See Lucerne’s Jesuit Church Interiors (+ Photography Tips)

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Aside from the scenic views, there are other beautiful things in Lucerne that make me love this city so much. Even more, they’re free to visit! I can take in such beauty as long as I like, as many times as I want. One of them is the Jesuit Churchunmissable for anyone, no matter how long they plan to visit Lucerne, be it a 1-day visit, 2-day stay, or a 3-day Lucerne getaway.

This church is a must-see because, why not? It’s located within walking distance from the train station and other attractions in the city like Chapel Bridge and Musegg Wall. Visiting it requires no effort at all! In fact, every walking tour of Old Town Lucerne I know includes a stop at the Jesuit Church.

But most importantly, the Jesuit Church is a picturesque landmark, and its interiors are simply gorgeous! The Jesuit Church may not compare to the grand churches in Italy and Spain, but if you’ve been to Salzburg, Innsbruck, or Vienna, the baroque splendor inside this church might feel familiar. The Jesuit Church isn’t a particularly unique attraction in Lucerne, so like you, I wondered if this church was worth visiting at first. But once you see what’s inside, I believe you’ll also understand that it’s nice to see, even if just for a few moments.

Interesting Facts about the Jesuit Church

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

It is a Catholic Church, erected during the latter 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 the 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 of this

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

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

What’s Inside?

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Check out this gallery showing the beautiful interiors of the Jesuit Church.

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Details about the interiors of the Jesuit Church

If Switzerland is the first European country you’re visiting and the Jesuit Church is among the first churches you encounter, it’s highly likely that the Jesuit Church will leave a lasting impression. From the intricate wrought-iron gate that greets you upon entry to the vibrant frescoes and elaborate stucco work adorning the interior, the undeniable beauty of this church is everywhere.

To my understanding, the Jesuit Church is comprised of four sections: the main hall, the vestry, and two wings, each containing four chapels. A thorough exploration of the interior should take no more than 15 minutes. The last time I checked, I noted that visitors were only permitted to explore the main hall and the eight chapels. The vestry, which houses items used in ceremonies and sacred events, is not open to the public.

If you’re facing the high altar of the Jesuit Church, the chapels flanking the main hall are named in a clockwise direction as follows:

  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

A standout feature of the Jesuit Church is the cycle of paintings adorning the ceiling of the main hall. This series begins at the church’s apse, painted towards the back, above the organ. According to my sources, this thematic art represents the parish’s patron saint, Saint Francis Xavier.

In my view, the most striking fresco in the Jesuit Church is the one located in the center of the main hall, which I believe is also the largest. This fresco portrays angels, the Jesuit Church, and its parishioners gazing at the carriage of Saint Francis, drawn skyward by elephants and other wild animals, ascending to heaven.

Photography Spots

While the Jesuit Church is often just a brief stop on a trip to Lucerne, it remains a worthwhile destination, particularly for photography enthusiasts. Yes, its interiors may not be as breathtaking as other European churches, but its appearance alone offers numerous photo opportunities. The abundant details within the Jesuit Church and its stunning architectural proportions are undeniably photogenic.

If you were to ask me, “Are there also photo opportunities outside the Jesuit Church?” My response would be a resounding yes! There’s no need to wonder where these spots are, as I can tell you exactly. In summary, they’re situated along the Reuss River, and finding them requires no effort at all.

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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’re aiming to capture, I suggest you head to Rathausquai, located in front of Ristorante Da Ernesto. Powerful cameras can zoom in to capture the church’s red tower with the snow-capped peak of Mount Pilatus in the backdrop.

From Ristorante Da Ernesto, take a short walk towards the Jesuit Church to reach the rear of Lucerne’s town hall or the Rathaussteg footbridge. This footbridge is one of the most picturesque spots in the old city, offering a panoramic view of the cityscape with the imposing Renaissance facade of Lucerne’s town hall at the center. Most importantly, from the Rathaussteg footbridge, you can find an unobstructed view of the Jesuit Church, perfect for appreciating the church’s north and eastern facades. The photo spot lies just before you enter the footbridge. At the back of the town hall, you can photograph the Jesuit Church framed by the street lamps of the footbridge.

If you’re an early riser, you might also want to visit Reussbrücke to see or photograph the Jesuit Church. This is the bridge you can see from the Rathaussteg footbridge when facing the Jesuit Church. For me, Reussbrücke is one of the best places in Lucerne to record a timelapse of the city’s sunrise. 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 add a creative touch to your shot with its beautiful iron-wrought railings.

Among the places I mentioned, the Chapel Bridge offers the most opportunities for creative photography of the Jesuit Church. You can use the bridge’s posts, wooden balustrades, and flower decorations as frames for your photos of the Jesuit Church.

Visiting Information

The Jesuit Church isn’t difficult to locate, particularly if you’re already in Lucerne and strolling along the banks of the Reuss River. You can spot the Jesuit Church from as far as the Chapel Bridge and Seebrücke, both of which are just a few steps away from Lucerne’s train station. It’s one of the tallest buildings on the banks of the Reuss River (on the left side if you’re facing the Chapel Bridge or the old city). Its onion-top towers should catch your eye quickly.

To be specific, the Jesuit Church is situated in Jesuitenplatz, which is connected to the train station by Bahnhofstrasse. The church is approximately half a kilometer from the train station, a walk of about 6 to 7 minutes. Entry to the Jesuit Church in Lucerne is free, and it’s open daily from 6:00 am until 6:30 pm. On Mondays and Thursdays, however, it opens later, at 9:30 am. (This information is according to the app.)

Before you visit the Jesuit Church, be sure to download the church’s smartphone application. It can provide insights into the architecture and history of the church, as well as information about events and the latest visitor details.

You can check the Map of Old Town Lucerne to see exactly where the Jesuit Church is.

Resources

So, that wraps up what I can share about the Jesuit Church for now. I hope this brief guide has given you a glimpse of what to anticipate inside the Jesuit Church. If you’re planning a visit, the links provided below will help you make the most of your time there.

If you found this post useful and you’re still looking for accommodations in Lucerne, please consider using my partner’s hotel search and reservation website. They offer some of the best hotel deals in Europe, and I’m not the only one who thinks so. As an affiliate, I earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) when you book a hotel through the link provided. Your support greatly helps me create more articles and guides like this one. Thank you!

Blog Design Related Posts

In addition to the Jesuit Church, the Church of Saint Leodegar is another architectural gem worth visiting in Lucerne. It boasts a unique blend of Gothic and German Renaissance styles, and its facade is perfect for Instagram. Don’t forget to check out the Lion Monument of Lucerne, another iconic city landmark. Lastly, if you’re looking for more ideas on what to see in Switzerland, I’ve got a 4-day and a 6-day itinerary that can help you explore this beautiful country, whether you’re planning an extended weekend trip or a week-long journey.

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