Church of St. Leodegar

Lucerne, Switzerland

The Church of St. Leodegar was built in parts from 1633 to 1639 on the foundation of the Roman basilica which had burnt in 1633. This church was one of the few built north of the Alps during the Thirty Years War and one of the largest and art history rich churches of the German late renaissance period.

In the 8th century there was already an abbey consecrated to Saint Maurice on the current site of the church, which had been donated by Pepin the Short, and was known at the time as the Monastarium Luciaria. By the 12th century the abbey was under the jurisdiction of the Murbach Abbey, whose patron saint was St. Leodegar.

In 1291 the abbey was sold to the Habsburgs. In 1433 the city of Lucerne, no longer a member of the Eidgenossenschaft, took control of the abbey, and in 1455 it was converted from Benedictine to a “universal order” church.

The monastery experienced a heyday during the time of the reformation due to Luzern being a prominent city for the Swiss Catholic cantons. The papal nuncio, resident in Luzern, used the church as his cathedral during this time.

In 1874 the parish church of St. Leodegar was founded and with that the church became simultaneously a monastery church and parish church, as it is today.



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Founded: 1633-
Category: Religious sites in Switzerland

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User Reviews

Randy Chandra (4 months ago)
This church in the center of Lucerne is quite beautiful with unique spires. There was a Sunday service when we were there, so obviously I couldn't take many photos, but still amazed by the beautiful interior.
M N (4 months ago)
It's worth taking the time to walk around the Church and pay our respects to the deceased. It's a particular way to bury the dead that isn't seen everywhere. The Church building itself is in mint condition. Worth checking the daily mass times (in German). ?
Luke Phang (6 months ago)
Visited this church as their towers are visible from a distance and one of the few Catholic churches in Switzerland. The church is beautiful from the outside and inside, and is open to the public with a free entrance. What stood out for us with this church is how beautiful the church ground is as well, with a surrounding cemetery that is quite historical to Lucerne. You can trace some of the prominent names of citizens of Lucerne and see how far the history of the city goes. Quite a tranquil experience to be here and definitely enjoyed our experience here.
bill burke (7 months ago)
Wow, we accidentally ( maybe not?) happened upon a weekday evening Mass and then received an impromptu tour from a parishioner after. The Marion “chapel” stage right is super unique. Check out the kneeling man with bible who is being helped by someone with READING GLASSES! Many other cool things to see and research. Hoping some young folks are inspired to become priests. Definitely worth the stairs to get there
Lisa Lisa (9 months ago)
Beautiful church both inside and out. The grounds are also interesting. Read about it before and after will add to the experience. The people were also very kind.
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Tyniec Abbey

Tyniec Benedictine abbey was founded by King Casimir the Restorer probably around 1044. Casimir decided to rebuild the newly established Kingdom of Poland, after a Pagan rebellion and a disastrous Czech raid of Duke Bretislaus I (1039). The Benedictines, invited to Tyniec by the King, were tasked with restoring order as well as cementing the position of the State and the Church. First Tyniec Abbot was Aaron, who became the Bishop of Kraków. Since there is no conclusive evidence to support the foundation date as 1040, some historians claim that the abbey was founded by Casimir the Restorer’ son, King Boleslaw II the Generous.

In the second half of the 11th century, a complex of Romanesque buildings was completed, consisting of a basilica and the abbey. In the 14th century, it was destroyed in Tatar and Czech raids, and in the 15th century it was rebuilt in Gothic style. Further remodelings took place in the 17th and 18th centuries, first in Baroque, then in Rococo style. The abbey was partly destroyed in the Swedish invasion of Poland, and soon afterwards was rebuilt, with a new library. Further destruction took place during the Bar Confederation, when Polish rebels turned the abbey into their fortress.

In 1816, Austrian authorities liquidated the abbey, and in 1821-1826, it was the seat of the Bishop of Tyniec, Grzegorz Tomasz Ziegler. The monks, however, did not return to the abbey until 1939, and in 1947, remodelling of the neglected complex was initiated. In 1968, the Church of St. Peter and Paul was once again named the seat of the abbot. The church itself consists of a Gothic presbytery and a Baroque main nave. Several altars were created by an 18th-century Italian sculptor Francesco Placidi. The church also has a late Baroque pulpit by Franciszek Jozef Mangoldt.