Spreuer Brücke - Spreuer Bridge, Lucerne
Although I greatly value the time, effort and money put into re-creating the Kapellbrueckke bridge after the 1993 fire, I was much more taken with the Spreuerbrueckke, which survives in its original entirety.
A wooden bridge crossed the Reuss at this point from the 1300s onwards, but the one built in the 1408 was washed away by floods in 1566. So whilst the Spreuerbruekke ('mill bridge') bridge is not as old as the original Kapellbruekke, it is *much* older than the Kapellbruekke which exists today.
The triangular roof panels of the Spreuerbruecke date from 1616-1637 and depict the 'Dance of Death', a motif commonly-seen in across Europe in Medieval churches and both religious and secular artwork. They were created under the guidance of the painter Caspar Meglinger and each has the name of the donor painted at its base. There were originally 67 painitngs: 45 still survive.
The purpose of the 'Dance of Death' is to remind each and every one of us that we cannot escape Death's clutches, whether rich or poor, religious or profane, saint or sinner. And those paintings certainly would have reminded those who crossed the river in the 1600s, just as they do today!
There is a tiny, red-painted shrine about halfway across the bridge..obviously still much-loved an cared-for.
I liked the Spreuerbruekke very much and spent a goodly amount of time enjoying each and every painting. For me, it was much more of a Lucerne highlight than the Kapellbruekke...but you might feel differently. :-)
Pictures by Kaspar Meglinger depicting the Totentanz (Dance of Death) feature under the wooden roof of Spreuer Bruecke which can easily be seen spanning the River Reuss not too far along from Kapellbruecke. It is a smaller bridge but very similar in design to Kapellbruecke and the pictures, though a little sombre are well worth a look. They feature the Grim Reaper inviting us to dance with him, which loosely translated is an invitation to death. There are 67 paintings in all and they can be dated to 1626 - 1635.
There is a small chapel on the bridge which was built at the time of the rebuilding of the original bridge which was destroyed in a storm in 1566.
The interior walkway of the Spreurbrucke Brudge is a sight in itself. The unique little red chapel, added in 1568, can be seen protruding from the side of the bridge but is closed to the public. However you can see a side altar which opens out onto the walkway and houses several statues including one of the Virgin Mary and Child.
Like the Kapellbrucke the bridge has a series of paintings by Caspar Meglinger depicting scenes from the Plague. The series, created in the 17th century, is entitled 'The Dance of Death' and was created in 17th century and show the figure of Death in various scenes. What makes the collection even more impressive is that they are all original.
The walkway of the Spreurbrucke is more angular than Kapellbrucke and zigzags across the river adding to the uniqueness of the bridge. Dare I say it, but I think I prefer this bridge than Kapellbrucke! Ther's something more medieval and private about this bridge which is lacking with the constantly busy Kapellbrucke.
The lesser known of Lucerne's two covered bridges, The Spreurbrucke is also a unique and beautiful construction which crosses the River Reuss but further down the river than Kapellbrucke.
The bridge is smaller but unlike the fire damaged and reconstructed Kapellbrucke, the bridge's structure is original, dating from 1408, as are the paintings which, like the Kapellbrucke, line the gables under the roof of the bridge.
While the Spreurbruke doesn't have the wondeful Water Tower that accompanies the Kapellbrucke, it does have its' own unique, red coloured tower which protrudes from the side of the bridge. This tower is in fact a little chapel, which was added to the bridge in 1568.
From the bridge you get a wonderful view down the river towards the lake, past the 'Spike' wier and along the waterfront.
The Spruerbrucke is now the oldest covered bridge in Europe and Lucerne's oldest bridge due to the distruction of the kapellbrucke in 1993.
This wooden bridge is probably the best known of Luzern. Inside the roof you will find pictures that was made a few hundred years ago.
It is really great to walk on this bridge and to see the pictures. You will have a different view on the city.
Spreuerbruecke is the name of the 2nd medieval wooden bridge in Luzern, about 300 meters back from the much more famous Kapellbruecke. Spreuerbruecke was built in 1400 as a part of the outer fortification of the city of Luzern and the name comes from the mills that were closeby in medieval times.In 1566 it had to be rebuilt after some floods that had taken the bridge away. Spreuerbruecke is a lot smaller than Kapellbruecke but it also has a great series of paintings under the roof : "Totentanz" (dance of death) is the name of that series of paintings made by Kaspar Meglinger 1626-1635. Instead of the Wasserturm you ill see just a tiny tower attached to the bridge and inside of this tiny tower is an altar.
Many people likely see the Chapel Bridge, but miss the "other" one. That is a shame, as this bridge offers a good walk and is very attractive when viewed from the city wall towers. The water swiftly passes beneath this bridge. Like the Chapel Bridge, this one is only for pedestrians. It has paintings in the ceilings devoted to the "Dance of Death". There is also what appears to be a very small chapel within the bridge itself. When walking from the train station, the Chapel Bridge will be encountered first. Then, there will be a more modern bridge with metal railing. After that, the Spreuerbrucke will come into view.
Downriver from the Chapel Bridge, the Spreuerbrücke or Mill Bridge zigzags across the Reuss.
Actually, this bridge was closer to my hotel so I used it more often to go across to the historic district than its older brother, the Kapellbrücke bridge.
This ancient covered bridge, which was constructed in 1408 (75 years after Kapellbrücke), is very similar to it older brother. Originally, it connected Mühlenplatz (the town mills) and Pfistergasse (the baker’s quarter). Spreuerbrücke also served as part of the city fortification. In medieval Lucerne it was the lowest bridge and the only one where people were allowed to throw wheat chaff (Spreu) into the river.
An additional treasure, the bridge features a series of medieval-style 17th Century plague 'The Black Death' paintings by Gaspar Meglinger which are titled “Dance of Death”. The theme is that it does not matter who you are---man and woman, child, priest, warrior, prince, wiseman, a young bride, a devout nun, a lawmaker, a hunter, a craftsman, everyone---you were at the mercy of the Plague, at the mercy of Death itself. These pictures help remind us of how fragile human life can be to the many forces of nature.
This nice bridge also has a small chapel in the middle, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, which was added in 1568.
Under the bridge roof are more than 100 panels, each of them depicting a significant moment of Lucerne history. They were painted in 1614 by Waegmann and have as main theme the protector saint Leodgard and Maurice. Due to the 1993 fire only a part of them could be restored, while 65 are now lost forever.
Downstream of the river Reuss, the Spreuerbrucke is a smaller version of Kapellbrucke, the river being narrower at this location and the bridge being less used for crossing. Spreuerbrucke is worth a look for its macabre Dance of Death roof panels. These begin at the northern bankside with a little verse: "All living things that fly or leap / Or crawl or swim or run or creep / Fear Death, yet can they find no spot / In all the world where Death is not". The succession of images shows a grinning skeleton leading kings, gallant princes, lawmen, nuns, merchants, prostitutes, peasants and maidens alike to their inevitable fate. The final panel, predictably enough, shows a majestic Christ vanquishing bony Death.
'Spreu' is a German word and means 'chaff'. Wheat was seperated from the chaff and the chaff was thrown into the water from this bridge and that's where it got it's name from. Building of the bridge was already finished in 1408 and like on the Kapellbrücke, you will also find on the Spreuer Bridge paintings. They show the Dance of Death.
The Spreürbrucke or Mill Bridge is another nice place to walk crossing the riverside.It was built on 1,877.From here there is a very nice view of river and Lucerne's Old town aswell.
As you can see on my picture on top of bridge's ceilings there are lots of nice paintings,well they are a little bit grotesque and shows some portraits of death,skeletons,battles,blood etc. but all these pictures were made on that date.In Chapel Bridge you'll find also these sort of paintings on the covered ceiling but mostly of them were make after the restoration.
Notice.....If you have got phobia to spiders,then is better that you use the other bridge!!!.Here you'll find lots of them hanging on the wood ceiling!. :-)
The Spreuerbrücke is also worth a look for its macabre “Dance of Death” roof panels. These begin at the northern bankside with a little verse:
All living things that fly or leap
Or crawl or swim or run or creep
Fear Death, yet can they find no spot
In all the world where Death is not.
The succession of images shows a grinning skeleton leading kings, gallant princes, lawmen, nuns, merchants, prostitutes, peasants and maidens alike to their inevitable fate. The final panel, predictably enough, shows a majestic Christ vanquishing bony Death.
Was completed in 1408 as a part of the city fortifications. Between 1626 and 1635 Kaspar Meglinger added 67 paintings that represent the "Dance of Death". Called the Spreuerbrucke because the chaffts of wheat were thrown in the river here.
The Spreuerbrücke is the city's Mills bridge. It's an old covered wooden bridge located by the water spikes on the Reuss river - and somewhat similar to the more famous chapel bridge in terms of architecture. The Spreuerbrücke, however, is much shorter. It was built in 1407 and restored in the 19th century. There are many gables in the bridge, and they are painted with the Dance of Death, a mural by Kaspar Meglinger (17th century) to commemorate the people who, at that time, were swept away by the plague.