Central Switzerland’s largest town, Lucerne (Luzern in German) lies on the western shore of Lake Lucerne. From its origins as a small fishing village, it grew into an important staging point when the St Gotthard Pass was opened in 1220. Easily explored on foot. the medieval Old Town lies on the north bank of the River Reuss and can be reached by crossing over the Chapel Bridge. The best view of Lucerne is from the towers in the fortifications that encircle the Old Town to the north.