The Lion Monument in Lucerne , the most sentimental of Swiss Monuments, commerates the Swiss mercenaries who, serving the French King Louis XVI, lost their lives during the French Revolution at the Tuileries Palace in Paris . Many were killed during the invasion of the Tuileries on the 10th August 1792 while others were guillotined on the 2nd and 3rd September 1792. The inscription above the Lion reads "Helvetiorum fedei ac Virtuti" which translates as "To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss." A fitting tribute.
Carved into the cliff face, the monument measures a staggering 10 meters in length and and six meters in height. Captain Carl Pfyffer von Altishofen commissioned the Lion Monument which, in turn, was designed by the Danish classicist sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsenwhilst in Rome in 1819. Lucas Ahorn, a stone-mason from Constance in modern day Germany, carved the sculpture out of the limestone cliff face in 1820 and 1821.
At the time of the French Revolution, Swiss Mercenaries, along with agriculture and town-crafts, were an important and gainful trade during the Ancien Regime as a whole with as many as 40,000 serving under foreign banners when the French Revolution started in 1789.
The Monument was inaugurated on the 10th August 1821 and was purchased by the town of Lucerne in 1882.
Lucerne - 7 things not to miss - What not to miss in Lucerne
Lucerne - getting around - How to get around Lucerne in central Switzerland
Lucerne - getting there - How to Lucerne in central Switzerland
Switzerland - places not to miss - Sixteen places not to miss around Switzerland
Zürich - day trips out of town - Suggested day trips and excursions from Zurich
Lucerne - Water tower and bridges - Water tower and bridges across the River Ruess in the Luzerner Old Town
Lucerne - Chapel Bridge across the Ruess River - View of Kappelbrüke in Lucerne with the Hofkirche in the background
Luzerner Fasnacht 2010 - a band playing in the Old Town - Luzerner Fasnacht 2010 in pictures and video clips
Luzerner Fasnacht 2010 - band playing in an Old Town Square - Luzerner Fasnacht 2010 in pictures and video clips
Luzerner Fasnacht 2010 - procession of music - Luzerner Fasnacht 2010 in pictures and video clips
Lucerne Tourism - Official website of the Lucerne Tourism Office
Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook