Swiss Town Replaces Church Bells With Ringtones, Ushers in Hell on Earth

Illustration for article titled Swiss Town Replaces Church Bells With Ringtones, Ushers in Hell on Earth

While the local catholic church and its bell tower undergo renovations in Lucerne, a small town in Switzerland, the city reached out to students at the nearby university to help find a replacement for the hourly chimes that are now silenced. Their solution? Blast out the sounds of a smartphone’s ringtones instead, the BBC reports.


It originally started out as a joke, but thanks to two art students from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences, St. Peter’s Chapel now plays ringtones throughout the day—that includes the iPhone’s highly recognizable Marimba chime, which must have the town’s 80,000-plus residents instinctively reaching for their phones to make sure they’re not missing a call.

To ensure residents and tourists aren’t driven completely mad by the art project, the ringtones will only sound until July 31. There’s no word on whether the church’s bells will ring once again starting in August, or if the locals will be subjected to other artistic alternatives until the renovations are complete. Has anyone suggested Laurel vs. Yanny yet?



The students were “asked to come up with a solution”? There wasn’t any need to “come up” with anything. Digital carillons are quite common, can be purchased off the shelf, and in many cases, they are indistinguishable from the “real thing.” (They’re basically just embedded computers with an amplifier and a PA speaker, with the bell sounds as either pre-recorded sounds or MIDI instruments.)