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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

Let's be honest. We came to Luzern for the wienerschnitzel!!

September 25, 2019

Do you think we came to Luzern to see the Lion Memorial, the Chapel Bridge or the Jesuit Church? Let's be honest. We came to Luzern to go to the Old Swiss House to partake of their delicious wienerschnitzel.

Philipp Buholzer, the owner, greeted us and escorted us to our table. We chatted awhile and we told him he had prepared our wienerschnitzel when we were at the restaurant in December. He decided to prepare it again for us today. He told us 1500 wienerschnitzel dishes are prepared table side each


"Very tender cutlets of veal are dipped in our own top-secret blend of beaten egg, Swiss cheese and herbs. The cutlet is then coated in specially prepared breadcrumbs and cooked in pure butter at your table. We serve our delicious wienerschnitzel with half a lemon and fresh egg noodles.

We have been serving this specialty for more than fifty years; with up to fifteen hundred servings per month, it remains our most popular dish!"

Everything tastes better with butter.

Keep the breadcrumbs bubbling in butter.

The breadcrumbs should be swimming in butter (loose soupy bubbling consistency) Pour the breadcrumsb over the noodles. The noodles absorb the butter.

For dessert we had our favorite:

Lemon sherbet with vodka and prosecco. Frozen fruit on top and a biscuit on the side.

The Old Swiss House, built in 1859, is located near the Lion Monument, in the very center of Luzern. Its handsome half-timbered façade makes it one of the most photographed attractions of the area. It is truly a landmark of Luzern.

"The second floor of the Old Swiss House served as living quarters for the Buholzer family until 1967. Since then, the upstairs has been turned into traditional banquet rooms for private parties and family gatherings. Most of the interior decorations date back to the 17th century. The establishment’s antique glassware, hand-carved wall panels, solid oak doors with carved inlays, genuine Sheffield silverware and items of old pewter are much admired by guests. The stained-glass windows, sporting heraldic panes, date back to 1575. The many beautiful oil paintings throughout the premises are all originals by famous artists. The establishment’s pride-and-joy, however, is a craftsman-built, porcelain-tiled stove, dated 1636 and initialed by Daniel Pfau."

The Old Swiss House ranks as one of Switzerland’s outstanding and most attractive restaurants. The service staff are dressed in original Luzern costume. They are eager to turn your visit into an unforgettable dining experience.

The Buholzer family has one of Switzerland’s most remarkable wine cellars. It is stocked with 40,000 or so bottles of some of the rarest vintage wines, including a unique collection of Château Mouton Rothschild, which is on display near the entrance to the Old Swiss House. The high standard of the cuisine, service and cellar makes the Old Swiss House a favorite with local clientele, as well as a "place of pilgrimage" for visitors from around the world.

The Lion Memorial, Löwendenkmal, or Lion of Luzern, is a rock relief designed Bertel Thorvaldsen and hewn in 1820–21 by Lukas Ahorn. It commemorates the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution, when revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris. It is one of the most famous monuments in Switzerland, visited annually by about 1.4 million tourists. In 2006 it was placed under Swiss monument protection.

There is much construction around the Lion Memorial. They are replacing the cobblestone pavement.

Mark Twain praised the sculpture of a mortally wounded lion as "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.

From the early 17th century, a regiment of Swiss Guards had served as part of the Royal Household of France. On October 6, 1789, King Louis XVI had been forced to move with his family from the Palace of Versailles to the Tuileries Palace in Paris. In June 1791, he tried to flee to Montmédy near the frontier, where troops under royalist officers were concentrated. In the August 10, 1792 Insurrection, revolutionaries stormed the palace. Fighting broke out spontaneously after the Royal Family had been escorted from the Tuileries to take refuge with the Legislative Assembly. The Swiss Guards ran low on ammunition and were overwhelmed by superior numbers.

Of the Swiss Guards defending the Tuileries, more than six hundred were killed during the fighting or massacred after surrender. An estimated two hundred more died in prison of their wounds or were killed during the September Massacres that followed. Apart from about a hundred Swiss who escaped from the Tuileries, the only survivors of the regiment were a 300 strong detachment which, with the King's authorization, had been sent to Normandy to escort grain convoys a few days before August 10. The Swiss officers were mostly among those massacred, although Major Karl Josef von Bachmann, in command at the Tuileries, was formally tried and guillotined in September, still wearing his red uniform coat. Two surviving Swiss officers achieved senior rank under Napolean.

The initiative to create the monument was taken by Karl Pfyffer von Altishofen, an officer of the Guards who had been on leave in Luzern at that time of the fight. He began collecting money in 1818. The monument was designed by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, and hewn in 1820–21 by Lukas Ahorn, in a former sandstone quarry. Carved into the cliff face, the monument measures ten meters in length and six meters in height.

The monument is dedicated Helvetiorum Fidei ac Virtuti ("To the loyalty and 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 off Switzerland. The inscription below the sculpture lists the names of the officers and gives the approximate numbers of soldiers who died (DCCLX = 760), and survived (CCCL = 350).

A little "local legend" on the monument. The sculptor wanted more money from the city to complete his work. The city officials refused. So, the sculptor said he would turn the lion into a pig.

Take a minute and look at the monument.

Now look at the outline around the lion. You should be able to see the pig's snout, ear and a little tail.

The Kapellbrücke (literally, Chapel Bridge) is a covered wooden footbridge diagonally spanning the River Reuss.

Named after the nearby St. Peter's Chapel, the bridge is unique in containing a number of interior paintings dating back to the 17th century, although many of them were destroyed along with a larger part of the centuries-old bridge in a 1993 fire.

Subsequently restored, the Kapellbrücke is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe, as well as the world's oldest surviving truss bridge. It serves as the city's symbol and as one of Switzerland's main tourist attractions.

"Part of the bridge complex is the octagonal 34.5 m (113 ft) tall (from ground) Wasserturm, which translates to "water tower," in the sense of a "tower standing in the water." The tower pre-dated the bridge by about 30 years. Over the centuries, the tower has been used as a prison, torture chamber, and later a municipal archive as well as a local treasury. Today, the tower is closed to the public, although it houses a local artillery association and a tourist gift shop.

The bridge itself was originally built c.1365 as part of Luzern's fortifications. It linked the old town on the right bank of the Reuss to the new town on the left bank, securing the town from attack from the south, the lake. The bridge was initially over 270 meters (890 ft) long, although numerous shortenings over the years and river bank replenishments mean the bridge now totals only 204.7 meters (672 ft) long. It is the oldest surviving truss bridge in the world, consisting of strutted and triangulated trusses of moderate span, supported on piled trestles; as such, it is probably an evolution of the strutted bridge."

The Kapellbrücke almost burned down on August18, 1993, destroying two thirds of its interior paintings. Shortly thereafter, the Kapellbrücke was reconstructed and again opened to the public on April 14, 1994 for a total of CHF 3.4 million.

Luzern is unique in that its three wooden pedestrian bridges, the 14th-century Hofbrücke (now destroyed) and Kapellbrücke and the 16th-century Spreuerbrücke, all featured painted interior triangular frames. None of Europe's other wooden footbridges have this feature. The paintings, dating back to the 17th century and executed by local Catholic painter Hans Heinrich Wägmann, depict events from Luzern's history. Of the original 158 paintings, 147 existed before the 1993 fire. After the fire, the remains of 47 paintings were collected, but ultimately only 30 were fully restored.

The wooden boards that held the paintings varied from 150 centimeters (59 in) to 181 centimeters (71 in) wide and 85 centimeters (33 in) to 95 centimeters (37 in) wide. Most of the panels were made from spruce wood boards, and only a few were made from linden wood and maple. The paintings were created during the Counter Reformation, featuring scenes promoting the Catholic Church. The paintings were sponsored by the city's council members, who, upon sponsoring a panel, were allowed to attribute their personal coat of arms on it. An explanation of each painting was printed below each scene. The paintings ran all along the bridge, dating from the life and death of Luzern's patron saint St.Leger to the legends of the city's other patron saint St. Maurice.

The Spreuerbrücke bridge was constructed in the 13th century to connect the Mühlenplatz (Mill Place) on the right bank of the Reuss with the mills in the middle of the river. The extension of the bridge to the left bank was completed only in 1408. This was the only bridge in Luzern where it was allowed to dump chaff (in German: Spreu, therefore the name Spreuerbrücke) and leaves into the river, as it was the bridge farthest downriver. The bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1566 and then rebuilt, together with a granary as the bridge head, called the Herrenkeller.

The pediments of the Spreuer Bridge contain paintings in the interior triangular frames, which is a feature unique to the wooden bridges of Luzern. In the case of the Spreuer Bridge, the paintings form a Danse Macabre, known as Totentanz in German, which was created from 1616 to 1637 under the direction of painter Kaspar Meglinger. It is the largest known example of a Totentanz cycle. Of the 67 original paintings, 45 are still in existence. Most of the paintings contain the coat of arms of the donor in the lower left corner and to the right the coat of arms of the donor's wife. The black wooden frames bear explanations in verse and the names of the donors. The paintings also contain portraits of the donors and other exponents of Luzern society. The painters of Luzern knew the woodcuts by Hans Holbein the Younger but were more advanced in their painting technique. The images and texts of the Luzern Danse Macabre are intended to highlight that there's no place in the city, in the country or at sea where death isn't present.

At the outflow of the River Reuss, a historic needle dam, built in 1860, regulates the water level of the lake.

The Jesuit Church is the first large baroque church built in Switzerland north of the Alps.

The Jesuit order, founded by Ignatius of Loyola in 1534, were active participants in the Counter-Reformation, the Catholic fight against the birth of Protestantism. Protestant reformers such as Zwingli in Zürich and Calvin in Geneva divided the predominately Catholic Switzerland. In response, the Jesuits were called in to Luzern by the city council in 1573 to establish a college. Ludwig Pfyffer, mayor of Luzern, offered annual financial support to the Jesuits out of his private funds. The Jesuit College of Luzern was established in 1577 in Ritter Palace, a building originally erected in 1557 as a residence for mayor Lux Ritter.

Construction on the associated church began in 1667. By 1673, the shell of the church and the main façade were completed. The church was consecrated in 1677, though the interior was not yet really finished. Several side altars were still missing and even the high altar was only erected four years later, due to financial problems. The onion topped towers were not completed until 1893. The vault was redecorated in the mid-18th century. The original vestments of Brother Klaus, a famous Swiss patron, are stored in the inner chapel.

The Church of St. Leodegar is a Roman Catholic Church built in parts from 1633 to 1639 on the foundation of the Roman basilica which had burnt in 1633. This church was one of the few built north of the Alps during the Thirty Years War and one of the largest art history rich churches of the German late renaissance period.

In the 8th century there was already an abbey consecrated to Saint Maurice on the current site of the church, which had been donated by Pepin the Short, and was known at the time as the Monastarium Luciaria. By the 12th century the abbey was under the jurisdiction of the Murbach Abbey, whose patron saint was St. Leodegar.

In 1291, the abbey was sold to the Habsburgs. In 1433, the city of Luzern, no longer a member of the Eidgenossenschaft, took control of the abbey, and in 1455 it was converted from Benedictine to a “universal order” church.

The monastery experienced a heyday during the time of the reformation due to Luzern being a prominent city for the Swiss Catholic cantons. The papal nuncio, resident in Luzern, used the church as his cathedral during this time.

In 1874, the parish church of St. Leodegar was founded and with that the church became simultaneously a monastery church and parish church, as it is today.

There is a cemetery adjacent to the church.

The homes in the Old Town section are famous for the decorative artwork on the buildings.

The homes are well kept.

Love flowers in windowboxes.

You have to keep your eyes open as you never know what you may see.

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