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Explore the Chapel Bridge in Switzerland

The Kapellbrücke (literally, Chapel Bridge) is deservedly the oldest bridge in Europe and one of the most famous bridges in all of Switzerland. It's a wooden historic footbridge that allows you to cross over the River Reuss. It is named after the nearby St. Peter’s Chapel, it was built in 1333 and is one of the oldest wooden bridges in Europe. 

A very unusual fact is that under the roof of the bridge there are paintings that depict events from the history and legends of Lucerne. They were painted in the 17th century by the local Catholic painter Hans Heinrich Wegmann. In 1993, a fire broke out on August 18 and unfortunately destroyed two-thirds of the paintings. Thirty were successfully restored. 

History & Facts

Before the Chapel Bridge, there was a Water Tower that used to sit in the middle of the River Reuss. This is thought to have been built around the 1330s. The octagonal tower, 35 meters high, was a city treasure for many years until it was decided in 1365 to build a bridge. 

It was constructed to create an accessway from the Old Town in Lucerne to the ‘New’ Town or Rathausquai. Moreover, it acted as a defensive construction for the city. 

 

 

 

 

The bridge is famed as an architectural masterpiece, due to its wood construction and iconic covered style. 

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