Rathaus, Lucerne

Town Hall in Lucerne

Rathaus, Luzern
CC BY-SA 3.0 / WES1947

Recognized as a cultural landmark, this Renaissance structure stands as one of Switzerland’s most charming public buildings. Its splendid setting is equally enchanting: nestled beside the River Reuss in the heart of the Old Town, adjacent to the Town Hall, it offers an array of attractions both day and night.

In addition to the delightful shopping opportunities within the Old Town, the city hosts Switzerland’s finest weekly market every Tuesday and Saturday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Rathausquai. The market stalls line the arcades along the River Reuss, as well as Jesuitenplatz and portions of Bahnhofstrasse. Furthermore, the riverside restaurants and cafes provide a picturesque backdrop for appreciating the beauty of the Chapel Bridge.

Building Italian architect and builder Anton Isenmann undertook the design and construction of this magnificent edifice between 1602 and 1606 in the style of Italian Renaissance. The ground floor of the Town Hall, known as Kornschütte, was originally a trading hall. Today, this inviting space hosts exhibitions and concerts. The council chamber on the first floor showcases grand paintings by important artists Melchior Wyrsch and Josef Reinhart. The coffered ceiling, wall paneling, and 18th-century stove contribute to the room’s splendid ambiance. The Tagsatzung Room, designed by Josef Singer in the Empire style, is now a popular venue for registry office weddings.

Renward Cysat’s Old Chancellery occupies the top floor of the medieval family tower, while the New Chancellery in Italian Baroque style stands between the Town Hall and the tower. The broad, low-sloping roof in the style of a Bernese farmhouse offers excellent protection against the elements.

Established in the Town Hall’s attic in 2003, the dovecote provides hygienic roosting and breeding spaces for urban doves; however, feed is not provided. Apertures allow the birds to fly freely in search of their own sustenance. Two of the skylights’ openings are visible from the Reusssteg promenade. The dovecote can be visited by groups of ten or more: a discreet observation gallery enables visitors to witness the doves’ daily activities, including courting, quarreling, nesting, and resting. An adjoining exhibition focuses on doves, their behavior, and history.

The Rathaus, Lucerne appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Lucerne!

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Visiting Rathaus, Lucerne

Address: Rathaus Stadt Luzern, Kornmarkt, Luzern, Switzerland
Duration: 20 minutes

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