Franziskanerkirche (Franciscan church) is the oldest church in Lucerne / Luzern, dating back to the 13th century. From outside it looks rather simple, but the interior is simply stunning. All of the church is beautifully decorated in different styles :
On my 1st & 2nd pics : at the rear of the church you will see this side-chapel, with ornate stucco-works with plenty of sculptured angels that were added in the baroque
My 3rd picture : the outside of the church is not fancy at all, BUT you have to get inside !!
My 4th picture : the great pulpit decorated with wonderful wood-carvings
My 5th picture : See that great romanic fresco on top of the high-altar
On the south bank of the Reuss river, the Franziskanerkirche (Franciscan Church) is the oldest building in Luzern, dating from 1270, though it has been much restored over the centuries. It’s unusually richly decorated for a Franciscan church, with Renaissance choir stalls and battle standards lining the walls – copies of those looted from battlefields through the centuries. A marvellous Baroque side chapel is decorated with Italianate stucco and a host of kitschy, curly-haired angels.
We have come across another Church which looks pretty plain on the outside. We saw a nice fresco over the door and that was all!
Building of the Franciscan Church began in the 13th century, and it wasn't completed until the 17th century. As it took so long to build, there are a few different styles of architecture in the Church. It did start out in Gothic style, and then later, Renaissance and Baroque styles completed the construction of the Church.
Inside we went, not really expecting to see anything really special. Well, we were pleasantly surprised as it was quite beautiful inside!
There are many woodcarvings that are incredibly well done, they date to the 15th century. Take a look at the Pulpit, beautiful! ......And there are more carving's in the Church to view!
Then I noticed the Flags painted upon the upper walls and wondered......why?
They date from the 17th century, when the church doubled as a city hall. They represent locations where Swiss mercenaries fought and won.
The pink theme was carried on inside the Church too, and I wondered whether it was fake or real marble?
Then there was a sculpture of angels on the walls, these signify the beauty of architecture in Lucerne.
Unfortunately I was unable to see inside the Franziskanerkirche but I was impressed by its exterior frescoes and even more so by its fountain outside with the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The gold trim shines in the sun. It can be found in a wonderfully peaceful little square near the centre of the city. Maybe you will have more luck seeing inside than I did.
Paqrdon my amateur pics, they were taken out of a bus window, but they are enough to give you the idea.
Typical medieval mendicant architecture. Built in the second half of the 13th century, with an gothic style. Most ornate pulpit in Switzerland from the period between Renaissance and Baroque era. Flag frescoes represent Luzern's conquests in the Middle Ages.
Built in the second half of the 13th century in the Gothic style, the Franciscan church contains the most elaborate pulpit in Switzerland, made in the period between the Renaissance and the Baroque periods.
Also contained in the church are flag frescos representing the conquests of Lucerne in the Middle Ages.
Located just behind the Jesuit Church, the Franciscan is smaller and more intimate feeling than any of the other large churches I visited while in Lucerne.
The Franziskanerkirche was first started in 1239, the church of a Franciscan monastery. there have, of course, been substantial changes to the building over the centuries, but its absolute core is ancient.
The majority of what you can now see inside dates from the 1600s. I particularly liked the hugely elaborate chapel ceiling to the left of the altar, studded with rather chubby angels. But the large painting over the chancel arch is much older than the Baroque (1700s) angels. It dates from the mid-1400s and shows holy men and women gather around the crucified Christ.
At one time the area around the church was used for burials. Unfortunately, towards the end of the 1600s the church floor lifted (due to moisture underneath) and that resulted in a 'malodour' inside the church itself. The bodies were covered in lime in an attempt to stop the odour, but the combination of moist ground and lime meant bodies did not decay. There were obvious heath concerns about this and so, in 1798, burials were finally stopped.
The flags painted above the nave intrigued me. It seems that the banners and standards from the Battle of Sempach (1386) were displayed in the church until they finally disintegrated. The painted ones replaced them in the 1700s.
I really enjoyed visiting the Franziskanerkirche. It retains its atmosphere of antiquity and calm, despite the architectural changes which have been wrought over the centuries.
The church is open 0730-1830.