St. James's Church


A beautiful 14th Century church housing the famous Holy Blood Altarpiece created by Tilman Riemenschneider.

St. James's Church

St. James's Church

St. James's Church, or St. Jakobskirche as it's known locally, is a must-visit landmark in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a town renowned for its well-preserved medieval beauty in Germany. While the quintessential German town offers many charming sights, St. James's Church stands as a sublime testimony to the town's vibrant past and spiritual heritage. For tourists planning a trip to this picturesque town, a visit to St. Jakobskirche will truly augment your understanding and appreciation of local history and architecture.

This magnificent church, built in the 14th and 15th centuries, is one of the finest examples of late medieval architecture. Its massive, towering structure and twin spires dominate the Rothenburg skyline. The exterior's sheer grandeur beckons travelers from all corners of the world. It bears the hallmark of Gothic architecture but is given a distinctive character with elements of the Romanesque style, thus making it particularly photogenic.

Upon stepping inside St. Jakobskirche, you'll be met by an awe-inspiring interior that is as splendid as its exterior. It is filled with religious artwork, richly decorated altars, stunning stained glass windows, and a beautiful wood-carved Holy Blood Altar, which is the focal point of the church.

The most prized possession of the church is the altarpiece called the Holy Blood Altar. Crafted by famous Würzburg woodcarver Tilman Riemenschneider between 1499 and 1505, this elaborate piece holds a rock crystal capsule said to contain a drop of Christ's blood. The tranquil beauty and exquisite craftsmanship of this piece make it a captivating sight for believers and enthusiasts of sacred art.

The church also houses a beautiful organ, intricately designed, which lends an angelic harmony to the place during choir services. A small and yet historically significant feature is the Jewish Memorial, a poignant reminder of the Jewish community that once thrived in the town. It causes one to pause and reflect on the history beyond the beautiful facade.

One of the unique aspects of St. Jakobskirche is its elevated choir, which provides a wonderful view of the nave below and the medieval architectural patterns of the ceiling. Furthermore, it gives you an opportunity to see the Holy Blood Altar from different angles. While exploring every corner of the church, you can't miss the Twelve Apostles Altar by Friedrich Herlin. This captivating artwork tells biblical stories in vivid detail, attracting visitors for closer inspection.

Tourists can climb the church's tower, rewarding you with an outstanding panoramic view of Rothenburg ob der Tauber and its terracotta-roofed houses, bustling squares, and rolling countryside. It's an amateur photographer's paradise, and make sure you carry your camera to capture memories of this breath-taking view.

St. James's Church, while an active place of worship, is also an integral part of Rothenburg's tourism. You'll find it welcoming, with multilingual pamphlets available at the entrance, ensuring tourists understand the historical significance and the architectural marvels the church possesses.

The church's tranquil environment makes it an ideal spot for contemplative moments amidst the hustle and bustle of Rothenburg. Feel the daily rhythms of the town, catch the occasional choir practice, or simply take in the beauty and serenity that encapsulates the essence of this spiritual retreat.

When planning your visit, bear in mind that St. Jakobskirche is located in the heart of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, making it easily accessible. For an authentic experience, consider hiring a local guide to Get insights into the church's artistic, historical, and spiritual aspects that may otherwise go unnoticed.

Whether you're an art and history buff, a spiritual seeker, a casual visitor, or a devoted pilgrim, St. James's Church (St Jakobskirche) in Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a spellbinding site that embodies the rich tradition and culture of the town. Your visit to this charming town would indeed be incomplete without experiencing the tranquility and grandeur of this special landmark.