Our first stop in Switzerland was in Lucerne. We stopped in a store that sells watches and Swiss Army knives. I bought one of the white Swiss Army knives that is exclusive to Switzerland. They did free engraving, which was really nice. I’ve been wanting a two-tone watch for a while now and decided to splash out on one I saw in the store. It’s made by Balmain, which isn’t sold in the US, at least it isn’t as of right now. I figured this was better that getting something like a Tissot which you can buy anywhere. When in Switzerland. . .buy watches!
Afterward, we did some sightseeing in town. Lucerne is beautiful, and the weather was absolutely perfect. We saw the Chapel Bridge, a wooden foot bridge that crosses the Reuss River. It was originally built in 1333 and features painted interior triangle frames that date back to the 17th century and depict events from Lucerne’s history. Unfortunately, in 1993, a fire broke out and destroyed much of the bridge. It was restored in 1994, but only a small number of the paintings could be saved or restored. There are still a few burnt panels as a reminder of the fire.
Next we saw the Lion Monument, which is dedicated to the memory of the Swiss Guards of Louis XVI of France who fell during the French Revolution while defending the royal palace at the Tuileries in Paris on August 10th, 1792. In the sculpture, the lion is mortally wounded, with a broken spear in his shoulder. The lion’s paw rests protectively over a shield bearing the fleur-de-lis of the French monarchy. Beside him is a shield bearing the coat of arms of Switzerland. When the artist completed the original sculpture, there was a dispute with those who had commissioned the work, and he was not paid. In retribution, he carved the outline of a pig around the sculpture, as if he were telling the people who didn’t pay him that they were pigs.