Saturday, February 26, 2011

St. Jakob church Rothenburg ob der Tauber

If you are fortunate enough to spend some time in Rothenburg ob der Tauber then you should make plans to visit St. Jakobs church. It is located just off of the town square. If you are facing the City hall then to your right there is an opening between the buildings just walk past that opening and you will see part of St. Jakobs church. The entrance is about a hundred meters down the street. Don’t forget to check out the wonderful stone figures on the side of the church as you walk towards the entrance. I was there in the winter the last time and just so you know the church isn’t heated so keep bundled up.

I have been to Rothenburg ob der Tauber several times and each time I discover something interesting.

Many people spend one or two hours in Rothenburg, many tour buses stop here as part of the Romantic Road tour from Fussen to Wützburg. I did this once spending only a few hours the first time I was there. I vowed to myself that I’d return and I have kept that vow.

The town of Rothenburg has much to offer and I know that given the opportunity I will again return and visit more of the town.

There are five churches in Rothenburg and St. Jakobs is the largest. It is a relic church which means that it has something of Christ in it. In this case there is some blood in an altar called The Holy Blood Altar or in German Heiligblutaltar. Take in mind that this alter is not the main altar of the church just the Pilgrimage altar. Also the carvings were started in 1498 and completed in 1501. The two wood altars in this church were made by Tilman Riemenschneider. The main altar is Zwölfbotenalter the twelve apostles’ altar. The other wood carvings were made by his apprentices about the same time. All are very intricate and worth the admission price to see them. I see now there is a self guided audio tour which should make it simpler to see more of the church at your own pace.

Be sure to walk behind the main alter of the church and check out the paintings. Looking at the altar from the back on the top left panel there is a painting of how the Rothenburg city hall looked before it burned down. There is a story from the bible where the apostle John was smuggled into a town after his death but the artist didn’t know what the town looked like so he painted Rothenburg instead. The city hall building burned down a couple years after this panel was completed.

The church is unique in that it has a street running through it. The pilgrimage alter was built on after the church was completed and the road already existed so the church was built over it.,_Rothenburg_ob_der_Tauber

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