© Tanja Müller

Spreuer Bridge

A hidden gem

In addition to the Chapel Bridge, there is another famous wooden bridge in Lucerne: The Spreuerbrücke, located a little further down the river. And although it is less well-known than the world-famous Chapel Bridge and somewhat shorter, it is in no way inferior to its big sister. 

It is called the Spreuer Bridge because the chaff from the town mills, i.e. the grain waste from threshing, was thrown over the edge of the bridge into the Reuss. The southern half of the bridge, built in 1408, stands at right angles to the Reuss, the northern half at an angle to it.

Did you know that...?

The English amateur painter Constance Mary Hemsworth (1869-1940) was so enthusiastic about the Spreuer Bridge during her visit to Lucerne that she had it faithfully reproduced in the large garden of her estate after her return. On display in Monk Fryston in North Yorkshire, England.

Danse Macabre

The Spreuer Bridge, like the Chapel Bridge, boasts a striking series of paintings. Painted by Caspar Meglinger between 1625 and 1635, they bear impressive witness to a subject matter that was much in vogue in the Middle Ages: the Danse Macabre (Dance of Death). The pictures remind the viewer that death is ubiquitous and comes to everyone, regardless of one's station in life. A further eye-catching feature of the Spreuer Bridge is the chapel incorporated into it and containing motifs and figures from the cycle of the ecclesiastical year.

Led by an actress with the help of an audio guide, a guided tour starts at the History Museum and takes in the Spreuer Bridge, Mühlenplatz and points in between. Explanations of selected pictures are offered complete with historical.

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