Jesuit Church In Lucerne: Visiting An Architectural Gem

Do you know why I like Lucerne so much? It is a perfect destination! Lucerne has a charming old city, awe-inspiring natural scenery, time-transporting cultural sites, and gorgeous landmarks.

Wait, Lucerne has gorgeous landmarks? Yes, and I consider some of them architectural gems. Among Lucerne’s beautiful architectural attractions, it’s the Jesuit Church which I think is the best.

If you wonder how beautiful the Jesuit Church is or if it’s even worth seeing, this post will help you know why it’s a yes. I’ll show you what’s inside and where’s the best places you must go to photograph the Jesuit Church. Let’s get started!

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I believe architecture lovers and Catholics would not miss the Jesuit Church when they visit Lucerne. Why? Simply because I think it is the most beautiful Catholic Church building you can find not only in Lucerne but in all of Switzerland!

But how about other typical tourists?

I’m positive that they’ll also like dropping by the Jesuit Church because it’s a remarkable place in Switzerland—historically and aesthetically. Especially since the interiors of the Jesuit Church are a feast for the eye! But, before I show you what’s inside the Jesuit Church, let me first give you a brief background about it.

So, what is the Jesuit Church all about?

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The Jesuit Church in Lucerne is the first large baroque church built north of the Alps.

It is a Catholic Church, erected during the later half of the 17th century to bolster the presence of Catholicism amidst the spread of the Protestant church—the same reason it was built in baroque style. The baroque style allowed the church building to emphasize Catholic tradition, mostly in its visual culture and veneration of saints. 

The beautiful frescoes and high altar of the Jesuit Church are proof.

Aesthetically speaking, Jesuit Church’s baroque facade is visibly simpler compared to other churches (especially gothic). But what is inside this baroque church will truly captivate your sight. The imposing intricate interiors, filled with white and golden rococo stucco, are just spectacular.

Another remarkable thing about the Jesuit Church is its fine acoustics. If there will be a concert during your visit, grab the chance to hear how the entertaining melody is transmitted perfectly throughout the church.

Inside The Jesuit Church

For me, the most remarkable feature of the Jesuit Church in Lucerne is its grandiose rococo stucco ceiling. Its softer pastel color schemes and ornate and fanciful designs, including elaborate scrollwork, flower decorations, and curved lines, will surely give you this airy, heavenly feeling.

At the same time, the interiors of the Jesuit Church include numerous frescoes and paintings depicting religious scenes, making it a truly awe-inspiring site. 

When visiting a beautiful church in Lucerne, I encourage taking the time to truly appreciate its architecture and features. Take in the details of the exquisite decorations and artwork, gaze at the intricate stuccos, and become familiar with the church’s history. You can also meditate on these artworks if you are a believer.

Here are some of the photos of the Jesuit Church’s interiors:

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The beautiful fresco and intricate iron gates inside the Jesuit Church in Lucerne, Switzerland
The beautiful fresco and intricate iron gates inside the Jesuit Church
View of the nave facing the altar of the Jesuit Church in Lucerne, Switzerland
View of the nave facing the altar of the Jesuit Church
The altar of Jesuit Church in Lucerne, Switzerland
The altar of Jesuit Church
The view of the back end part of the nave of the Jesuit Church in Lucerne, Switzerland
The view of the back end part of the nave of the Jesuit Church
The organ of the Jesuit Church in Lucerne, Switzerland
The organ of the Jesuit Church
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The layout of the Jesuit Church in Lucerne is pretty simple. As far as I know, the Jesuit has 4 parts: the main hall, the vestry, and the two wings composed of four chapels each. It would not take you more than 15 minutes to see everything inside.

Last time I checked, visitors could only explore the main hall and the 8 chapels in the church. The vestry is not accessible because it contains the items used in ceremonies and sacred events in the church.

If you are facing the high altar of the Jesuit Church, the chapels located on the sides of the main hall are called (in a clockwise direction):

  1. Mary’s Chapel
  2. Charles Borromeo Chapel 
  3. Brother Klaus Chapel
  4. Silvanus Chapel
  5. Chapel of the three magi
  6. Aloysius Chapel 
  7. Joseph’s Chapel
  8. Ignatius Chapel

These chapels have absolutely mesmerizing rococo stucco elaborations in their ceilings. Their intricate designs (woodcraft depicting flowers, plants, and heads of angels) will surely draw admiration for the craftsmanship and the skill of the artist who designed them. 

Aside from the rococo ceiling of these chapels, another that might interest you (especially Catholics like me) are the relics, tabernacles, statues, and paintings of saints in these chapels. The artworks depict the biblical characters and saints, after which the chapel is named.

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The stunning elaboration inside the Jesuit Church in Lucerne, Switzerland
The stunning elaboration inside the Jesuit Church
The pulpit and the beautiful arches of the chapels of the Jesuit Church in Lucerne, Switzerland
The pulpit and the beautiful arches of the chapels of the Jesuit Church
Intricate pulpit and chapel ceiling inside the Jesuit Church in Lucerne, Switzerland
Intricate pulpit and chapel ceiling inside the Jesuit Church
Cycle of frescoes on the ceiling of the the Jesuit Church's nave in Lucerne, Switzerland
Cycle of frescoes on the ceiling of the Jesuit Church’s nave
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Another remarkable feature of the Jesuit Church is the cycle of painting on the ceiling of the main hall.

It starts at the church’s apse, painted towards the back, above the organ. And according to my sources, this thematic art depicts the parish’s patron saint, Saint Francis Xavier. 

For me, the most notable fresco in the Jesuit Church is the one in the middle of the main hall. I think it is also the largest.

The fresco depicts angels, the Jesuit Church, and its parishioners looking at the carriage of Saint Francis pulled to the sky by elephants and other wild animals to heaven. It’s quite a fascinating depiction, don’t you agree?

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Where To Photograph The Jesuit Church?

Even though the Jesuit Church is usually only a quick stop on a trip to Lucerne, it is still a worthy destination, especially if you love taking pictures. 

Yes, its interiors aren’t as stunning as the churches in Europe. Still, with how it looks, it can surely give you several photo opportunities. The overwhelming details in the Jesuit Church and its beautiful architectural proportions are an absolute camera magnet.

If you will ask me, “are there also photo opportunities outside the Jesuit Church?”

My answer is yes, certainly! You need not wonder where they are because I will tell you exactly where. But, in summary, they’re just located in the Reuss River, and there’s no effort in finding them.

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View of the Jesuit Church from Reuss River in Lucerne, Switzerland
View of the Jesuit Church from Reuss River
Vantage points of the Jesuit Church from the Chapel Bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland
Vantage points of the Jesuit Church from the Chapel Bridge
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Here are the four places where I recommend taking photos of the Jesuit Church:

  1. Ristorante Da Ernesto (Rathausqai)
  2. Behind the Town Hall or Rathaussteg footbridge 
  3. Reussbrücke (bridge)
  4. Chapel bridge

Let me explain why I recommend these places.

One of the most iconic shots of the Jesuit Church includes Mount Pilatus in the background. If that’s the image you want to capture, I suggest you go to the Rathausquai in front of the Ristorante Da Ernesto. Powerful cameras can zoom in to capture the red tower of the church with the snow-capped peak of Mount Pilatus in the background. 

From Ristorante Da Ernesto, have a short walk towards the Jesuit Church to reach the back of Lucerne’s town hall or Rathaussteg footbridge. The footbridge is one of the most beautiful spots of the old city, where you can see a panorama of the old city with the imposing renaissance facade of Lucerne’s town hall at the center.

Most importantly, it’s in Rathaussteg footbridge you can also find an unobstructed view of the Jesuit Church, just perfect for appreciating the church’s north and eastern facades.

The photo spot lies before you enter the footbridge, though. At the back of the town hall, you can photograph the Jesuit Church in between the street lamps of the footbridge. 

If you can wake up before sunrise, you might also want to go to Reussbrücke to see/photograph the Jesuit Church. It is the bridge you can see from Rathaussteg footbridge when facing the Jesuit Church. 

For me, Reussbrücke is one of the best places in Lucerne to record a timelapse of the sunrise in the city. It even has benches where you can sit while you record the sun rising from the horizon with the Chapel Bridge and the Jesuit Church in the scene. You can make the shot a little more creative with its beautiful iron-wrought railings. 

Among the places I mentioned, it’s in the Chapel Bridge, where you can be really creative in taking photographs of the Jesuit Church. You can use the bridge’s posts, wooden balustrades, and flower decorations as frames for the photo of the Jesuit Church.

Hey! I just want to share… The Jesuit Church is only one of the places in Lucerne to make you press your camera’s shutter several times. You should also see Chapel Bridge, Musegg Wall, Lion Monument, Mount Pilatus, and the Church of Saint Leodegar (Hofkirche). (Links open in a new tab).

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How To Visit The Jesuit Church In Lucerne 

Jesuit Church isn’t that hard to find, especially if you are already in Lucerne and strolling along the banks of the Reuss River. You can even spot the Jesuit Church as far as the Chapel Bridge and Seebrücke, several steps away from the train station of Lucerne. 

It’s one of the tallest buildings on the banks of the Reuss River (on the left side if you are facing Chapel Bridge or the old city). You should be able to quickly notice it because of its onion-top towers.

But to be specific, the Jesuit Church is located in Jesuitenplatz, which is linked by Bahnhofstrasse from the train station. The church is approximately half a kilometer from the train station, which is about 6 to 7 minutes of walking.

Entry to the Jesuit Church in Lucerne is free, and you can come inside daily from 6:00 am until 6:30 pm. During Mondays and Thursdays, the opening hour is set at a later time, 9:30 am. (This is according to the app)

Before you visit the Jesuit Church, make sure to download the church’s smartphone application which can give you insights into the architecture and history of the church. The app also shows the events and the latest visitor information.

Do you need more ideas where to go in Lucerne? I can help you with that! You can try reading: 10 Must-See Landmarks In Lucerne (Free Things To Do), 10 Unique Things To Do In Lucerne and Lucerne Is A Beautiful City: 10 Beautiful Things To See. (Links open in a new tab)

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Sources: Jesuit Church

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