The Elevator Pitch
I like apps that do one or two things and do it well; in this case the official app of the Hofkirche, one of Luzern’s cultural and religious landmarks. Whenever I visit the church (which is quite regularly as I use it as a quiet place to take a break while in town for long stretches) I enjoy learning about the various alters and also the rich history of the grounds surrounding the church. I will admit to having this app opened covertly so I can impress visitors with knowledge about the church and its history.
Functionalities and Scenarios
The app provides a wealth of information about the various parts of the church and the surrounding grounds
The church tour part of the app starts a simple floor plan for the inside of the church with numbers marking each section of the church. Selecting one of the numbers takes you to a new screen detailing that area of the church. The screen includes a series of photographs (which you can select so that the image is full screen). The photographs usually start with zoomed out look at the specific section with each subsequent photo a bit more zoomed in. It’s a good way to get the big-picture/tiny-detail. Along with the photos there is an explanation (in English) detailing the history and other pertinent details.
The part of the app dedicated to the area surrounding the Hofkirche is equally rich with detail and follows the same structure: map overview, then individual sections with photos and more details.
Places of Interest
Another lens from which to navigate to the details about the Hofkirche can be found here. Instead of a map there is instead an aphabetical list of all the parts of the complex (inside and outside the church) that take you to the same individual sections described above.
If you want a one-page historical background on the Hofkirche this is the place for you. It’s sometimes hard to fathom that the site of the Hofkirche (and its earliest forms) go all the way back to the year 735. It’s so long ago you always have to add the phrase ‘to the year’ or people get confused!
The only part of the app that is not mainly static is the list of upcoming events. This is also the only part of the app that’s mainly in German. Selecting an individual event takes you to a screen with more details and usually a link to their website for even more details.
I like apps that have a clear purpose and don’t try to do too much. The Hofkirche app fits into that mold quite well. It’s a simple app with only a few levels of hierarchy, it makes navigation easy by using visual maps to let you dive deeper. You can use the app to get a single piece of information and not be bothered with anyone else, or you can walk the church and its grounds reading about each and every part in great detail.
If you go to the Hofkirche they actually promote the app quite prominently (I would have never thought to look for it otherwise) and it’s a wealth of information that is only a few screens away.
Price : Free