Church bells and ringtones have rarely gone together. Yet that changed for a period of time when a Swiss town decided to replace the church bells at one local Catholic church with none other than ringtones while the pews closed down temporarily for renovation.

Instead of the usual hourly chimes that rung out at St. Peter’s Chapel, which is located in the heart of Lucerne, Switzerland’s old town, residents and tourists to the small town could hear the sounds of a smartphone's ringtone all throughout the day instead.


The new set of chimes – which included the iPhone's uber-popular Marimba ringtone – were so frequent that it even got Lucerne's 90,000 residents to instinctively reach for their very own cellphones just to confirm that they were not missing an important call or text message.

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It all began as a mere joke, thanks to a couple of art students from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences, but the project eventually became a true reality after the city granted official permission.

Let’s just say that the two students behind the said project, Klarissa Flueckiger and Mahtola Wittmer, are oh so glad.

“We confide everything to our mobile phone. We communicate with them when alone, we ask them for advice. All of those tasks are actually attributed to the gods,” said one of them in an interview with the BBC.

These newest tolls weren’t permanent, to say the least, and basically went into effect only because the city – as well as the Catholic Church itself – wanted to involve nearby students in helping them find a creative replacement for the well-known sounds while the entire church underwent some much-needed renovations.

Their solution was, of course, the mobile phone ringtones that then began to ring out loud for all the world to hear. But in order to ensure that people didn't go completely crazy by said "art project" entitled “Time Signal,” the phone bells were only ringing until the 30th of July.

There is no word yet as to whether or not the church's newest bells will ring again or if the locals will need to witness and be subjected to other sorts of artistic alternatives until all the renovations are finally deemed complete.

Still, it was very well received, with good comments and responses having been seen and heard amongst the groups of people surrounding themselves within the area, according to several of the art students.

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St. Peter’s Chapel is one of the oldest churches housed within the city, and although the exact dates of construction are unknown, the building has been renovated and transformed many-a-times throughout the centuries. The oldest document referring to the chapel reportedly dates all the way back to 1178.

In all, we wish this Swiss town the best of luck in finding themselves some new tunes...

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