Lion of Lucerne

The Lion of Lucnere is a monument to fallen Swiss soldiers fighting as mercenaries at the Tuileries Palace in Paris during the French Revolution in 1792. About 2/3 of the 900 Swiss soldiers guarding the palace were killed.  Right in the center of Lucerne, this is a quick, easy, and surprisingly moving site.  The Latin inscription reads Helvetiorum Fidei ac Virtuti (“To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss”). Mark Twain went so far as to call it “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.”

Although Switzerland is famous for their neutrality, Swiss soldiers have a long history of fighting as mercenary soldiers in foreign wars. They were well regarded as disciplined fighters, and the fact that the Pope is served by the Swiss Guard stems from this reputation.

There is no fee to see the monument.  The Lion of Lucerne sits next to the Glacier Garden Museum, which has some interesting historical exhibits, as well as a fun mirror maze, which can make this a longer outing.