The Lion of Lucerne

The Lion of Lucerne is a giant stature of a dying lion. The statue is carved out of a wall of sandstone with a pond right in front of it. The statue is in the east end of the medieval town. This statue pays tribute to the Swiss soldiers who lost their lives while defending the French King Louis XVI during the French Revolution.

Story behind the Statue

Like I said before, the soldiers were attacked by revolutionary masses while protecting the royal Tuileries castle in Paris on August 10, 1792. The Swiss troops were trying to defend the royal family as they were trying to make an escape. The Swiss were neutral and their soldiers had very strict rules regarding their alliances. The French soldiers were not nearly as loyal as the Swiss, so that’s why the Royal family hired them. The soldiers were protecting the family from being arrested. While these soldiers fought for their lives and the Royal families, the family snuck out the back door and made an escape. For those soldiers that survived the battle, they would eventually be killed at their barracks. Over 600 were killed defending the castle and 100 from their wounds, less then 100 men survived this battle. Theses men were fighting to defend the royal family because they thought they were waiting inside the castle. These men fought hard for theses people and just left the soldiers just there to fight and die for no reason.

"Helvetiorum fedei ac Virtuti"

The translation of this is, “To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss.” This monument is here to pay tribute to those Swiss soldiers who did what they were told to do, fight, These men fought for their lives as the people they were protecting fled, and left them to die. These men fought till the very end because they feared the idea of letting the Royal family down. They did everything in their power to keep the revolutionaries from invading the castle, but it wouldn’t make if they did. The family ran out on them, such a cowardly act. This statue pays so much respect to those who lost their lives.

The Statue

When you walk into the park, you eye is immediately draws into the feelings of the lion. The lion is in obvious, agonizing pain. The lion sits high up on the wall with something coming out of the side of its body. The lion is in pain, but it will not stop fighting until it has taken its last breath, just like the Swiss soldiers. The lion is a perfect creature to portray the fighting spirit that those men had. On the left side of the statue, there is a shield that has the Swiss cross on it.

Creation of the Statue

Captain Carl Pfyffer von Altishofen proposed the idea of the statue. The statue was designed by Danish sculture Bertel Thorvaldsenwhilst in Rome in 1819. Lucas Ahorn, a stonemason from Constance, which is in modern day German, started the carving of the sculpture in the limestone cliff starting in 1820 and 1821.

ger/102/2014/winter/lion_of_lucerne.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/25 12:05 by wahall
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