Tag Archives: Lucerne Switzerland

Saturday Sculpture: LIONS

Linked to Mind Over Memory who hosts this challenge.

First I offer you a real lion, the BIG DADDY Lion, the original MGM Lion.

By Pacific & Atlantic Photos – eBayfrontnews storyback, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37816547

Sorry. I know it isn’t a statue but I couldn’t resist this. I did start off with the bronze statue of the lion from the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas but I thought it paled beside the real thing so there you have it.

Now here are two sculpted Lions. The first one from Lucerne, Switzerland, was described by Mark Twain in his 1880 travelogue “A Tramp Abroad” as “The most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world”. A mortally wounded lion is carved into the wall of a sandstone quarry in the old part of the town, designed as a memorial to mercenary soldiers from central Switzerland who lost their lives defending the royal Tuileries and the family of Louis XVI in Paris in August 1792 during the French Revolution. Six hundred died in their defence and 140 more died afterwards.

The 6m x 10m long monument was designed by the Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen and carved by German stonemason Lucas Ahorn out of the sandstone rock in 1820-21.

The Wounded Lion in Old Lucerne, Switzerland

Next we move to Spain, to Cordoba where there are so many statues it is easy to miss this one, but he is part of the Triunfo de San Rafael column, the most elaborate of many devotional columns in Cordoba commemorating the town’s guardian angel. The column at the center of a scenic viewpoint was begun in 1765 and it was finally finished in 1871. He’s quite an ugly old lion but I feel sorry for him as he looks uncared for and few stop to admire him as they gaze upwards at the shiny figure of the saint or rush across the bridge to photograph the more famous Mesquita.

Lion at the base of the Triunfo de San Rafael column in Cordoba, Spain.

Wanted: Hot Chestnuts

Hot Chestnuts for sale in Lucerne, Switzerland

It’s a cold and wintry day here, the skies are grey, not blue like they were yesterday, and my mind flies back to this time last year in Lucerne where, along the lake dotted with boats and swans, the hot chestnut sellers were doing a roaring trade. I can smell them now and I long for some. Some Swiss chocolate wouldn’t come amiss either.