St. James' Church serves as a church on the pilgrimage route to St. James Church in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The church was built between 1311-1484. Its east chancel was completed in 1322, nave built from 1373-1436, and west choir, which bridges the street, from 1453-1471. The church was consecrated in 1485 by the Bishop of Würzburg. In 1525 the peasant leader Florian Geyer read aloud the articles of the revolting peasants from its west chancel.

Its western gallery contains the famous Holy Blood altarpiece of the Würzburg wood carver Tilman Riemenschneider, carved 1500-1505, (illustrated below) which includes a rock crystal reliquary cross (c. 1270). The altar includes scenes of the entry into Jerusalem (right wing), Lord's Supper (shrine) with Judas as central figure and the Mount of Olives (left wing).

Other important relics include the High Altar (1466 by Friedrich Herlin, a pupil of Rogier van der Weyden) in the east choir, which represents on its back side the oldest depiction of the city of Rothenburg and rare images of the Jakobs pilgrim legend, as well as an altar of Tilman Riemenschneider and Mary Coronation altar with sculptures from different centuries, including the Riemenschneider school. The stained glass windows of the east chancel are adorned with valuable images from 1350-1400 AD, including the left window with scenes of the life of the Virgin Mary, central window with scenes from Christ's life and passion, and right window representing Christ's work of redemption and sacraments.



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Founded: 1311-1484
Category: Religious sites in Germany
Historical period: Habsburg Dynasty (Germany)

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User Reviews

JB TV (17 days ago)
Just beautiful to see. And also the tour guid will tell you about the history of the church. Also had some luck by hearing the bells echo true the small town.
Henry White (2 months ago)
Nice church but, an entry fee? I mean, come on guys. Other than that, it's a really nice place to go to.
Renata W (7 months ago)
We enjoyed our visit in December 2023. The church itself is a beautiful old building with lovely artworks and stained glass windows. There is an entry fee of a few euros, but honestly it is worth it just to see Tilman Remanschneider’s incredible Holy Blood Altar (up the rear stairs to where the organ is). How Remanscheider’s work isn’t as well known as the Italian Masters, I don’t understand. His work is amazing.
Jamie Cooksey (9 months ago)
An interesting, but plain church. I would not say it is particularly special, and there are numerous and far better examples in Europe that far exceed this in terms of relics, artwork, and interior architecture. In fact, it is quite simple in comparison, and you are unlikely to spend much more than 10 minutes there. It is, therefore, all the more surprising that they CHARGE visitors a FEE to visit, which was a first for us. Whilst I am not saying this does not exist elsewhere, I have yet to experience this in our visits to any other church or cathedral in Europe.
S D (13 months ago)
The church of St. James is an awe inspiring display of architecture. The church was built from 1311 to 1484 and the organs are impressive. If you have the chance to go during advent, they have organ concerts. The wooden alter is a relic. There are so many detailed carvings, it is almost impossible to see them all with their intriguing details. The stained glass windows are truly a sight for themselves. I cannot imagine all the hours it took to create them.
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