Hofkirche - Abbey Court Church, Lucerne

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    Interior
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    Hofkirche
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    Entrance doors
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    Not quite so twiddly.......

    by leics Updated Jul 6, 2013

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    Hofkirche
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    ....but still architecturally interesting and definitely worth seeking out.

    Lucerne's Hofkirche (the church of St Leodegar) is not particularly old. Most of it was built in the mid-1600s, after a fire in 1633 destroyed all the previous building apart from the two towers on its frontage.

    But the site on which is stands is much more ancient. A monastery was first constructed there in the 8th century (the 700s) and the buildings which replaced it in the 12th-century (1100s) were those destroyed by the fire. The existing Hofkirche still acts as a monstery church.

    The wooden doors are very impressive, depicting saints Leger and Mauritius...but they have a disconcerting tendency to open all by themselves as you approach!

    The interior decoration is pretty much the same as it was when the church was first built; unlike most European churches there have been few later additions, removals or changes. So you can see the original wooden pews, their ends beautifully carved...those for the most important and wealthy citizens are divided into individual seats by armrests, though ordinary folk had to fit in as best they could on the undivided pews. These pews are the oldest still in existence in Switzerland.

    I particularly liked the 'Death of the Virgin' altar, to the left as you look at the main altar. It dates from around 1500 and somehow managed to survive the 1633 fire. I like the way the Virgin Mary is depicted propped up in a very-1500s bed, with very-1500s hair and clothing. :-)

    The other side-altar dates from 1640. Its creator, Niklaus Geisler, managed to include part of a much earlier Pieta rescued from the 1633 fire.

    There are cloisters to the side of the church which contain memorials to and the graves of many of Lucerne's most powerful families.

    Definitely somewhere to include in your visit to Lucerne. Open Saturday to Thursday 10-12 and 2-5.

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    Hofkirche

    by Maryimelda Written Oct 27, 2011

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    The unmistakable twin spires of Hofkirche
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    Built on the site of Lucerne's first monastery (which can be traced back to the 8th century) and which was gutted by fire in the 12th century, the Hofkirche is the one with the twin spires which can be seen from far and wide around Lucerne. The beautiful Romanesque building was also burnt down in the year 1633. Miraculously the twin spires survived the blaze and are still standing. The rest of the church was replaced by a Renaissance style design which, looks a bit strange between the spires but in its own way is very beautiful as well.

    The remains of many Patrician residents of Lucerne are interred in the graveyard at Hofkirche, which is still in operation right now.

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    Hofkirche - Cloisters

    by pure1942 Updated May 8, 2008

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    Hofkirche Cloisters

    The Hofkirche is located on the site of a former Benedictine monastery and so it comes as no surprise to find that the church has a cloister area to the north side of the church. The cloisters contain the graves of many important figures from Lucerne's religious history.

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    Hofkirche - Interior

    by pure1942 Updated May 8, 2008

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    Death of the Virgin Altar
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    The interior of the Hofkirche is hugely impressive especially Death of the Virgin's Altar and The Soul's Altar both decorated in ornate gold leaf. The interior is created in the Renaissance style and dates from the 17th century having undergone significant restoaration after the disastrous fire of 1633. The imprseeive high altar is made of black marble with gold leaf and is crowned by a huge crucifix. The carved wooden pulpit located half-way up the central ailse was created by Niklaus Geissler as are the choir stalls on the altar. On the left is the beautiful Death of the Virgin Altar and on the right is the stunning Soul's Altar. Also worth noting is the huge organ and gallery.

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    Hofkirche

    by pure1942 Written May 8, 2008

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    Hofkirche across the lake
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    The Hofkirche is located in the northern area of the city just across the Seebrucke and its' tall spires can be seen overlooking the lake. The church is located on the previous site of an earlier Benedictine monastery dating from the 8th century. The church is dedicated to St. Leodegar. A Romanesque Church replaced the monastery in the 12th century but was destroyed by a fire in 1633. The only part of the church which survived were the churches tall twin spires. The church was rebuilt in 1645 in the Renaissance style which explains the odd clash of styles between the towers and central facade. The wooden doors of the church are interesting and its' carvings depict St. Loedegar, on hte left, who was blinded by the drill which he is holding in his left hand! The other carving is of St. Maurice.

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    lovely houses behind Hofkirche

    by globetrott Updated Jan 12, 2007

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    great buildings behind Hofkirche
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    Dont miss to take a walk through this scenic quater just behind of Hofkirche. You might get the feeling to be in a small village in the swiss countryside instead of the centre of a large town. It starts with that wooden building on my 2nd picture and it will continue with these great halftimbered houses, there are almost no cars in that area, that seems not to have changed in the last 350 years.

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  • globetrott's Profile Photo

    a beautiful Renaissance-church

    by globetrott Updated Jan 12, 2007

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    Hofkirche in Luzern
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    Hofkirche is - at least according to some guidebooks - considdered to be the most beautiful renaissance-church in Switzerland. In any way it looks very special already from outside with its 2 significant towers and a beautifully decorated building between them (see my 2nd picture !) Take a closer look also at the ornate woodcarvings of the large entrance-gate (my 3rd & 5th picture).
    There are various great altars, all of them beautifully decorated and of course you may enter Hofkirche freely and without restrictions during the day !
    Around the church you may see a small cemetery and next to the Hofkirche you may get the feeling to be in a small village in the country-side - see my next tip

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    A city landmark

    by sswagner Written Jun 26, 2006

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    Hofkirche
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    The Hofkirche stands on the North side of the lake and can easily be seen from many places due to its twin towers (not to be confused with the Jesuit church which also has twin towers). The architecture is that of Renaissance style. The building is both remarkable on the interior and the exterior. Some steps lead up to it, but they are not a major climb. The doors are also worth a look.

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  • pabertra's Profile Photo

    Hofkirche

    by pabertra Written Oct 13, 2005

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    This well-known church is Luzern's main cathedral. It dates back to a Benedictine monastery on the grounds in the 8th century. Destroyed by fire in 1633, the church was then rebuilt in 1645. In a country more noted for natural beauty than buildings, the Hof church is considered to be the most important Renaissance church in the country.

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    Hofkirche

    by codrutz Updated Jul 19, 2005

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    Hofkirche

    Hofkirche stands on the site of the first monastery in Lucerne, which dated from the mid-8th century, dedicated to St.Leger. The Romanesque church which replaced the monastery in the late 12th century was burned to the ground on an Easter Sunday in 1633. Only its twin towers escaped from the fire. The misshap was kind of stupid, the blazed reputedly sparked by the verger’s careless shooting at birds. The impressive main doors are carved with the two patron saints of Luzern: on the left is St. Leger, a French bishop who was blinded with a drill (which he is holding), and on the right is St. Maurice, the martyred Roman soldier-saint. The interior design and furniture are almost wholly original Renaissance from the 1630s and 1640s, a unity very rarely found in Swiss or European churches, a large proportion of which underwent renovation and embellishment during the later Baroque period.

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    THE HOFKIRCHE

    by Hosell Updated Nov 23, 2004

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    Another very nice place to make a stop,if you are walking by the lake area is The Hofkirche (Abbey Court Church).

    This beautiful church it was rebuilt in 1,645 in the site of an old monastery.I didn't had the chance to see the interior or this church but our guide told us that is a Must See in Lucerne.Is one of most beautiful Reinassance church building in Switzerland,and if you can have the chance to see the interior,you'll find a few very interesting things.

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    Hofkirche

    by MATIM Written Sep 6, 2004

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    Abby Court church

    The two towers of the Hofkirche (the Abby court church) rise high above the city, you can spot the towers from almost every corner of Lucerne.
    It is because the church is build on a hill, stairs lead you to it.

    I made this picture of the Hofkirche when we where on the boat that brought us back to Lido at the other side of Lucerne where we parked our car for that day.

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  • amsterdam_vallon's Profile Photo

    Hofkirche (Hof Curch)

    by amsterdam_vallon Written Jul 26, 2004
    Hofkirche

    Main cathedral for the city population and religious center St.Leodegar and Mauritius. Benedictine monastery founded here in the 8th century. Fire destroyed the church in 1633. Rebuilt n 1645, it's the most important Renaissance church building in Switzerland. Especially nothworthy are the facade, Mary's Altar (with a relief panel from 1500) and the soul's altar.

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    hofkirche

    by call_me_rhia Updated Dec 19, 2003

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    hofkirche at night

    The Hofkirche is an interesting church dedicated to Saint Leodegar, who happens to be one of the two Lucerne's patron saints. It was built in Romanesque site to replace a 12th century Monastery, one of the first in Switzerland, after it burned to the ground on Easter Sunday 1633. Of the original construction only the two twin towers have survived. There's also a cloister that can be visited, with graves of some important patricial Lucerne families, and an imposing organ.

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    The Hofkirche part III

    by PartyRambo Written Mar 28, 2003

    The organ in the church is truly a marvel to those who can appreciate the artistry in its conception.
    2,826 pipes adorn the mighty beast, and it includes a machine which mimics the sounds of rain, thunder and hail (presumably to make the presence of God heard, and felt, in the booming deep tones).

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