November 4, 2009

Instead of Wishful Wednesday...

A while ago some of you introduced your cities. Loved the idea. I wanted to participate but couldn't at that time. Don't ask. So, here I am introducing the city I was born in, and now live in (even though it's far away from most of you - it's in Europe!)...a bit late but who cares. I certainly don't. Do you?! Welcome to Luzern.

This city is conveniently located in the middle of Switzerland, so close to Italy, even closer to Germany and Austria, and just a few hours away from Paris! Awesome, huh?!
Due to its location, with its mountains and Lake Lucerne, it belongs to the top tourist spots in the country. With its almost and only 60'000 people it is rather tiny, though by January 1, 2010 its population is being extended to about 75'000 (it merges with another town). Big, huh? Rather small I know. It's still a city though! Oh, and Chicago is one of its sister cities. (I'm thrilled!)

Among its famous sights is the wooden Chapel Bridge, originally built around 1350. Its tower used to be the prison and/or dungeon. Much of the bridge had to be replaced though due to a horrendous fire in 1993. Inside the bridge are paintings from around the 17th century showing the city's historical events. Today some of them are still real, others unfortunately copies.

The second must-see thing in this city is the dying lion. It was carved out of natural rock in memory of the Swiss mercenaries in 1792. Mark Twain described this lion as "the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world."

Tradition is something we all have to fight for and sometimes we are lucky enough to hold on to it. Luzern holds on to its very own and is known for its crazy time each year around February. Carnival time. It happens before lent, and includes parades, and public celebrations for roughly one week starting on a Thursday at 5am, and ending some time on the following Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) at maybe 4am (sometimes even around noon). In the US for instance something similar is known as Mardi Gras. Here they call it Fasnacht. Not all but most people in here live for this so-called fifth season. It's reflected in pretty much anything...including buildings, names, restaurants, statues, name it.

Throughout the year there are lots of musical events going the Lucerne Festival with its classical highlights in summer, Blue Balls Festival in July brings international music stars from the jazz, funk and blues scene to the city, Lucerne Blues Festival in November, and the Rose d'Or in spring time.

I'm sure there are plenty more facts about this city. Best is I'm just going to add pictures and let you look at them. All pictures taken by me unless otherwise stated. Have fun.

Mt. Pilatus!
Breathtaking views over the city and surrounding area when it's clear on top.
This is at sunrise.

One tower of the city wall (built in 1386)

Tourists and locals getting off the wooden bridge

Mt. Pilatus covered...taken October 2009

Mt. Rigi covered in snow, taken early October 2009

Legal graffiti on an apartment building.
It's going to be rebuilt in 2011 and until then they thought it was nice to show some color.
I love seeing this colorful house each day.

I love this city, and it will always be home to me. No matter where I am.
Though as wonderful and historic it may be it is time to discover more.
And you all know I am a big city kinda girl, apparently trapped in a small city. Understand me now?!??

Hope you liked it.



Kelly said...

Soo cool! Thanks for sharing :-) How neat would it be to be so close to so many wonderful and exciting countries. I LOVE that apartment building's graffiti!!! Wow.

Katie said...

soooo pretty! I would love to visit Europe one day when I have enough $$!

Skyes Scribbles said...

How cool is that! You are so lucky! i wish i lived in a cool city/place like that!!!!!! I want to visit Europe SO bad! i'm hoping on my Honeymoon i can go back packing over there! Whenever the day comes that i get married in the far far future ha!

Mara said...

wow what beautiful pictures! I love europe.. i wish i had enough money to go back!! you're so lucky to live in such a beautiful place!

The SSS Sophisticate said...

Wow! It's incredibly beautiful!!! What a fabulous place to live and near so many great places! Thanks for posting!

Unknown said...

ahhhhh exciting!! i went to lucern in high school!! it was one of the most beautiful places i've ever seen. i also went to the top of mt. pilatus and it was unreal! loved this post! xo

Lacey in the City said...

Luzern is a great city! I was lucky enough to visit a few years ago. Thank you so much for sharing!!

Tokyo Girl said...

I remember going to this castle-like hotel overlooking the lake and most of Luzern. It was utterly romantic.. I was there with a crush, and have nothing but good memories. Thanks for sharing!

Malin said...

Selma, I never knew that that's where you live! I have been there!! :O I really really like the city, it's so cute!! I went last year with one of my best friends, she's Swiss, and her grandparents live just outside...


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