The construction of a wall was typical to protect a city, a village or a community even in a non-conflictual time. Formerly built of wood, they were later higher, more solid and made of stone. Lucerne sheltered itself like the other villages. Its typography with a hill (Musegghügel) (Musegg Hill) accentuates its imposing fortification around the city. As part of this 14th-century wall, nine (9) of the thirty (30) towers still stand. They are not identical and it is possible to access four (4) of them and to walk on the wall over a narrow passage with new outlooks of the city.
Nölliturm (Nolli Tower) (1513) is the first tower near the Reuss River, the only round tower still standing today. The tower, measuring 28 meters (91ft) high, has an arch allowing the circulation of cars since 1901. Located at river level, it once had a guard and defensive role.
It was also used for the storage of materials such as gunpowder, weapons and oil. Since 1922, the Safran Guild has occupied its walls. It is possible to reserve space for private events.
Männliturm (Little Man Tower) We do not know the exact year of construction but it stands out at 33 meters (108ft) high. It is the second in line after Nölliturm.
If you look closely, at the very top is a knight in armor with a flag and a sword in his hands. You have to climb the 125 steps to access the upper platform for a breathtaking view of the surroundings.
Luegislandturm (1370) The tallest and oldest of the towers measures 52.6 meters (172.5ft) and justified the presence of continual guards to monitor the city for unforeseen events until 1768. The opening to access it is on the side of the old town only but is not accessible to the public. It has a nicely decorated pointed roof.
Heuturm (Hay Tower) / Wachtturm (Watchtower) (1701) The 44-meters (144ft) high tower was rebuilt following a deadly explosion in 1701. A flash of lightning struck the tower.
The original 14th-century tower retained hay and gunpowder. It became an observation tower and also the police radio station. It is not open to the public.
Zytturm (Time Tower) (1403 or 1442) From its construction, the Zyt Tower did not have a defensive role but rather an informative part in displaying the time.
In the upper part of the 31-meter (101ft) high tower facing the old town is a huge clock face. On this same facade, in 1596, two giants were painted directly under the clock as if they were supporting it. It is the oldest clock in the city and has the honor and the right to strike one minute before any other clock to announce the hour.
Accessible to the public, the tower has also become a gallery gathering old historical clocks.
Schirmerturm (Umbrella Tower) (1420) The tower, with its passage, was a symbolic reference of the beginning and the end of the city and the countryside. 27.5 meters (90ft) high, you can climb its 96 steps to reach the wall. Notice the statue of the city’s patron saint, Saint Mauritius. The tower was also used as a botanical warehouse.
Pulverturm (1399) This tower is the second oldest and was the second to store gunpowder, just in case. It is not open to the public.
Allenwindenturm and Dächliturm are the two smaller towers that still require archaeological research to find out more. They are not open to the public.