When we visit a new country, we usually see interesting places that are frequented by tourists. Very few visit those untrodden paths, things of beauty that are right before our eyes, but we somehow fail to see them in that light. One of them is the beautiful bridges of a city or town. Kapellbruch Bridge Or Chapel Bridge, as it is popularly called, is one such grand bridge. The enchanting beauty of this bridge located in Lucerne, Switzerland attracts tourists from far and wide these days.
Kappelbruck Bridge Facts
This beautiful looking bridge is a wooden pedestrian bridge, spanning the River Reuss in the city of Lucerne. The bridge was named after St. Peter’s Chapel, which is nearby. This bridge is one of the oldest in all of Europe as it was built in 1333. The bridge, which was originally over 200 meters long, however became shorter over time, and now stands at only 170 metres, as the bank was refilled from time to time. This bridge was built to connect the old city with the new city. The Lucerne Chapel Bridge painting is another reason why it is unique.
This may be one of the few bridges in the world where paintings can be found under the ceiling. It was painted by a local painter named Hans Heinrich Wagmann and featured events from Lucerne history books as well as Lucerne’s patron saints, St. Leger and St. Maurice. An unfortunate incident, a fire on the bridge in 1993, destroyed most of the paintings.
If you want to see these paintings, which are lined up in triangular wooden blocks across the entire bridge, you will have to avoid visiting it from late January to early February, as those are carnival days, and all the old paintings are carnivals. With modern people with theme. Yet another landmark is the Water Tower, and it literally stands on water. This tower was earlier a prison but is now used as a club room and that is why it is not open to the public. What makes the Chapel Bridge more attractive are the colorful flowers blooming on both sides of the bridge.
5 Best Things to Do near Kapellbruck Bridge
Of course, the first thing you need to do when you are at Chapel Bridge is to walk across its length and admire the old paintings that were created through fire. Standing on top of the bridge and looking at your reflection in the River Reuss gives you great peace and solitude. But, these are not the only things you can do. There are many interesting things to see near this impressive bridge.
1. Old City
Lucerne’s old town, called the Altstadt, is a charming little place to visit. Just across Chapel Bridge from the new part of town, it’s beautiful and full of lots of little things you’ll see along the way. And appreciate. One of the most striking features of the old town are its buildings, which exude old-world charm with their ornate decorations and colorful frescoes. You will see this trend throughout the Old Town. Another feature is the boulevard of the old town, which runs right between the Chapel Bridge and the City Hall. A strip along the River Reis, it is full of restaurants, quaint and has one of the best views of the river. What more could one ask for!
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2. St. Peter’s Chapel
This is where Chapel Bridge got its name. It is right next to the bridge in the Old Town in Lucerne, Switzerland and has stood there for several centuries. Made mainly of marble, it is a Baroque style chapel and is also attractive. There are some interesting pieces of art on the exterior walls of the church that art lovers will really appreciate. An alabaster carving of the Mount of Olives, a fresco by Brother Klaus dating from the late 19th century, and a painting of Saint Christopher from the early 20th century also cover the exterior of this chapel. This background also makes for some great photos; Memories you can take back home. You can also pray in complete peace in this lovely little church. It’s a place worth seeing while you’re on the bridge.
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3. Old Town Towers
The Wall of Lucerne and its nine towers stand high in the Old Town and are very close to the Chapel Bridge. Only four of the nine are open to the public in the months of April to November. The Museg Wall and the Manly, Zite, Watch and Shimmer Towers offer a commanding view of the Ses River and its bay area as well as the charming city. It is truly a sight to behold. But, the interesting thing about these nine towers is that each of them is unique from each other, in the way they were or were being used. While two of the towers were used to store gunpowder in the old days, some of the towers are used by various guilds nowadays.
One of the most interesting towers is the Zite Tower, which houses an exhibition of historical clocks from the late Middle Ages to the 20th century. These were watches that were actually made in this city and there are charts showing how these watches evolved over the years. The facts and exhibits are fascinating in themselves! One of the other towers, Lewisland Tower, once served as a watchtower. Even now, you can see a weathercock pointing up, left to right, on the roof and it is the tallest of all the towers.
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4. Needle Dam
Just five minutes away from Chapel Bridge is another bridge called Sprayer Bridge. This is where you will see the last of these types of dams which are called needle dams. It’s an interesting piece of engineering and you’ll be glad you didn’t really miss it. This dam was built between 1859 and 1861 and is also known as Rees Weir. Believe it or not, but the water level in the city is still controlled by removing or inserting these wooden needles that hold the dam together, and it’s all done manually. If you see men out there leveling the water entering the city, consider yourself really lucky!
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5. Town Hall
It is a kind of cultural monument in this part of the city and you can see it in all its glory when you stand on the Chapel Bridge. But, the Town Hall is definitely worth a visit. It was built between 1602 and 1606 by an Italian architect named Anton Isenmann and that is why it has the look and feel of the Italian Renaissance. What was once a trading hall is now used for exhibitions and concerts. The coffered ceilings, paintings and everything about this place is very grand and takes you back to the Renaissance period of grandeur and rich art forms. Part of the town hall is now also used for weddings, as the registry is also located there. The most interesting part is in the attic, which is the pigeon house, where pigeons are reared. It is open to the public, where you can watch this gentle bird going about its daily routine from a distance. There is also an exhibit that focuses on these birds; Their behavior and history.
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As far as the Kappelbruck Bridge is concerned, these attractive places surround it and all of them are worth visiting. But, Lucerne is not just about the Chapel Bridge. Explore the promenade of Lake Lucerne or visit the weekly market in the Old Town. There are lots of things to do here. So, plan a trip to Switzerland and enjoy all the soothing sensations of this place with your loved ones!
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