Kussnacht am Rigi Tourist Attractions
Küssnacht, chief town of the district of that name between Lake Lucerne and Lake Zug, famous for its associations with William Tell, lies at the farthest tip of the Küssnachter See, the most northerly arm of Lake Lucerne. It first appears in the records in 870, in connection with a gift to the monastery in Lucerne.
Küssnacht - Town Sights
The Gasthaus Engel (Angel Inn) is a half-timbered building of 1552 with an old assembly hall and a Goethe Room. Parish church of St Peter and Paul (rebuilt in Baroque style 1708-10, enlarged 1968); Town Hall (1728).
William Tell (hero of Swiss legend)
William Tell, the hero of Swiss legend who, the story goes, refused to recognize the authority of the Habsburg governor Gessler, won his freedom by shooting the apple on his son's head and later killed Gessler in the Hohle Gasse, is a symbolic figure who has been a powerful inspiration throughout Swiss history. The desire for freedom lay at the root of the striving by this people of herdsmen and forest-dwellers in the heart of Switzerland to achieve independence, and continued in subsequent centuries to inspire the Confederates in their struggle. Switzerland's development into the well-ordered European state of today passed through many troubles and vicissitudes; but the "Perpetual Pact" between the three forest states in 1291 was strong enough to endure and form the basis of the present Confederation of 26 cantons.
Küssnacht - Surroundings
Sights in the surrounding area of Küssnacht include: Hohle Gasse, Tell Chapel, Gesslerburg, Rigi and Tooterberg.
Hollow Lane (William Tell sight)
2km/1mi northeast of Küssnacht on the road to Immensee is the Hohle Gasse ("Hollow Lane"), where tradition has it that William Tell shot the Austrian governor Gessler with his crossbow.The spot is marked by the Tell chapel (built 1638, restored 1895, with paintings by H. Bachmann of "Gessler's Death" and "Tell's Death"). The Hohle Gasse was purchased by the young people of Switzerland and presented to the Confederation.
Above Küssnacht stands the ruined Gesslerburg ("Gessler's Castle"), the remains of a medieval stronghold which has no connection with the Austrian governor Gessler (who William Tell shot with his crossbow). After visiting Küssnacht Goethe suggested the subject of William Tell to Schiller, and Schiller's play in turn inspired Rossini's opera.
Rigi Staffel (Rigi Känzeli)
5km/3mi above Küssnacht on a narrow and winding mountain road (or seven minutes by cableway), on the slopes of the Rigi, is the Seebodenalp (1,030 m/3,379ft), from which a footpath leads in 1.5 hours to Rigi Staffel and Rigi Känzeli.
4km/2mi west of Küssnacht is Udligenswil, from which there is a footpath up the Rooterberg (798 m/2,618ft St Michaelkreuz chapel). Just outside Küssnacht on the Lucerne road a Flemish-style memorial chapel is dedicated to Queen Astrid of Belgium, who was killed in a car accident here in 1935.