Lucerne Switzerland about 1892

LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND — One of the best known gateways into Switzerland is Lucerne, which greets us ever with a smile, peacefully resting by its lovely lake. How many travelers will testify to the charm and beauty of this place, where one stands full of expectation, on the threshold of the land of mountains. It is a curious old town. Its pretty river is crossed by ancient bridges, adorned with quaint old paintings, and guarded still by mediaeval towers, which seem a trifle out of place within a land whose natural ramparts have been reared by the Almighty, and rise to such immensity that man’s poor battlements look in comparison like children’s toys. One of these sentinels, which almost casts its shadow on the town itself, is Mt. Pilate, 7,000 feet in height, harsh, cold and uninviting in appearance, yet in reality containing thirty “Alps ” or mountain meadows, upon which graze four or five thousand head of sheep and cattle. Upon this mountain Pontius Pilate is said to have committed suicide in his remorse for his condemnation of Jesus. But Mt. Pilate has a dangerous rival here; for on the other side of the old town is that most fashionable Alpine peak, the Righi. Both of them now are easy to ascend, for enterprise has girded their steep sides with iron rails, drawn paths of steel through their black-bearded forests, and finally has placed upon their crests a number of hotels. Moreover, in front of Lucerne is its enchanting lake, 22 miles in length, along which steamers glide continuously, their shaded decks containing hundreds of delighted tourists. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)

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