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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.


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 210 Properties near Lion Monument
Ameron Luzern Hotel Flora ¥21,296
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.

    Radisson Blu Hotel, Lucerne ¥22,545
    Radisson Blu Hotel, Lucerne

    Radisson Blu Hotel, Lucerne

    Lakefront Center, Inseliquai 12, Lucerne, LU
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in the heart of Lucerne, this luxury 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 only a 2-minute walk and Lucerne Station is 7 minutes.

      ibis Styles Luzern ¥21,756
      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.

        Hotel Central Luzern ¥26,254
        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.

          Astoria Lucerne ¥24,149
          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.

            Hotel Des Balances ¥31,797
            Hotel Des Balances

            Hotel Des Balances

            Weinmarkt, Lucerne, LU
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in the heart of Lucerne, this luxury hotel is steps from Rosengart Collection and Lucerne Town Hall. Chapel Bridge and Loewenplatz are also within 10 minutes. Lucerne Station is 7 minutes by foot and Werftestrasse Luzern Station is 14 minutes.

              Annex Luzernerhof ¥13,597
              Annex Luzernerhof

              Annex Luzernerhof

              Alpenstrasse 3, Lucerne
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of Lucerne, this aparthotel is steps from Hertensteinstrasse and Loewenplatz. Lucerne Town Hall and Chapel Bridge are also within 10 minutes. Lucerne Station is 8 minutes by foot and Werftestrasse Luzern Station is 14 minutes.

                Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern ¥43,930
                Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern

                Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern

                Schweizerhofquai, 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 Hertensteinstrasse, Loewenplatz, and Lucerne Town Hall. Chapel Bridge and KKL Lucerne are also within 10 minutes. Lucerne Station is 6 minutes by foot and Werftestrasse Luzern Station is 12 minutes.