Lucerne is the capital of the Canton of Lucerne and the capital of the district of the same name. It is situated in the German-speaking portion of north-central Switzerland. Its population of about 76,200 inhabitants makes Lucerne the most populous city in Central Switzerland. There are 17 cities and towns, located in three cantons, with about 250,000 people that form Lucerne’s urban area. The city represents the nexus of government, transport and telecommunications of this area.
Lucerne’s location on the shore of Lake Lucerne, with Mount Pilatus and Rigi in the Swiss Alps overlooking it, is an important tourist attraction. Chapel Bridge, a wooden chapel dated from 14th century, is emblematic for the city.
The city is home for many festivals throughout the year. Lucerne’s Carnival is a glittering outdoor party, with strange characters in fantastic masks and costumes and carnival bands gathering people for sing and dance. The Carnival is a wonderful parade of big bands, lights and lanterns that attracts tens of thousands of people every year, towards the end of winter.
In summer there is the Lucerne Festival with Lucerne Festival Orchestra, composed of some of the finest instrumentalists in the world. Early in June takes place the pop music festival B-Side, focused on international acts in alternative music, indie rock, experimental rock and other cutting edge and left field artistic musical genres. In July jazz, blues and punk music are present at the Blue Balls Festival hosted by the Culture and Convention Centre. In November The Lucerne Blues Festival occurs. Lucerne has hosted the Festival Rose d’Or for television entertainment since 2004. The comics’ festival Fumetto attracts an international audience.
Lucerne also regularly holds different folklore festivals, such as the annual Lucerne Cheese Festival.
The Swiss Wrestling and Alpine festival (Eidgenössisches Schwing- und Älplerfest), which takes place every three years in a different location, was held in 2004 in Lucerne. In 2006 took place a national music festival (Eidgenössiches Musikfest) involving marking bands from all over the Switzerland and in 2008 was the yodelling festival (Eidgenössisches Jodlerfest) of the same importance.
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