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The Beauty and Charm of Lucerne, Switzerland
By:Veronica Smith <veronica_writer@yahoo.com>

If you are planning to spend any time in Switzerland, you simply must visit the beautiful Swiss city of Lucerne. This lovely city is encircled by beautiful mountains, as well as the beautiful lake Lucerne. It's often considered to be the gateway leading to central Switzerland, and you'll find it to be a wonderful mix of modern features as well as traditional charm. If you get a chance to visit Lucerne, here are some great places you won't want to miss.

Mount Pilatus
You'll definitely want to see Mount Pilatus if you are visiting Lucerne. This mountain stands 7,000 feet high, and features an amazing cog rail that leads to the top. It is approximately 100 years old, making it Europe's oldest cog rail. Riding this rail is an amazing experience, as is riding the cable car back down the mountain. If you're up for the challenge, you could also walk up the mountain, but be prepared - the walk will take most people over 5 hours. No matter how you get to the top of Mount Pilatus, you'll be treated to an absolutely breathtaking view, especially if it is a clear day.

Musegg Wall
Lucerne's Musegg Wall, locally known as "Museggmauer," is another attraction that you won't want to miss. It's actually the old city wall, built originally in a time when it served as protection for the city. This wall features nine towers, each of which should be visited. You can visit each tower as you work your way around the wall, although not all the towers are accessible. The Luegisland Tower is the tallest of them, measuring in at 52.6 meters. It was probably originally built as a watchtower prior to the building of the rest of the wall. The Zyte tower is accessible to visitors, and includes a clock which was originally installed in 1535. To this day, the bells from this clock can still be heard throughout the city. If you want to visit the Towers and the Wall, they are free of charge.

Chapel Bridge
The Chapel Bridge, or "Kapellbrucke" in German, Is one of the city's most famous landmarks. It is one of Europe's oldest covered bridges, crossing the Reuss River. It was originally built in 1333 to help protect the city from attacks. Inside the bridge you'll see a number of paintings, dating from the 17th century. These paintings depict a number of historical Lucerne events. Although this bridge was largely destroyed by a fire in 1993, it has been rebuilt to its original beauty. The Water Tower, known as "Wasserturm," also adjoins the bridge. This octagonal brick tower has served a number of uses over the year, being used for such varied purposes as a treasury, watchtower and even a torture chamber. However, it is currently being used as the artillery association's guild hall.

Swiss Museum of Transportation
If you enjoy museums, you should visit the Swiss Museum of Transportation, located in Lucerne. It was opened in 1959, and features a wide array of things to do and see. It features attractions geared towards communication and transportation, including Switzerland's largest planetarium. There is also a locomotive stimulator, where a person can find out what it feels like to operate a train.

Veronica Smith is a freelance artist and consultant with AmericanArtisanArt.com. She enjoys sharing her creative approach to decorating with large aluminum art and wooden wall hangings.

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