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Spreuer Bridge, Lucerne

4.7
#5 of 14 in Sightseeing in Lucerne
Bridge Tourist Spot
The Spreuer Bridge is one of two extant covered wooden footbridges in the city of Lucerne, Switzerland. Besides the other preserved bridge, the Kapellbrücke, a third bridge of this type – the Hofbrücke – existed in Lucerne, but was demolished in the 19th century.HistoryThe first bridge was constructed in the 13th century to connect the Mühlenplatz on the right bank of the Reuss with the mills in the middle of the river. The extension of the bridge to the left bank was completed only in 1408. This was the only bridge in Lucerne where it was allowed to dump chaff and leaves into the river, as it was the bridge farthest downriver. The bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1566 and then rebuilt, together with a granary as the bridge head, called the Herrenkeller.TotentanzThe pediments of the Spreuer Bridge contain paintings in the interior triangular frames, which is a feature unique to the wooden bridges of Lucerne. In the case of the Spreuer Bridge, the paintings form a Danse Macabre, known as Totentanz in German, which was created from 1616 to 1637 under the direction of painter Kaspar Meglinger. It is the largest known example of a Totentanz cycle. Of the 67 original paintings, 45 are still in existence. Most of the paintings contain the coat of arms of the donor in the lower left corner and to the right the coat of arms of the donor's wife. The black wooden frames bear explanations in verse and the names of the donors. The paintings also contain portraits of the donors and other exponents of Lucerne society. The painters of Lucerne knew the woodcuts by Hans Holbein the Younger but were more advanced in their painting technique. The images and texts of the Lucerne Danse Macabre are intended to highlight that there's no place in the city, in the country or at sea where death isn't present.
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413 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Less glamorous than the 'other' bridge, but still worth a look and a stroll across. It is very similar in design and amazing for its age  more »
  • Just take the relaxing walk across this bridge to get away from the motor traffic and appreciate lots of paintings with elaborate details and history on this foot bridge. A never ending flow of people...  more »
  • Good for people watching and needs more restoration since the fire some years back. Flowers on the bridge are really nice.  more »

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Where to stay in Lucerne

Small, historical Lucerne is big in its accommodation offerings. Surrounding the bay are plenty of mid-range and upscale hotels for those looking to splurge, putting you right downtown with easy access to sights, bars, and restaurants. If your budget is tight, look into the handful of guesthouses in the city. There are limited hostels available, and they tend to be a bit farther from the city core. Be sure to book in advance to avoid missing out.
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6 days in Switzerland BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Lucerne BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Italy, Switzerland & Munich BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in Switzerland BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE September, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 17 days in Switzerland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Lucerne & Zurich BY A USER FROM CANADA August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 1 day in Lucerne BY A USER FROM BRAZIL October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 17 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES February, teens, popular PREFERENCES: February, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Lucerne BY A USER FROM IRELAND October, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES February, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 16 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES February, teens, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: February, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 14 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES February, teens, popular PREFERENCES: February, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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