Thursday, September 13, 2012

Swiss-Day 2-Lucern

Today's trip was to Lucern, a city on the shore of Lake Lucern where the famous covered wooden bridge from 1168 links both sides of the old port city. It was a cold and rainy day. As a group we took the tour trolley to get our bearings then visited a very fine example of a 360 degree painting called "The Bourbaki Panarama". While this type of painting was somewhat popular before the advent of motion pictures as a form of entertainment, there are only about a dozen remaining in the world. This is a masterpiece of artistry and is almost hard to look at as it portrayed the pain and suffering at the end of the war and the rescue of the 87,000 defeated French army soldiers who were interned in 1871 in Switzerland. The town was assisted by the newly formed Red Cross and 188 localities who provided accommodations, food and medical help, this was a logistical miracle. The painter , Edouard Castres, who was with the Red Cross, and another painter, Hodler, were commissioned to do this work in 1881 which was first exhibited in Geneva then in Lucern. I highly recommend seeing this extremely moving and impressive masterpiece. After the panarama I went off from the group and visited the two major art museums in Lucern-one the new contemporary museum and the other The Sammlung Rosengart Museum. I happened upon a very nice underground shopping area below the major intersection near the new museum. They have you descend electric stairs to cross the street and this leads to a very interesting sub-culture. This is located right beside the lake that has a strong current-an amazing feat. After walking over the famous wooden bridge and some shopping in the old district we returned to our hotel.

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