The Lion Monument in Lucerne

The Lion of Lucerne is a memorial sculpture in Lucerne, Switzerland commemorating the 760 Swiss soldiers killed during the French Revolution in 1792 while serving Louis XVI. It was designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen, and sculpted out of the sandstone rock in 1820/1821 by Lucas Ahorn. The monument is dedicated Helvetiorum Fidei ac Virtuti – To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss.

The dying lion is portrayed impaled by a spear, covering a shield with marked with the French fleur-de-lis (symbol of the French monarchy). Beside the lion is another shield bearing the Swiss coat of arms. The inscription below the sculpture lists the names of the soldiers who died.

Mark Twain spoke of the fatally-wounded lion saying that it was “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.”

3 Comments on The Lion Monument in Lucerne

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    July 14, 2010 at 10:49 am (12 years ago)

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