Museggmauer (Musegg Wall)
City Gate and City Walls in Lucerne
Lucerne’s historical skyline is graced by the imposing presence of the Water Tower, Chapel Bridge, and Musegg Wall. While these structures command attention, it’s along the path that meanders beside the Musegg Wall where the most captivating view of the lake basin unfolds.
A legacy of the town’s fortifications, the Musegg Wall and its nine accompanying Musegg Towers stand as enduring testaments to the past. Today, these ramparts offer both visitors and locals the opportunity to traverse their lengths. Carved from natural stone, these ancient walls serve as havens for endangered flora and fauna, including jackdaws, common swifts, and bats. A unique feature, the Musegg Wall newspaper, adds an interactive layer to the experience, while guided tours provide insights into its history.
The Nine Towers of the Musegg Wall
The Nölli Tower, bearing the imprint of its construction year 1513, has transformed over time. The contemporary vehicular access was established in 1901. This unique circular tower, soaring 28 meters in height, stands as the esteemed headquarters of the Saffron Guild. Within its walls, the guild hall and archive find their abode.
The Männli Tower, marked by the iconic iron figure of the “Männli” or “little man,” stands as the second tower along the ascending ridge, open for public exploration. Scaling 33 meters from base to pinnacle, it invites visitors into its captivating realm.
The Luegisland Tower, erected in 1370, honors its name by serving as a sentinel watchtower for the town’s safeguard. Crowned by a peaked roof, a weathercock atop the tower adds a distinctive touch. Among its brethren, it stands as the loftiest.
The Heu Tower, also known as the Wacht Tower, derives its name from its past role as a hay storage site. It once stored gunpowder within its robust walls, until a fateful lightning strike in 1701 unleashed a devastating explosion, claiming lives and altering the tower’s landscape. A reconstructed marvel, it now ascends 44 meters into the sky.
The Zyt Tower, standing at a height of 31 meters and accessible to the public, was raised in 1442 and boasts a prominent clock. Its dial, featuring prominent digits, once enabled even lakeside fishermen to tell time. With its Leodegar Bell, the tower offers a unique chime, ringing one minute ahead of other city church clocks.
The Schirmer Tower, measuring 27.5 meters in height, serves as a portal to the outside world, with the gate of the same name leading into the countryside. Reflecting a bygone era, cities within walls stood as self-contained entities, and Lucerne was no exception. Stepping beyond the gate, citizens found themselves in the open countryside. This tower remains open to the public.
The Pulver Tower was utilized for the storage of gunpowder, acting as a precautionary measure. When catastrophe struck the Heu Tower, the Pulver Tower held its ground, preserving half of the city’s gunpowder. With a stature of 27.5 meters, this tower, one of the oldest on the Musegg, has found new purpose as the guild hall for the Wey Guild following its restoration.
The Allenwinden Tower, along with the lower Dächli Tower, is now enveloped by the intricate tapestry of Musegg’s structures. Presently, the Allenwinden Tower houses the Lucerne Tambouren Club and the Luzerner Maskenfreunde Club.
The Dächli Tower, standing as the ninth and smallest in the series, captivates with its steep-flanked pyramidal roof, counted among the oldest among the towers. Since 1936, it has transformed into the esteemed guild hall for the Swiss Union of Master Joiners.
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Visiting Museggmauer (Musegg Wall)
8 a.m. to 7 p.m. between 1 April and 1 November