Hotel Montana, Lucerne, 2015 (Photo: Hotel Montana)
Historical view of the Hotel Montana (planned location of the university)

The "Universitas Benedictina Lucernensis"

Catholic religious orders began to set up their own private schools as a counterweight to the perceived liberal outlook of the new cantonal secondary schools. The canton of Fribourg even started its own Catholic university in 1889, the first in Switzerland.

In addition, the city of Lucerne played an important role in setting up a network of Catholic social and political organisations. This network included the first Swiss Catholic conference, held in Lucerne, and a number of Catholic associations and the Swiss Catholic party (Schweizerische Katholische Volkspartei) that were established in Lucerne.

However, there was still no university in Lucerne. In 1919, a project commenced to form a university with four faculties and 44 teaching chairs. The plan anticipated using the Hotel Montana as the site for the university. However, the project foundered on competition from Fribourg.

You can find out more about this in the audio contribution or in the complete text "The "Universitas Benedictina Lucernensis"".