Along the Hills of Lucerne near the main Street of Haldernstrasse are two prominent tower spries of the Roman Catholic Church of the Court Church of St. Leodegar, which is the most important church and a landmark in the city of Lucerne. The Church was built in 1639 AD upon the ruins of a previous roman church which was destroyed in 1633 AD and the church survived the destructive thirty years way between the catholics and the protestants (1618-1648) in Europe and of the the only remains of the old church are the Only the towers, St. Mary's altar and a few religious objects remain.
Admission is free and the church is open to the public from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and there are masses done in Swiss German for worshippers.
On the site of the eighth-century Benedictine monastery of St. Leodegar is the twin-towered Hofkirche, which was rebuilt in 1634-39 but preserved the 1525 towers of the previous church. It is considered the most important Renaissance church in Switzerland. On the north tower is a Late Gothic sculpture depicting the Agony in the Garden. Inside, the carved pulpit and choir-stalls are from 1639, and in the arcades surrounding the church are the tombs of members of old Lucerne families. Although the overall interior is simple and fairly plain, this just highlights the exuberant baroque gold altars. In the summer, recitals on the church's famous organ are held here.
I love the interior, especially Death of the Virgin's Altar and The Soul's Altar both decorated in ornate gold leaf.
With those high spears Hofkirche is noticeable from far distance and is part of many my photos from Luzerne. It gives special look to this charming town. I was visiting town on two occasion but on short time and didn't enter yet there but it is familiar sight in city. It cannot be missed!
Later I found out that is considerate as one of most beautiful renaissance-church in Switzerland.
On Luzern online presentation of Catholic churches and community in city you can download and
- "The Hofkirche in your pocket: This church guide will explain the history of the Hofkirche and its attractions in the immediate surroundings." I post link here to application - Audio guide to Hofkiche It is available on English and German language and it free as well and enter to church. Great pick for tourist in usually expensive country.
It is open every day from 7.00-19.00.
You can find several good guides online.
....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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.