Below is a photograph of one of Lucerne’s most famous tourist attraction. You may recognize it as the “Lion of Lucerne”— a rock relief sculpture of a mortally wounded lion hewn into the rocky face of a large cliff in a former sandstone quarry near Lucerne, in central Switzerland. The monument was dedicated in memory of the Swiss Guards who lost their lives defending the Tuileries Palace in Paris during the 1792 French Revolution. The dying lion symbolizes the soldiers’ courage, strength, and willingness to die rather than to betray their oath of service.
In the last two centuries, hundreds of millions of tourists have seen this monument, which Mark Twain described as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world”. But few people realize, when they look at the monument, that there are not one but two different animals carved in the rock face.