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Lion Monument

The “Lion of Lucerne” combines art, history and natural beauty into Switzerland’s most beloved historic monument.

With its picturesque setting and historical significance, the Lion Monument of Lucerne (also called Löwendenkmal) is one of Europe’s most famous sculptures. In many ways, the monument represents European unity; though it sits in Switzerland, it was designed by famous Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, and constructed by German mason Lukas Ahorn.

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 on leave 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) in length, it features a lion dying upon a bed of shields and spears. An inscription above the big cat reads “Helvetiorum fedei 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.”

The Lion of Lucerne is a 15-minute walk from Old Town. Signs throughout Lucerne guide visitors to the monument. Make sure to bring your camera. When you see the picturesque waterfront setting, you’ll understand why the sculpture is so famous. If you want to avoid crowds, make sure to get there early in the day. Admission is free.

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.

Popular Activities at Lion Monument

Get the most out of your time at Lion Monument. Below is a list of some of the best things to do:

You ought to consider purchasing a Lucerne city tour & lake boat cruise - starts from Bern or a Lucerne city tour & lake boat cruise - starts from Zurich while you're here. These activities are a couple of the best.

Take a look at our Lucerne things to do page to find more activities while you're in the area.


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Lion Monument

See all 228 Properties near Lion Monument
Ameron Luzern Hotel Flora ¥16,847
Ameron Luzern Hotel Flora

Ameron Luzern Hotel Flora

Seidenhofstrasse 5, Lucerne, LU
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in the heart of Lucerne, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Jesuit Church, Chapel Bridge, and Lucerne Town Hall. Loewenplatz and KKL Lucerne are also within 15 minutes. Lucerne Station is only a 4-minute walk and Werftestrasse Luzern Station is 10 minutes.

    Astoria Lucerne ¥14,346
    Astoria Lucerne

    Astoria Lucerne

    Pilatusstrasse 29, Lucerne
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Lucerne, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Franciscan Church, Chapel Bridge, and Lucerne Town Hall. Loewenplatz and KKL Lucerne are also within 1 mi (2 km). Lucerne Station is 6 minutes by foot and Werftestrasse Luzern Station is 11 minutes.

      Grand Hotel National ¥33,033
      Grand Hotel National

      Grand Hotel National

      Haldenstrasse 4, Lucerne, LU
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the heart of Lucerne, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Grand Casino Lucerne, Loewenplatz, and Lucerne Town Hall. Chapel Bridge and Lion Monument are also within 15 minutes. Lucerne Station is 10 minutes by foot and Werftestrasse Luzern Station is 16 minutes.

        Hotel Central Luzern ¥21,494
        Hotel Central Luzern

        Hotel Central Luzern

        Morgartenstrasse 4, Lucerne, LU
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in the heart of Lucerne, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Chapel Bridge, Lucerne Town Hall, and Saint Peters Church. Loewenplatz and Lion Monument are also within 15 minutes. Lucerne Station is only a 3-minute walk and Werftestrasse Luzern Station is 9 minutes.

          ibis Styles Luzern ¥13,947
          ibis Styles Luzern

          ibis Styles Luzern

          Friedenstrasse 8, Lucerne, LU
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Lucerne, this hotel is steps from Bourbaki Panorama, Loewenplatz, and Lion Monument. Lucerne Town Hall and Chapel Bridge are also within 15 minutes. Lucerne Station is 11 minutes by foot and Werftestrasse Luzern Station is 17 minutes.

            ibis budget Luzern City ¥9,438
            ibis budget Luzern City

            ibis budget Luzern City

            Kellerstrasse 6, Lucerne
               
              1.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Lucerne, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of KKL Lucerne, Chapel Bridge, and Lucerne Town Hall. Loewenplatz and Lion Monument are also within 1 mi (2 km). Werftestrasse Luzern Station is 8 minutes by foot and Lucerne Station is 13 minutes.

              Cascada Boutique-Hotel ¥18,562
              Cascada Boutique-Hotel

              Cascada Boutique-Hotel

              Bundesplatz 18, Lucerne, LU
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of Lucerne, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of KKL Lucerne and Chapel Bridge. Lucerne Town Hall and Loewenplatz are also within 1 mi (2 km). Lucerne Station is 7 minutes by foot and Werftestrasse Luzern Station is 9 minutes.

                Des Alpes Luzern ¥23,595
                Des Alpes Luzern

                Des Alpes Luzern

                Furrengasse 3, Lucerne
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in the heart of Lucerne, this hotel is steps from Saint Peters Church, Lucerne Town Hall, and Chapel Bridge. Loewenplatz and KKL Lucerne are also within 10 minutes. Lucerne Station is 6 minutes by foot and Werftestrasse Luzern Station is 12 minutes.