LUCERNE — South Bank

Most people arriving in Lucerne will arrive on the South Bank of the River Reuss as this is where the main train station is found. There are only a few attractions found on this side of the river and most of these are museums.

The sights found here are:
Naturmuseum
Historiches Museum
Jesuitenkirche
Sammlung Rosengart
Luzern Museum of Art
Lake Lucerne
Richard Wagner Museum

Naturmuseum
This museum provides a comprehensive insight into the world of plants and animals. The museum was founded in the 18th century as a private museum. Here you will find both permanent and temporary exhibitions including a variety of live animals in aquariums and terrariums as part of the permanent one. Rotating panels show butterflies and insects from all over the world. Other attractions include an educational woodland trail with real tree trunks and a mushroom computer. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am until 5pm and costs CHF 6 for adults. It is found at number 6 Kasernenplatz.
For information about the museum visit the website at http://www.naturmuseum.ch/index.php (in German only)

Historiches Museum
This museum displays exhibits of Medieval and Renaissance art and sculptures from central Switzerland between 1600 and 1900. The building was originally used as an arsenal for the storage of weapons in the 1560s. One of the highlights of the museum is a copy of the Gothic-style stone monument that was once found on the Wienerplatz in the centre of Lucerne. You can climb the wooden staircase that spirals around it to get a close-up view of the stone-carved knights and cherubs that are found at the top of it. The top floor of the museum is for temporary exhibits.
For information about the museum visit the website at http://www.historischesmuseum.lu.ch/hm_e.pdf

Jesuitenkirche

Jesuitenkirche
The Jesuits brought the Counter Reformation to Lucerne in the 17th century. The very ornate Jesuitenkirche which was dedicated to Francis Xavier was built in 1666. As well as being the first large Baroque church in Switzerland it is also considered to be one of the most beautiful. The white interior is decorated with pink and white plaster work and a highlight is the huge pink altarpiece at the front of the sanctuary which looks like marble but is really made of stucco and plaster. The second side chapel on the right is dedicated to Brother Klaus and there is a life-size statue of him dressed in an authentic brown habit.
For information about the church visit the website at http://www.jesuitenkirche-luzern.ch/index.html (in German only)

Sammlung Rosengart
This museum is found in a Neo-Classical building that was once the Regional headquarters for the Swiss National Bank. It contains the wonderful collection of Angela Rosengart who was a Swiss art dealer and close friend of Picasso and her father, Siegfried. The collection includes many of Picasso’s works amongst others including Cézanne, Klee, Kandinsky, Miró, Matisse and Monet. Some of the highlights are Picasso’s Woman and Dog Playing and The Studio. Other notable works are Joan Miró’s Electric-blue Dancer II and Paul Klee’s X-chen. As well as paintings there are sculptures and around 200 of the most memorable photographs of David Douglas Duncan who was one of the world’s great photographers especially famous for his combat photography of World War II for Life Magazine.
For information about the museum visit the website at http://www.rosengart.ch/welcome.php5

Luzern Museum of Art
The Luzern Museum of Art is an amalgamation of the Fine Arts Museum and the Modern Art Museum. The fine arts collection consists primarily of Swiss art from the Renaissance to the present day. Included in this collection are works by Kaspar Meglinger; Franz Ludwig Raufft; Felix Maria Diogg; Josef Reinhard and Ferdinand Hodler. The modern art collection focuses on more contemporary works and most of these are avant-garde. There is also a rotating collection of art found here as well some of it dating back to the 15th century.
For information about the museum visit the website at http://www.kunstmuseumluzern.ch/index_en.php

Lake Lucerne

Lake Lucerne
There are paths extending for 28 kilometres around Lake Lucerne which gives you plenty of places to walk, cycle or skate around this scenic lake. There are also many water-based activities offered such as swimming or paddle boating. There are five restored paddle steamers Uri, Unterwalden, Schiller, Gallia and Stadt Luzern, which were all built between 1901 and 1928, that offer scenic cruises around the lake. You can take cruises to specific destinations such as some of the other resort towns found around the lake or you can take a roundtrip cruise. There are also specialty cruises offered such as the fondue ship, the cake trip, Valentine’s, music or breakfast trips and a short roundtrip tour to villas and castles in and around the lake. Steamers depart from Luzern Bahhofquai which is the pier next to the railroad station. It is the boat landing that is where the River Reuss meets the lake.
For more information about boat cruises around the lake visit the following websites at: http://www.lakelucerne.ch/en.html
http://web.sng.ch/sng/unsere_schiffe+M52087573ab0.html

Richard Wagner Museum
This museum is found a little way out of the city in the suburb of Tribschen. It was the former residence of Wagner who lived here from 1866 to 1872. He composed several of his works whilst he lived here including Die Meistersinger. On display in the museum are some original scores and memorabilia, including letters and pictures. During the summer there is an exhibit of antique musical instruments. You can walk to the museum following the walkways that border the edge of the lake but it is around 3 kilometres. You can also take a bus. You take city bus line 6, 7 or 8 to the Wartegg stop with a little walk.
For more information about the museum visit the website at: http://www.richard-wagner-museum.ch/en/index/index.php

Traveller's Tip

Be aware that the museum is closed between 12pm and 2pm but you can wander around the gardens during this time.
  • If you want to visit the museum in the afternoon from April to October a pleasant way to travel is by ferry boat from the pier opposite the Luzern Museum of Art.
    For more information about the ferry visit the website at: http://www.lakelucerne.ch/en.html