Lucerne: History & Tradition

Lucerne joined the Swiss Confederacy, at the time an alliance between the three forest cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden, in 1332. One of Lucerne's main reasons for accession was increasing domination by the Habsburg dukes and kings. In the later middle ages, Lucerne developed into a city-state. Its biggest drive for expansion came in the years between 1386 and 1415, and by about 1480, the formation of the future cantonal territory was largely completed.


In 1798 the Napoleonic army invaded, forcing the Lucerne patriciate from power and transferring sovereignty to the people of Lucerne. The 1803 Act of Mediation led to a new constitution, allowing the Canton greater sovereignty. From now on, opposing political parties would continue to determine the Canton's political affairs. The conservative Catholic forces held sway in the countryside, while liberals dominated the city. The Catholic cantons of Inner Switzerland were not finally defeated until the civil war of the Sonderbund, in which they fought the Protestant liberal cantons.







LU history


Tradition – Fasnacht

To find out what the people of Lucerne are really like, a visit to the Canton during the "fifth season of the year" is a must. Year in, year out, Brother Fritschi and his wife drive the cold winter away to the sound of kettledrums and trumpets. The three-day Lucerne Carnival is the biggest annual event in the Canton and, indeed, the whole of Central Switzerland.



LU history


Culinary tradition

Lucerne "Chügelipastete"
Chügelipastete is one of the Canton's few historic culinary specialities. It dates back to the 18th century. A puff pastry vol-au-vent case is filled with a ragout of mushrooms, veal and raisins.

Print recipe (141 KB)


Traditional products

  • Lozärner Rägetröpfli
  • Lozärner Chatzestreckerli
  • Birrewegge
  • Kafi Träsch 

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