Lion Monument, Lucerne

Lion Monument, Lucerne (must see)

The Lion Monument, also known as the Lion of Lucerne, is a carved rock sculpture located in Lucerne, Switzerland. It was crafted in 1820 to honor the memory of the Swiss Guards who tragically lost their lives in 1792 during the French Revolution. This somber event occurred when revolutionaries attacked the Tuileries Palace in Paris. The Lion Monument stands as one of Switzerland's most renowned landmarks and draws approximately 1.4 million tourists annually.

Starting in the early 17th century, a Swiss Guards regiment had been a part of the Royal Army of France. On August 10th, 1792, as revolutionaries overran the palace, conflict erupted spontaneously after the royal family had been evacuated from the Tuileries to seek shelter with the Legislative Assembly. The Swiss Guards found themselves running out of ammunition and were ultimately overwhelmed by the numerically superior revolutionary forces.

In the course of the fighting or in the aftermath of their surrender, approximately 760 Swiss Guards who had defended the Tuileries lost their lives. An additional two hundred succumbed to their injuries while in prison or fell victim to the September Massacres that ensued.

The Lion Monument, an impressive piece of rock art carved into a cliff face, measures an imposing ten meters in length and six meters in height. It is dedicated to honoring the loyalty and courage of the Swiss. The sculpture depicts a dying lion impaled by a spear, with a shield bearing the emblem of the French monarchy covering its body. Adjacent to the lion, there is another shield bearing the coat of arms of Switzerland.

Mark Twain famously referred to this sculpture of a mortally wounded lion as "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world."

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Lucerne. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Lion Monument on Map

Sight Name: Lion Monument
Sight Location: Lucerne, Switzerland (See walking tours in Lucerne)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Lucerne, Switzerland

Create Your Own Walk in Lucerne

Create Your Own Walk in Lucerne

Creating your own self-guided walk in Lucerne is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Lucerne's Architectural Jewels Walking Tour

Lucerne's Architectural Jewels Walking Tour

Lucerne's long religious and cultural history is duly reflected in its architecture, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Switzerland. There are quite a few places in the city that need not strive for attention and can easily catch the eye of any passer-by. Such like are:

The Lucerne Railway Station – an architectural jewel and main hub of the Swiss railway network,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Lucerne Introduction Walking Tour

Lucerne Introduction Walking Tour

Renowned for its well-preserved medieval architecture surpassed by majestic snowcapped Alps, Lucerne is one of the prettiest cities in Switzerland. Sitting compactly on the shore of the eponymous lake, its colorful Altstadt (Old Town) is bordered on the north by a 14-century rampart called Museggmauer (Musegg Wall).

The town grew around St Leodegar Abbey, established in 840 AD, on the territory...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
Lucerne's Towers Walking Tour

Lucerne's Towers Walking Tour

Lucerne boasts a wealth of spectacular medieval towers, located in the Musegg Wall area. This former symbol of power forms an impressive city crown, shaping up its skyline, and affording great panoramic views of Lucerne and the eponymous lake, the Reuss river, and the surrounding mountain scenery.

Built in the 13th-14th centuries, the 870-meter wall, complete with its nine towers, is one of...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles