There are many things in and about Lucerne to engage the interest of a visitor. One of the first in its appeal, especially to the reader of history, is the Lion of Lucerne, which is to be found in an attractive little park in the City. The lion was hewn out of a natural rock by the Danish sculptor Thorwaldsen, and it celebrates the Swiss guard of 760 soldiers who, with their officers, fell defending the Tuileries in August 1792. The heroic figure of the dying lion lies outstretched with a broken lance in his body, his paw sheltering the lily, the symbol of the Bourbon family.
The Lake of Lucerne, also known as the “Lake of the Four Forest Cantons” offers some of the most beautiful views in Switzerland. The scenery on its four branches is varied and full of surprises. A boat trip around the lake is a day of delight that no one will ever forget. In the course of that trip, you will be introduced to many of Switzerland’s star features. There on one side, the Rigi rises into the sky; on another, stately Mount Pilatus; and, as you go along, the distant hills grow more prominent, and you are introduced to the Wetterhorn and the Jungfrau. Rigi and Pilatus are strikingly contrasted; Pilatus with rugged peaks, usually cloud enwrapped, and Rigi covered with orchards, woods, and pastures.
The station of Tellsplatte is an interesting spot to visit. There is a small chapel, on a ledge of rock, built in celebration of William Tell. It marks the place where, according to tradition, Tell leapt from Gessler’s boat. Here, along the lake, runs one of the most famous roads of the world, the Axenstrasse, in some places hewn out of solid rock.
Switzerland has its romance as well as its splendid scenery, and its romance has been celebrated many times in prose and verse. Usually, however, the mind of the visitor is absorbed in contemplation of the fantastic wonders of Nature. Inaccessible points are reached by elevators or stairways. The imposing walls of rock are tunnelled through for roads and rail.