Although referred by many as the Lake of Luzern it is technically called the Vierwaldstattersee, the Lake of the Four Forested Cantons. The lake is the fourth largest in Switzerland and is also a complicated shape having seven bays or inlets. It is known for its incredible natural beauty as the shoreline regularly rises steeply into mountains standing more than 1,500m above the lake resulting in spectacular views of Mt. Pilatus, Mt. Rigi and Mt. Stanserhorn
It has a total area of 114km² (44mi²) and sits at an elevation of 434m (1,424ft) above sea level. The lake is glacial formed and as a consequence is quite deep at 214m (702ft) so giving it a total volume of 11.8km³. The lake has a maximum length of 30km (19mi) and a maximum width of 20km (12mi), both of which combine to give it a total surface area of 113.6km² (43.9mi²).
The lake is actually formed by two valley’s running parallel with each other on an east-west axis. They are connected by the ridge which contain Mt. Bürgenstock by a strait that is almost 1km (0,63mi) wide between two rocky promontories; Untere and Obere Nase. The highest point around the lake is Rophaien at 2078m (6817ft) near the town of Flüelen. The river Ruess enters the lake at Flüelen and exits in the city of Luzern thus creating a constant movement of the water so that the water rarely freezes, even in the coldest of winters.
Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” derives its name from an 1832 review by music critic Luwig Rellstab who described the first movement as “moonlight shining over lake Luzern”
The lakes natural beauty has seen many wealthy businessman and noble families purchase property on the banks of the lake. After the war the Luzern Canton government created a law prohibiting the building on anywhere “green”. Property price on the lake have since sky-rocketed giving us these incredible views of castles and stately home with awe inspiring mountain in the background.
A definite must-do for any visit to Luzern