Constitution and Democracy

Canton of Lucerne

Monasterium Luciara

The monastery Lucaria was founded around 735. A bridge connected the monastery to the other side of the river Reuss. The settlement was one of the sixteen so-called Dinghöfe, land and territories owned by the monastery. The monastery’s name was first mentioned in 760, “ monasterium Luciara”. This settlement became the city of Lucerne (Luzern) around 1200. The lord of the town was the abbot of the monastery. The monastery of Mulbach ( Alsace) owned the monastery.

Lucerne became an important city after the St. Gotthard pass opened around 1230. This development also attracted the attention of Habsburg. King Rudolf I (1218-1291) bought the city’s rights just before his death in 1291.

Luzern and the elite of wealthy traders and merchants profited from the Habsburg administration and trading networks.

However, the fiscal burdens were too high. The city concluded an alliance with Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden and joined the Eidgenossenschaft in 1332. Lucerne also participated in the war against Habsburg in 1386 (Battle of Sempach).

The city became an imperial free city (Reichunmittelbarkeit) in 1415. The reformation divided the Eidgenossenschaft. Lucerne remained Catholic. The Federal Constitution and the Confederation resolved 1848 the religious tensions after the civil war in 1847 (Sonderbundskrieg).