Old Town, Lucerne

4.5 out of 5 stars 53 Reviews

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  • Narrow alleyway
    Narrow alleyway
    by leics
  • Variations in masonry in the tower base
    Variations in masonry in the tower base
    by leics
  • Old Town
    by leics
  • TooTallFinn24's Profile Photo

    Exploring the Allstadt

    by TooTallFinn24 Updated Mar 16, 2015

    The old town area of Lucerne is called the Allstadt. It is compact and easily walkable with only the most minor of hills to get the blood pressure moving. The majority of the streets are free of automobile traffic making walking around even more enjoyable. Daily and weekly markets also add color to the area. There are also several small squares that historically were stops on trading routes through the Alps. There are also many nicely adorned guild houses dating back from centuries before.

    What was particularly striking to us was how clean the city was. No trash on the streets and no animal feces were to be found. Made the walk around the Allstadt even more pleasant on a cold November day.

    As with every area there seems to be an over abundance of tacky souvenir shops selling everything from hats, shirts, chocolate and knives. Don't expect a lot of bargains with the swiss franc remaining strong against most world wide currencies.

    Colorful Frescoes In the Allstadt Small Daily Markets Abound Tacky Souvenir Shops Abound in the Alstadt

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    HOTEL DES ALPES - STOP 13

    by balhannah Updated Nov 19, 2014

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    My VT FRIEND, are you getting hungry, I am, so what about finding somewhere beside the River Reuss for lunch?

    We walk along the Rathausquai, alongside the River Reuss, checking out Restaurant's as we go. There are so many to choose from!

    Eventually we settle for the Hotel Des Alpes. There is food on the menu we like, the price isn't bad, and we found a seat under a Umbrella beside the River and with a close view of Chapel Bridge.

    We had Beef Stroganoff which came with vegetables and filled the plate, plus Bread Rolls. It was very nice.
    What a lovely position to sit and enjoy our meal, I just couldn't help myself and had to throw some pieces of bread to the Swans! I think they know they get fed!

    Hotel Des Alpes Where we enjoyed our meal Feeding the Swan's some lunch Beef stroganoff Looking to Hotel Des Alpes
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    FRESCOES - STOP - 9

    by balhannah Updated Nov 19, 2014

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    The old town of Lucerne is just beautiful! It is where you have to walk slowly through the narrow cobblestone laneways remembering to look up as well as look around.
    We saw so many beautiful frescoed buildings and many beautiful wrought iron signs hanging high above the shop entrances. There were little Cafes, we found some more Fountains, interesting shops, and we just generally enjoyed getting lost! It was fun!

    The area is not that big to walk around, so put on those "real" walking shoes, and enjoy!

    Old town walk Old town walk Old town walk Old town walk
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    PFISTERN GUILD HALL - STOP 7

    by balhannah Updated Nov 19, 2014

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    Located in the Kornmarkt is the Pfistern Guildhall. We stood and looked at the amazing fresco on the front of this building.
    It is the Pfistern family Tree, and on the branches are local coats of arms of various families which lived in the city,
    What an amazing piece of work, hard enough to do on paper let alone on the front of a building! The former Guild Hall is now a restaurant serving Swiss specialties.

    Pfistern guildhall
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    STERNENPLATZ - STOP 6

    by balhannah Updated Nov 19, 2014

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    Now we are looking at another detailed fresco on a building close to Restaurant Fritschi.
    This one is very detailed and is even painted under the eaves.
    Next to it, is the Stadkeller music restaurant, and this is where you go to see Swiss Folklore while you eat your meal. Yodelling, Cow bell ringing, Alphorn's, Flag throwing and traditional dress!

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    RESTAURANT FRITSCHI - STOP 5

    by balhannah Updated Nov 19, 2014

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    Just a few steps more and we see the most colourful, funny, medieval frescoe on a Dining establishment.
    Now, this Fresco is a replica, never mind, it still is interesting if you take a closer look.
    The Restaurant is named Fritschi Restaurant, and I wondered if any of the figures in the Fresco, representing the Fritschi Family, who knows! The building has been here since 1602, and it looked to be doing a roaring trade.
    Main courses were priced between 26 - 45 chf.

    Located on Ledergasse, just a little away from Kapellplatz.

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    ST. PETER'S CHAPEL - STOP 3

    by balhannah Updated Nov 19, 2014

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    Next stop, and it's at the oldest Church in Lucerne, which is the small St Peter’s Chapel that was built in 1178, when a Priest was appointed to take care of the population.
    Inside, it was nothing real fancy, but a lovely little Chapel to sit in peace and pray.
    It is located in the Kapellplatz, which was named after St Peter’s and so was the 14th century Chapel Bridge.
    A complete walk around the outside, found an old Mural, and a rather nice wooden door.

    St. Peter St. Peter
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    Painted frontages.....

    by leics Written Jun 30, 2013

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    Lucerne's Altstadt is full of buildings with painted facades. Many (probably most) only date from the 1800s-early 1900s, although painting the front of your building was fashionable in much ealier centuries. I saw many mid-Medieval external frescoes in the 'painted city' of Clusone, Italy, for example....

    Most of Lucerne's painted facades look 'modern' to me (that is, dating from the 1800s onwards) and even if a few were originally older their careful restoration and regular upkeep makes them pretty-much impossible to spot. But, despite all of that, the frescoes do add an interesting element to any wander around the Altstadt.

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    Oriels and shutters and small statues....

    by leics Updated Jun 30, 2013

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    Lucerne's Altstadt, whilst beautifully maintained, still retains sense of times past. The narrow alleyways leading from square to square, the imposing several-storeyed buildings (visible demonstrations of the owner's wealth and power), the painted frontages, the 'many-eyed' roofs ...

    Ignore the modern shops, ignore the clean streets and the pretty buildings and imagine the busy throngs of townspeople, the smells of humans and animals, of waste and baking, of beer and fish.....add some street urchins and stray dogs, some beggars and horses, lots of carts and lots of noise...and you'll have an idea of what once really was.

    Look out for oriel windows...they were a real 'must-have' at one time and have often been 'stuck' onto much older buildings, sometimes looking rather odd.

    Shutters of course: how else to keep out the cold and the wind, and the heat, when no double-glazing existed?

    And there still remain just a few small statues on street corners. Look up....

    Lucerne's Altstadt is lovely but, if you want to see more of its historical reality, you need to look a bit more closely...and always, always look up! :-)

    'Stuck-on' oriel windows Shutters and roofs Narrow alleyway Preserved and exposed very early Medieval window Street-corner statue
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    The Rathaus tower.

    by leics Updated Jun 30, 2013

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    Lucerne's Rathaus was built in the very early 1600s in Italian Renaissance style but i'm pretty sure that it includes part of the earlier building, dating from the 1400s. I haven't been able to find much information about it but the clock tower is, imo, clearly much older than the rest of the Rathaus...and the later building joins the tower in a rather odd way.

    It seems that the first Rathaus was in the Fischmarkt and it was moved to this area in 1447. I would suggest that the existing clocktower, at least its lower parts, is part of that first 15th-century structure. If you look closely you can see where the masonry has been changed and added over the centuries...and the windows at the bottom of the tower are, imo, early Medieval rather than later replicas.

    Other than the town walls and towers, the Rathaus clocktower is the only bit of still-visible early Medieval structure I found in Lucerne's Altstadt, other. All the other old structures are so well maintained that it is difficult to get a valid sense of their age.

    Variations in masonry in the tower base Rathaus clocktower Info plaque
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    Dubbed "Golden Roof"

    by BruceDunning Written Nov 17, 2010

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    Built in 1400's by Archduke Freidrich IV to show the wealth of the gentry. It has 2657 covered copper tiles. In 1500 it was reworked for Maximilian I to serve as a region seat of Government. He used to hang out on the balcony in the main square of the old town section and address the peasants, or make a speech of greatness. Many jousting tournaments were held in the square and the ruling party sat in the boxes on the balcony for good views; of course. Today it houses the Alpine Convention Center offices.

    View of the gold glitter of the tiles
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  • MaheshSamtani's Profile Photo

    LUCERNE - THE OLD TOWN

    by MaheshSamtani Updated Nov 9, 2009

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    Once you finish crossing the chapel bridge you get into the old town which has quite some impressing frescos on different facades in quite some of the picturesque squares of this part of the city. Really impressing. I have posted pictures of different facades that I managed to get and for some reason or another I have the feeling that I must have left out some other very good sights.

    The Weinmarkt
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    Wander About

    by Phalaenopsis03 Updated Jun 11, 2008

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    Don't be afraid to be a tourist and just wander about. Old Town Lucerne attracts visitors from all over the globe and is very pedestrian friendly. It's a lovely city that offers old world charm with modern world sensibilities. Walk alongside the Reuss River and meander through the many squares/plazas. Sit down for a cheese fondue lunch and satisfy your sweet tooth with a handful of Swiss chocolates from the Merkur Chocolaterie. Really, just enjoy yourself and soak in the pristine Swiss air. I did and had a wonderful time.

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    Buildings

    by barbskie Updated Jun 7, 2007

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    The old town is ideal for making a stroll individually. During your walk, you will see some important and interesting historical buildings, squares, narrow streets , beautiful statues and fountains. If you want to know more , join a guided walk.

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    Kapellplatz & St.Peterskapelle

    by globetrott Updated Jan 12, 2007

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    Kapellplatz is a place where all tourists will pass by, but most of them will just rush to Kapellbruecke instead of taking a quick look into St. Peterskapelle and all of the great buildings around of it. That building on my main picture was my favorite with that old tower it used to be a storage-house for wheat and has that interesting gate that you may see on my 4th picture !

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