Ritterscher Palace

Palace in Lucerne

Ritter’scher Palast
CC BY-SA 3.0 / WES1947

Adjacent to the Jesuit Church lies the Ritterscher Palace, now home to the cantonal administration. This location not only serves administrative purposes but is also a magnet for those passionate about art and history. One can find Jakob von Will’s Dance Macabre on the top floor corridor, featuring seven artworks and 23 scenes. These vignettes depict different societal classes meeting death.

Historical Background of the Ritterscher Palace

Lux (Lucius) Ritter, once a captain in the French King’s Regiment in Northern Italy, became the head of the town and republic of Lucerne upon his return. To showcase his elevated social stature, he initiated the construction of a Renaissance palazzo reminiscent of the Florentine style. The responsibility of designing the Ritterscher Palace fell on the Italian architect, Giovanni Lynzo. However, a shadow was cast on the palace’s construction when Lynzo faced execution due to charges of heresy. Shortly after, Ritter’s life also came to an untimely end. The construction was then seen through to completion by the town council. By 1557, the Jesuits, new arrivals to the region, took residence. Today, this remarkable structure serves as the cantonal parliament’s hub.

During business hours, visitors can admire the elegantly designed courtyard at the heart of the edifice.

The Ritterscher Palace appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Lucerne!

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Visiting Ritterscher Palace

Address: Government Buildings of Canton Lucerne Bahnhofstrasse 15 6003 Luzern Switzerland
Duration: 20 minutes

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