You can start the virtual stroll at the place of your choice by selecting a key location from the list below.
As you leave the train station, pass under the arch of the Torbogen, cross the street and you will arrive at the platform where the piers for the various cruises on Lake Lucerne line up. On your left, you can see the Wasserturm in the distance, which stands along the Kapellbrücke, the famous wooden bridge that has become Lucerne's emblem.
Bahnhofstrasse Quay
The Kapellbrücke, the undisputed star of Lucerne, is obviously a magnet for all visitors, and when we took pictures in mid-August 2022, the omnipresent crowds did not allow us to shoot panoramas from the bridge. Instead, we show you the most beautiful views from the outside.
Hirschenplatz (1)
In the past, a "Stag Hotel" (Hotel Hirschen) stood on this square. The hotel has disappeared, but it left its name to the square, which is surrounded by old houses with richly painted facades that are of course protected historical buildings.
Hirschenplatz (2)
Here we are on the north side of the square and the view is southwards, with the alleyway leading to Kornmarktgasse on the left. On our right is the Rössligasse with a house at the entrance where Goethe stayed when he passed through Lucerne on his way to the Gotthard and Italy. Our virtual stroll will now jump 200 m further to the Reuss river to show you the second wooden bridge of Lucerne...
Kleinwasserkraftwerk Mühlenplatz
Like Geneva, Thun and Zurich, Lucerne is a city situated on the outflow of a lake, which makes it possible to use water power thanks to the relatively small differences in water level. As early as the 12th century, there were mills here, which were replaced by turbines at the end of the 19th century. The mechanical energy produced was used by small craftsmen. Since 1926, the power station has been producing electricity and nowadays it supplies about 1000 households with green electricity.
The Kornmarkt, bordered by the town hall and its tower, is a good starting point to discover the old town. Our virtual stroll will show you just a few aspects of it. To the east, we will skip 200 metres and show you a view of the Sternenplatz. To the west, we'll go through a few alleys to get to the Hirschenplatz.
Kornmarkt Stairway
Here we are at the top of the stairs that connect the City Hall footbridge to the Kornmarkt, the grain market square. Let's have a look at the decorated facades before continuing the walk!
To get to Hirschenplatz, take the Kornmarktgasse northwest of the grain market square (Kornmarkt, to which this panorama is directed) and take the first alley on the right (i.e. on the left of the panorama).
The Nadelwehr regulates the flow of Lake Lucerne and powers the small power station at Mühlenplatz. It is one of the few dams of this type to have been preserved in its historic state. While dams on large rivers have been replaced by semi- or fully automatic mechanical devices, this one continues to be adjusted to the water level as before. In the event of large quantities of water due to storms, the opening of the dam has to be enlarged by four or five men equipped with hook-shaped "Zäppis", which pull out part of the 175 3.5-metre long needles.
Passage to Steuerbrücke
To discover the Steuerbrücke, Lucerne's second wooden bridge, cross this arched passage, which opens onto Pfistergasse, right next to the Historical Museum of the Canton of Lucerne.
The Town Hall Footbridge (Rathaussteg) leads to the right bank of the Reuss, with the Kapellbrücke being seen from various angles. At the other end, it joins a quay lined with numerous cafés and restaurants and the stairs that lead up to the picturesque Kornmarkt square.
Reusssteg (1)
We are here on the left bank of the Reuss river. Downstream, we see the old wooden bridge Spreuerbrücke and, in the distance, some of the 9 towers that dominate the Musegg ramparts, the old fortifications of the city built around 1400.
Reusssteg (2)
For about 100 metres, the Reuss is divided into two branches by the dam shown here, which channels some of its water to supply the small power station on the right bank next to the Spreuerbrücke. In the event of heavy rainfall, the flow of the river is controlled by the Nadelwehr, a needle dam which can be seen upstream.
The Seebrücke ("Lake Bridge") crosses the Reuss River and offers superb views of the Kapellbrücke. The Reuss flows from springs in Gotthard and Furka into Lake Lucerne near Altdorf (Uri), through the entire lake and out again here, then northwards into the Aare near Brugg (Aargau).
This tiny square is one of the most picturesque in Lucerne's old town. Be sure to check out the painted facades! And if you feel like diving into a very Swiss atmosphere, try the Stadtkeller. It's a touristy restaurant, with some quite popular folklore shows.
In front of Lucerne's railway station stands a strange arch that never fails to surprise. Some consider it to be a postmodern work, others consider it to be an error of taste. In fact, it is a remnant of the old station, which was inaugurated in 1869 and burned down in 1971. The people of Lucerne wanted to preserve it by erecting it in the middle of the square...
Unter der Egg
The Town Hall Footbridge (Rathaussteg) gives access to the right bank of the Reuss, a long quay lined with cafés and restaurants, which offers beautiful views of the river and the Kapellbrücke. Opposite the footbridge, a ramp of stairs leads up to the grain market square (Kornmarkt), from where our stroll takes you to discover some aspects of the old town.
View to Kapellbrücke
View of Kapellbrücke from Rathaussteg (Townhall Footbridge). Kapellbrücke is the oldest and, after the Bad Säckingen (D) one, the longest covered wooden bridge in Europe. Built in 1333, it was partially destroyed by fire in 1993. It has been rebuilt to its original state and features oil-painted triangular panels in the roof structure dating from the 17th century, depicting major events in Swiss history.
View to Spreuerbrücke
The Straw Bridge (Spreuerbrücke) is the second wooden bridge in Lucerne, built around 1408. It takes its name from the straw that the mills used to throw into the river. A third wooden bridge once existed but was dismantled in the 19th century. Like the Kapellbrücke, the Spreuerbrücke is a must for visitors to Lucerne and the crowds of tourists did not allow us to shoot any panoramas.
In the middle of the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke) stands the Water Tower (Wasserturm), which once housed the town's archives and valuables, but was also used as a prison and torture chamber. The tower is not open to the public (except for organised tours) but can be hired out for events.
The Pictorial Guides

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