Lion Monument

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4 Denkmalstrasse, Lucerne, Switzerland - 041 410 43 40

Lion Monument Lucerne Reviews

FoxyFauz FoxyFauz
214 reviews
Lion of Lucerne Sep 18, 2015
Lion Monument (Lowendenkmal) or the Lion of Lucerne, is a rock sculpture carved by Bertel Thorvaldsen to commemorate the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution. On the monument, you will read a sign Helvetiorum Fidei ac Virtuti which translates to “To the loyalty & bravery of the Swiss”. The dying lion is portrayed impaled by a spear, covering a shield bearing the fleur-de-lis of the French monarchy. Beside him is another shield bearing the coat of arms of Switzerland. The inscription below the sculpture lists the names of the officers & approx. number of soldiers who died and who survived. Mark Twain described the Lion of Lucerne as the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world.

It was said that this was the brainchild of Karl Pfyffer von Altishofen, an officer of the Guards who had been on leave during the fight. He therefore, collected money to build this monument as remembrance to those who had died. However, not enough money was collected to pay the Bertel Thorvaldsen for the sculpture. The artist however, completed the sculpture out of respect for the fallen soldiers but he changed the shape of the nook the lion lay inside to that of a pig to show his disdain.

Do note that you cannot come very close to the Sculpture itself as there is a pond before the sculpture. But I guess that’s the beauty in it, that you admire it from afar. KIV for pics.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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DillonSnow DillonSn…
4 reviews
Dying Lion of Lucerne Monument May 28, 2011
Usually, monuments depict glory, pomp, and victory of historical events. The Dying Lion monument of Luzern is different since it honors fallen Swiss soldiers during the French revolution. We could feel the sorrow and sadness that the sculpture portrayed. The whole monument itself is not that large and it was not as crowded as I expected it to be. It was a good place to take a break, sit down, and reflect. Be warned however that the male toilet or WC was disgusting when I went inside. I hope it is not the norm.

The place is not that far from the shops. We just walked to it after buying souvenirs in some shops near Kapellgasse. Beside it is the Alpineum, but we did not go there.
swisseagle swisseag…
9 reviews
Nov 14, 2007
It was carved out of natural rock in memory of the heroic deaths of the Swiss mercenaries at the Tuileries (France) in 1792. Mark Twain described the Lion of Lucerne as the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world.

This is a must-view monument in the city of lucerne.. just a few steps away of the lake.
«The dying Lion of Lucerne» is o…
Lucerne is history..
X_Drive X_Drive
836 reviews
May 23, 2005
This is a memorial to Swiss Guards who gave their lives during the French Revolution in 1792. Bertel Thorvaldsen, a Danish artist, depicted a dying lion. It was carved into the sandstone cliff above the city center. Dedicated in 1821 it has attracted millions of visitors over the years. The latin inscription HELVETIORUM FIDEI AC VIRTUTI means "To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss". The names of each guard killed (760) and saved (350) are also engraved at the site. The look of sadness and pain is very evident on the face of the lion.
Tinktinkie Tinktink…
32 reviews
Such a sad monument! Apr 07, 2004
When I saw this monument for the first time, I almost cried. You can stand there for a long time and just look at it. The scene in front of me almost came alive. The sculpture did an excellent job and I highly recommend you visit the monument.

Some facts (in addition to the other reviews) about the monument:

* The Latin saying behind the monument translates to "To The Loyalty and Bravery of the Swiss".

* Below the lion are the Greek numbers DCCLX and CCCL which indicate that 760 soldiers died and 350 survived.

* The monument is 20 feet high and 33 feet long and was carved on an upright wall which was the remnants of the towns quarry which supplied the sandstore that built many of the buildings in Lucerne.

* Interesting to note, but if you look closely, you'll notice that the surrounding outline of the lion resembles the shape of a pig. Apparently, the sculpture had a falling out with someone associated with the contracting of the memorial that he created the pig shape out of spite.
The Lion Monument in Lucerne.
Inscription on the monument.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
annikmi says:
It does look sad!
Posted on: Nov 14, 2010
Tinktinkie says:
Yes I also thought that was quite interesting! Thanks for the smile and comment Roger :)
Posted on: Nov 13, 2010
X_Drive says:
I had not noted the outline or story about the pig, Very interesting! :D
Posted on: Nov 13, 2010

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