10 Facts about Chapel Bridge and Things to Do On Your Visit

10 Facts about Chapel Bridge and Things to Do On Your Visit | CIO Women Magazine

Source- ©Christian Bieri – stock.adobe

There is more to Switzerland than icy mountains and delicious chocolates. Take Chapel Bridge, for example. Named after the nearby St. Peter Chapel, the bridge is one of the Major tourist attractions in Lucerne City. It is Switzerland’s one of the oldest wooden bridges that connects the old town to the new town.

As you are strolling the bridge, one thing that instantly catches your eyes are the historical paintings from the 17th century, as they give you a quick glimpse into the history of the bridge.

A small part of the bridge’s history also includes tragedies. A major one was the 1993 fire that destroyed the bridge and its valuable belongings such as the paintings. While the incident hurt its legacy, it also caught major attention from tourists globally. But should you really visit it? Let’s find out.

Historical Significance

The rich history of Chapel Bridge can be traced back to the 14th century. The bridge was built in 1360 and remains the longest surviving truss bridge in the world. Surprisingly, a major landmark of the bridge, the water tower is even older than the bridge itself and was built 30 years before the Chapel Bridge.

The water tower was used as a prison and a torture chamber before getting used as the town’s treasury and municipal archive. Currently, although you can witness the water tower on your visit to the bridge, you can’t enter it as it is closed to the public.

10 Facts about Chapel Bridge;

1. Architecture

The bridge is famous for its beautifully crafted wooden architecture and distinct covered style.

2. Oldest Covered Wooden Bridge

The Chapel is the world’s oldest covered wooden bridge.

3. The Bridge Used to be Longer

So, how long is the chapel bridge? Well, at the start, the bridge was 270 meters long. Later, the number of shortenings and bank replenishments made a difference and it has now become 204.7 meters long.

4. The Paintings

The historic paintings were painted on spruce wooden boards during the counter-reformation of the 17th century by the artist Hans Heinrich Wägmann.

10 Facts about Chapel Bridge and Things to Do On Your Visit | CIO Women Magazine
Source – © Joe Daniel Price

5. Sponsor of Paintings

The paintings were sponsored by the city council members, who after sponsoring a panel were allowed to attribute their coat of arms to it. To understand the paintings better, one can always refer to the explanations printed below the painting.

6. Chapel Bridge Fire

The midnight fire tragedy burned more than two-thirds of the paintings. While 47 total paintings were collected, only 30 were completely restored.

7. Other Restorations

After the fire, only the pillars, bridgeheads, and the water tower could be saved. It took a whole year for the entire bridge to get completely restored.

8. Most Picturesque

Chapel Bridge in Lucerne is the most photographed destination, adored by both tourists and locals.

9. Keeping an Eye on the Paintings

To protect the paintings from theft and vandalism, the city employed a watchman in 1726. This was after some incidents where people visited the bridge at midnight and tried to damage the paintings.

10. It’s a 1/3 Wooden Bridge in the city

That’s right. The Chapel is not the only wooden bridge in Lucerne, it’s one of the three bridges. One bridge was a 14th-century Hofbrücke, and the other is the 16th-century Spreuerbrücke. While the Hofbrücke was destroyed, the other two remain to this day.

Top Sights in Chapel Bridge;

Here are the top sights to visit in Lucerne on your trip:

1. Swiss Museum of Transport

Opened in July 1959, the museum showcases a variety of transport modes such as trains, ships, automobiles, and aircraft. In addition, the museum also has a large collection of work by Hans Erni, a local painter and sculptor.

2. Spreuerbrücke

Previously known as Mühlenbrücke, Spreuerbrücke is one of the two wooden covered bridges in Lucerne. It was initially built to connect mills on the right side of the Reuss with the ones at the center of the river.

3. Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre

The Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre building, along with its concert hall is well known for its high level of acoustic abilities. The credit for the architectural work goes to Jean Nouvel. The center was inaugurated in 1998 with a concert of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Claudio Abbado.

4. Lion Monument

Lion Monument is one of the most famous monuments in Switzerland situated on a hill outside the old city. The monument commemorates the Swiss Guards who were killed in 1792 during the French Revolution. In recent times, the monument has also been at the center of controversies, for varied reasons.

5. Church of St. Leodegar

From Switzerland’s Renaissance period, the church of St. Leodegar is one of the prime examples of Church building. However, it wasn’t built in one attempt. The church was constructed in parts from 1633 to 1639, and it is one of the few churches built during the Thirty Years War on the northern Alps.

10 Facts about Chapel Bridge and Things to Do On Your Visit | CIO Women Magazine
Source – httpsen.wikipedia.org

8 Dishes You Must Try in Lucerne;

1. Cheese Fondue

You can’t talk about Swiss food without mentioning fondue. The dish is made with melted Gruyere and Emmental Cheeses and served in a hot pot over a small flame and savored with bread and veggies of different sorts. During the cold weather of Switzerland, the dish provides much-needed warmth.

2. Alplermagronen

The dish is also known as an Alpine Macaroni or Herdsman’s Macaroni and includes ingredients such as cheese sauce, chopped potatoes, bacon, caramelized onions and apples, and of course, macaroni. In the early days, Alplermagronen was originally cooked with ingredients that were available to the herdsmen who looked after the alpine pastures.

3. Heissi Merroni

The dish is essentially hot Roasted Chestnuts, and it is exclusively available in the winter season. You will find Heissi Merroni packets being sold in the stands near the chapel bridge and also in other places in Lucerne.

4. Rosti

If you’re a potato lover, then you must check out this dish Rosti. This side dish is made with grated potatoes that are shaped like pancakes and further pan-fried to a crisp finish. People usually pair it up with cheese, onions, and fried eggs.

5. Chügelipastete

This historical meat pie is a famous dish of Lucerne that has been savored since the 18th century. It contains ornate, a puffy pastry filled with creamy sauce, veal and sausage meat, and mushrooms. Ideally, the dish is consumed as comfort food and can be easily found in most restaurants in Lucerne.

6. Zuppa Di Zucca

Zuppa Di Zucca is a pumpkin soup perfect for the chilly winter weather. If you are looking to try out some local dishes of Lucerne, then put this on your priority list. The soup is usually slurped alongside bacon and toast.

7. Luzerner Lebkuchen

It’s a gingerbread cake available at Lucerne’s Lake area. What makes Luzerner Lebkuchen’s flavor unique is the use of Pear Syrup, over the traditionally used ingredient of honey. If you’re in the city for your Christmas holidays, then this cake is a must-have.

8. Swiss Chocolate

You didn’t think the foods in Switzerland list was going to end without the Swiss chocolates, did you? The unwritten rule says that one must not leave Switzerland without your favorite Swiss chocolates. The ever-evolving Swiss chocolates are famous for their quality and distinct flavors all around the world.

Is Lucerne Worth Visiting?

While Chapel Bridge as the most attractive tourist destination, the city of Lucerne also has other things for the enjoyment of visitors. From its mountain surroundings or lake views to the local cuisine and historic monuments, the city exhibits a distinct vibe right at the center of Switzerland, attracting tourists from across the globe.

Also read: All You Need to Know before visiting Eiffel Tower in Paris



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