Lucerne, Lake (German: Vierwaldstätter See), a lake in central Switzerland. It lies at the northern edge of the Alps at an elevation of 1,424 feet (434 m) and is bordered by the cantons (states) of Lucerne, Unterwalden, Uri, and Schwyz. Lake Lucerne has an area of about 40 square miles (100 km2) and a maximum depth of 702 feet (214 m). Numerous alpine streams enter the lake; the Reuss is the only outlet.
The picturesque region around Lake Lucerne, which was the cradle of Swiss liberty and the land of the legendary William Tell, is one of the most visited parts of Switzerland. Lucerne, on the northwestern shore, is the largest city and chief tourist attraction. Peaks 5,000 to 7,000 feet (1,500 to 2,100 m) high overlook the lake—from Pilatus and Rigi there are spectacular panoramic views.