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Wasserturm - the town's landmark

Alternate uses: See Lucerne (disambiguation).

Lucerne (German: Luzern) is a city in Central Switzerland with a population of 64,656 (1980). The city is located on the borders of Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee) with a famous wooden bridge and within sight of Mount Pilatus and the Rigi[?].

There is apparently no record of the city's founding, but it is mentioned in 840 named "Luciaria", the name originating from a monastery of St Leodegar[?] founded around 730. The opening of the St Gotthard Pass[?] route in the 13th century made Lucerne into an important trading town. Acquired by the Hapsburgs in 1291, it joined the Swiss Confederation in 1332. Lucerne was capital of the Helvetian Republic[?] in 1798.

Since the city straddles the Reuss River[?] where it drains the lake, it has a number of bridges. The most famous is the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), a 204 m (670 ft) long wooden bridge originally built in 1333, although much of it had to be replaced after a 1993 fire. Partway across, the bridge runs by the octagonal Water Tower (Wasserturm), a fortification from the 13th century. The Bridge with its Tower is the city's most famous landmark.

The Swiss Transport Museum is an impressively large and comprehensive museum exhibiting all forms of transportation, including locomotives, automobiles, ships, and aircraft.

The Culture and Convention Center Lucerne[?] besides the lake in the center of the city was built by Jean Nouvel. The center has one of the worlds leading concert halls (Accustic: Russel Johnson). Every year in late summertime the very famous Lucerne Festival[?] (classic music) takes place.

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