The monument depicts a mortally wounded lion and was described by Mark Twain as
‘the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world’
It was carved in 1820-21 to commemorate the Swiss Guards who died in the French Revolution. Mark Twain describes it in greater detail – and far better than I ever could:
The Lion lies in his lair in the perpendicular face of a low cliff — for he is carved from the living rock of the cliff. His size is colossal, his attitude is noble. His head is bowed, the broken spear is sticking in his shoulder, his protecting paw rests upon the lilies of France. Vines hang down the cliff and wave in the wind, and a clear stream trickles from above and empties into a pond at the base, and in the smooth surface of the pond the lion is mirrored, among the water-lilies.
Around about are green trees and grass. The place is a sheltered, reposeful woodland nook, remote from noise and stir and confusion — and all this is fitting, for lions do die in such places, and not on granite pedestals in public squares fenced with fancy iron railings. The Lion of Lucerne would be impressive anywhere, but nowhere so impressive as where he is.
When the monument was created, the location was private property but the City of Lucerne purchased that land in 1882 and since that time it has been freely open to the public. It’s now a major tourist attraction in the area.
HOW TO FIND THE LION MONUMENT
The Lion Monument
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.