Fodor's Expert Review Kapellbrücke
The oldest wooden bridge in Europe snakes diagonally across the Reuss. When it was constructed in the early 14th century, the bridge served as a rampart in case of attacks from the lake. Its shingle roof and grand stone water tower are to Luzern what the Matterhorn is to Zermatt, but considerably more vulnerable, as a 1993 fire proved. Almost 80% of this fragile monument was destroyed, including many of the 17th-century paintings inside. Nevertheless, a walk through this dark, creaky landmark will take you past polychrome copies of 110 gable panels, painted by Heinrich Wägmann in the 17th century and depicting Luzern and Swiss history; stories of St. Leodegar and St. Mauritius, Luzern's patron saints; and coats of arms of local patrician families.