🌍📍Lion of Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland 🇨🇭
3️⃣ Fun Facts 🤪
☀️Praised by Mark Twain as "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world", the Lion of Lucerne memorializes the Swiss guards who were massacred during the 1792 French Revolution after revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris.
💧Although massively outnumbered and low on ammunition the Swiss put up a strong fight even after King Louis XVI of France ordered them to retire back to the barracks. Serving as part of the Royal Household of France, nearly six hundred of those Swiss men were killed that day either during the fighting or after they surrendered. An estimated 200 more died in prison from improperly treated wounds or from the September Massacres that followed.
🌳The monument was initiated by an officer of the guards who had been on leave that day in Lucerne. He collected money for his fallen men for 2 ½ years before having enough to hire sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. The monument is dedicated "To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss", Helvetiorum Fidei ac Virtuti.
🍄”The Lion lies in his lair in the perpendicular face of a low cliff — for he is carved from the living rock of the cliff. His size is colossal, his attitude is noble. His head is bowed, the broken spear is sticking in his shoulder, his protecting paw rests upon the lilies of France. Vines hang down the cliff and wave in the wind, and a clear stream trickles from above and empties into a pond at the base, and in the smooth surface of the pond the lion is mirrored, among the water-lilies. Around about are green trees and grass. The place is a sheltered, reposeful woodland nook, remote from noise and stir and confusion — and all this is fitting, for lions do die in such places, and not on granite pedestals in public squares fenced with fancy iron railings. The Lion of Lucerne would be impressive anywhere, but nowhere so impressive as where he is.”🍄
🍀Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad, 1880