oldest covered bridge.
Chapel Bridgeis located in the heart of Lucerne and serves as a symbol of Switzerland’smedieval town. Also referred to as Kapellbrücke, the bridge is named afternearby St. Peter’s Chapel. The bridge is famed as an architecturalmasterpiece, because of its wood construction and iconic covered style. It isthe oldest covered bridge in Europe, dating back to the 14th century.
Spanning 670 feet (204 meters), the bridge connects Old Town toNew Town and allows only foot traffic. This makes it the perfect spot toleisurely admire its scenic setting and historic murals.
Chapel Bridgeis located at the mouth of the Reuss River. Stand on one side of the bridge tolook out over the river and turn to the other to admire Lake Lucerne. Thevantage point is impressive from any angle: mountains tower behind the ancientcity, their snow-capped peaks contrasting with the clear blue water of thelake. The scene is especially picturesque at sunset. Have your camera readyaround dusk and find a spot along the railing before the bridge fills withother visitors.
With suchstriking scenery surrounding you, make sure you remember to look up. ChapelBridge is famous for its vast collection of historic paintings tucked into thearchitecture. Dating back to the 17th century, the artwork displays scenes fromLucerne’s past. If you need a Swiss history lesson, don’t worry; explanationsare printed beneath each painting.
The bridge leads to the Water Tower, an octagonal structure that hadmany uses throughout time, serving as a torture chamber and prison forcenturies. Today, it is considered to be the symbol of Lucerne and houses asmall gift shop.
In 1993, a fire tore across Chapel Bridge and destroyed two-thirds ofthe structure and many of the original paintings. The bridge was quicklyrestored to look exactly as it did in the 14th century. A number of the savedpaintings were restored; be sure to keep your eye out for a few charredportraits as well, which historians left to remind visitors of the fire.