Monday, July 13, 2009


Luzern is somewhere close to paradise. In the 14th Century, it helped lead central Switzerland to independence from the Hapsburgs. Today, with good reason, it is a popular tourist destination.

Behind the town is the 7000 foot Pilatus.

The posh waterfront.

The KKL, or Culture and Congress Centre, was designed by Jean Nouvel, and opened in 1998.

Carved into the limestone in 1821-1822, the Lion Monument commemorates the Swiss mercenaries who died in the service of the French King Louis XVI, including those killed in the French Revolution. At the time of the French Revolution, mercenary work was considered a respectable trade by the Swiss, and 40,000 of them were serving in foreign militaries.

The Glacier Garden is a modern museum on the site of some impressive remnants from the last ice age.

These striated rock formations were carved by the flowing ice. Some of the boulders weigh tons, and were carried from many miles away, being smoothed and rounded as they were tumbled by the ice and water.

Fossils embedded in rocks.

Melting water would seep through cracks in the glaciers, and flow underneath, gathering sand and pebbles, the pressure from the ice pack creating vortices with velocities of well over a hundred miles an hour, which carved these potholes in but a few years.

The museum itself is inside the 19th Century Amrein home.

Modern displays, such as this one, explain geological and archeological evolution.

On the boat to Vitznau, and the 4230 foot Rigi.

Some views from Rigi.

Back in town, the Kapellbrücke was built in 1333, but much of it was meticulously reconstructed and restored after a 1993 fire.

The old town.

The Spreuerbrücke was built in 1408, and has interior paintings by Kaspar Meglinger, from 1635. The two foot bridges over the Reuss River connect the old town center to the larger modern town.

The Rosengart Collection is a museum containing the marvelous modern art accumulated by father-and-daughter art dealers Siegfried and Angela Rosengart. Among its many works are over 125 by Paul Klee (many quite small, and brilliantly detailed) and nearly 50 by Pablo Picasso (including some very dramatic late pieces).

On Pilatus.

This is me. Um. Behind the camera. Taking the picture of the guy up in the air...

Back in town.

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