Mark Twain Called This "The most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world"
Dubbed "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world" by Mark Twain, this monument hewn into a cliff face in Switzerland stands 6m tall and 10m wide. The Lion of Lucerne, designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen and carved by Lukas Ahorn, was completed in 1821 to memorialize the hundreds of Swiss Guards who lost their lives defending the Tuileries Palace from French revolutionaries in 1792.
The speared and dying lion covers a French shield with his paw while a Swiss shield lays nearby. Inscribed below the lion are names of the officers who were among the 760 or so massacred, while above is chiseled "Helvetiorum Fidei ac Virtuti" (To the loyalty and bravery of the Swiss).