In the north of Löwenplatz is that the remarkable Lion Monument in Lucerne, which was designed by Thorwaldsen in 1820. The figure of the dying Lion was carved in a sandstone rock ledge to commemorate the Swiss soldiers who lost their lives during the French Revolution, protecting the royal family. About 26 officers and over 700 Swiss soldiers lost their lives at Tuileries Palace.
This mournful monument is more than just a tourist attraction; it is a mark of a significant sacrifice in history. The memorial has essential information engraved right below the Lion that helps study the history of that point. This poignant monument is one of the best-known places to see in Lucerne.
The Lion Monument was designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1884), a classicist Danish sculptor in 1819 while he stayed in Rome, Italy.
Lucas Ahorn (1789-1856), a stone-mason from Constance (southern Germany) actually carved it out of the sandstone rock in 1820/1821.
The giant sculpture is 6 m [20 ft] high and 10 m [33 ft] long. The upright wall of rock is that the remains of a quarry exploited over centuries to create the town.
The Lion Monument was erected in 1821 to honor Swiss Guards who were killed during the French Revolution. In 1792, rioting crowds broke into Tuileries Palace. Swiss mercenaries tried to defend the royal family, but 760 soldiers were killed during the battle. One Swiss officer from Lucerne was inactive at the time; when he heard of the massacre, he felt compelled to construct a memorial in his home city to honor his fallen comrades.
Tucked into a sandstone rock face, the sculpture is famous for its heartbreaking realism. Spanning nearly 32 feet (10 meters) long, it features a lion dying upon a bed of shields and spears. An inscription above the big cat reads “Helvetiorum Fidei ac Virtuti," which means "To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss.” Author Mark Twain famously proclaimed the Lion Monument to be “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.”
June - September
Timings are subject to change. You will be automatically booked into a time slot as part of the check out process. Please visit the official website to confirm the time slot before your visit.
After enjoying the Lion Monument, explore other nearby attractions. Just steps from the statue is the Glacier Garden, a dramatic landscape of rock and subtropical flora. This natural wonder is covered with botanical gardens and makes for a perfect place to take an afternoon stroll.