The first Spreuerbrücke bridge was constructed in the 13th century to connect the Mühlenplatz (Mill Place) on the right bank of the Reuss with the mills in the middle of the river. The extension of the bridge to the left bank was completed only in 1408. This was the only bridge in Lucerne where it was allowed to dump chaff and leaves into the river, as it was the bridge farthest downriver. The bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1566 and then rebuilt, together with a granary as the bridge head, called the Herrenkeller.

Totentanz

The pediments of the Spreuer Bridge contain paintings in the interior triangular frames, which is a feature unique to the wooden bridges of Lucerne. In the case of the Spreuer Bridge, the paintings form a Danse Macabre, known as Totentanz in German, which was created from 1616 to 1637 under the direction of painter Kaspar Meglinger. It is the largest known example of a Totentanz cycle. Of the 67 original paintings, 45 are still in existence. Most of the paintings contain the coat of arms of the donor in the lower left corner and to the right the coat of arms of the donor's wife. The black wooden frames bear explanations in verse and the names of the donors. The paintings also contain portraits of the donors and other exponents of Lucerne society. The painters of Lucerne knew the woodcuts by Hans Holbein the Younger but were more advanced in their painting technique. The images and texts of the Lucerne Danse Macabre are intended to highlight that there's no place in the city, in the country or at sea where death isn't present.

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    Founded: 1566
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    User Reviews

    Fabrizio Pin (17 months ago)
    It was full of flowers on the outside and from there you can appreciate the beautiful color of the water from the lake
    Dinja vd Broek (17 months ago)
    Worth a visit. I think it's even prettier then the Kapellbrücke... Less tourist so you can walk and take your time to take a picture. I'm glad we walked further then the Kapellbrücke!
    Joseph Honour (17 months ago)
    This is an attractive feature of Lucerne which has inspired artists to add various paintings to the roof structure. Well worth a slow walk along this bridge to appreciate these artworks.
    Katie Boudreau (17 months ago)
    A nice historic sight to visit while in Lucerne. Look up in the awnings of the bridge to find very old religious paintings and scenes. The bridge does get very crowded so expect lots of slow walkers.
    Oleg Naumov (18 months ago)
    This bridge is excellent monument of medieval culture, architecture and engineering. It was built in 1408 and still serves for the people. Bridge is constructed for pedestrians only. There are many icons painted in XVII century inside the bridge gallery. Conclusion is obvious, this bridge is another "must see place" in Luzern.
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