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Lucerne Towers

The Towers of Lucerne / Les tours de Lucerne /
Die Türme von Luzern / Le torri di Lucerna
- Prue Bishop 2017
Sculptural Watercolour® in a box frame 60 x 80 x 7 cm

This work is available for exhibition.  It is not for sale


Many tourists and even some local people visit Lucerne without it seems appreciating just how many wonderful towers are there. There are even more of them than Prue Bishop has brought together for us here. Each is cared for most meticulously. If you visit, you should walk along the old line of medieval towers, that forms the background to this Sculptural Watercolour, and look very carefully to find some most intriguing decorative items on the very top of these towers, and those in the city.

When JMW Turner came this way - more than once - in the first half of the 19th Century, he made many pencil sketches of various details of Lucerne and also painted several preliminary and final watercolours.

The background feature of the above painting is what remains of the old city wall: the 870m long 'Museggmaur', with is towers: 'Museggtürmen'. The walls were constructed mainly in the 14th and 15th centuries, with parts from around 100 years earlier. Of the 9 towers, 4 are open to the public between April and October including the Zyt tower - the impressive clock tower - whose clock, dating back to 1535, is allowed to chime one minute early.

The Museggmaur is today above all a tribute to those citizens that halted the headlong destruction of all the city's defensive towers. Today, this final section of wall enjoys legal protection from development. As may be seen in paintings by J MW Turner and others, the city looked very different in their day.

The city records (reference inform us that in the 19th century, the removal of the city’s Medieval defences began with the demolition of the Sentitor and the Sentimauer in 1833, the gates at Kapellplatz in 1836 and the leather tower on Grendel in 1848. A public meeting on 30 November 1856 agreed the demolition of the Inner and Outer Weggistor, Graggentor, Rose Garden, Burgertor, Baslertor and Kessel Towers.

Since Prue Bishop's first visit to Switzerland in the 1960s, she has noted the destruciton of too many building that she would personally have considered historic. In support of the enlightenment shown above in saving the Musegg walls and towers, she wishes this Sculptural Watercolour to stand as a reminder to Swiss citizens that they must consider their heritage most carefully before agreeing to further destruction of such irreplaceable buildings.


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Prue and John Bishop 2002 - 2018
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