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Lake Lucerne

Lake Lucerne (Ger: Vierwaldstättersee, lit. "Lake of the Four Forest Cantons", sometimes Lake Luzern) is a lake in central Switzerland, the fourth-largest in the country.

The lake is a complicated shape, with bends and arms reaching from the city of Lucerne into the mountains. It has a total area of 144 sq km (44 sq mi), an elevation of 437 m (1434 ft), and a maximum depth of 214 m (702 ft). Much of the shoreline rises steeply into mountains up to 1500 m above the lake, resulting in many picturesque views.

It borders on the three original Swiss cantons of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden, as well as the canton of Lucerne, thus the name. Many of the oldest communities of Switzerland are along the shore, including Küssnacht[?], Weggis[?], Vitznau[?], Gersau[?], Brunnen[?], Altdorf[?], Buochs[?], and Treib[?]. In addition, the meadow of the Rütli[?], traditional site of the founding of the Swiss Confederation, is on the southeast shore of the lake.

It is possible to circumnavigate the lake by road, though the route is slow, twisted, and goes through tunnels part of the way. Dozens of steamers ply between the different towns on the lake. It is a popular tourist destination, both for native Swiss and foreigners, and there are many hotels and resorts along the shores.

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