Monument sights in Central Switzerland & Berner Oberland
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By far the most touching of the 19th-century sights that lured so many British to Lucerne is the Lion Monument. Lukas Ahorn carved this 10m-long sculpture of a dying lion into the rock face in 1820 to commemorate Swiss soldiers who died defending King Louis XVI during the French Revolution. Mark Twain once called it the ‘saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world’. For Narnia fans, it often evokes Aslan at the stone table.
Danish artist Bertel Thorvaldsen's Lion of Lucerne (Löwendenkmal) was built in 1819-21, a big dying beast sculptured into a former sandstone quarry wall. When author Mark Twain saw it he said it was the 'saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world'.
The Lion Monument commemorates (as the plaque says in Latin) the 'loyalty and bravery of the Swiss' who 'fell in the line of duty' or 'survived the battle through the care and attention of friends' during the French Revolution in 1792 while defending King Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette and their children in Paris's Tuileries Palace. Some 800 Swiss mercenaries died while defending the palace, unaware that their royal…