Kapellbrücke Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland

After the memorable time we spent on Mount Titlis in the morning of 19th April 2010, we had the rest of the day for leisurely stroll through the city of Lucerne. We then drove around the city.

One of the spots worth photographing and visiting was the Kapellbrücke Chapel Bridge in Lucerne over river Reuss.  Chapel Bridge is the oldest wooden bridge of Europe (1333) which makes Switzerland so rightfully proud of it. In those years it was used as pedestrian’s bridge. And the bridge got its name from nearby St. Peter’s chapel. During its construction it measured 200m. However with time due to river bank getting filled up the length shortened to 170m.

Chapel Bridge in Lucerne
Chapel Bridge in Lucerne

Chapel Bridge in Lucerne

Chapel Bridge is in the heart of Lucerne. It is a symbol of Switzerland’s medieval town. As you approach it you can’t miss the octagonal tower just by the side of the bridge, standing tall and mighty. It was used as prison tower and torture chamber once. Probably it echoed with shrieks and screams of the prisoners then. That day, when we were there, it was so peacefully silent.

Chapel Bridge in Lucerne

Paintings inside Chapel Bridge in Lucerne

Chapel bridge is unique, it is wooden and as I walked over it I felt I heard creaking noises under my feet. My visual senses were engrossed in observing the paintings in the triangular panels above. To appreciate them one has to have good knowledge of the history of Switzerland. However for those who don’t know a mention of date here and some notes give a rough idea of what is being depicted.

Paintings in Chapel Bridge

What amazed me most was the clarity of these 17th century paintings! The paintings are in triangular boards hanging just below the roof of the bridge. The paintings depict events from the history of Lucerne. Some depict present life and death of Lucerne’s patron saint St. Leger and legends of city’s other patron saint St. Maurice. I had a stiff neck by the time I covered the entire 170m stretch, looking up at those 120 marvelous paintings.

Chapel Bridge and Water Tower, Lucerne

Chapel Bridge and Water Tower, Lucerne

Sadly a fire in 1993 damaged the bridge, and many paintings were lost. They reconstructed the bridge. A note there mentioned that the lost paintings were replaced in 2003. However there are some slightly charred paintings which serve as reminder of the fire. I haven’t seen a more interesting bridge before. Have you?

Spreuerbrucke Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland
Snow Topped Mount Titlis

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