Lucerne, a Swiss canton, bounded by those of Aargau, Zug, Bern, Unterwalden, and Schwyz; area 579 square miles. The surface, which is flat or gently undulating in the N., rises in the S. to meet the Bernese Alps, reaching in Mount Pilatus a height of 6,998 feet. Cattle-rearing and dairy farming are carried on in the mountainous districts, and where the soil is more fertile corn and fruit are grown. The inhabitants speak German, and for the most part belong, to the Church of Rome.
The Lake of Luceene - called also the "Lake of the Four Forest Cantons," viz. Lucerne, Schwyz, Unterwalden, and Uri - is a magnificent sheet of water of very irregular form, somewhat resembling a roughly-hewn cross; the area is 44 square miles. The scenery towards the N. and W. is of a gentle pastoral character, but, as the banks become more rugged and precipitous, it increases in grandeur, and the most beautiful part of the lake is that which lies within the canton of Uri.
The town of Luceene is picturesquely situated at the N.W. end of the lake, where the Reuss issues from it. It is much frequented by tourists. Outside the walls is the Lion of Lucerne, designed by Thorwaldsen and cut out of the solid rock as a memorial of the Swiss Guards slain at the Tuileries in 1792.