Skip to main content


German church remains faithful to its Irish roots

The Schottenkirche St. Jakob in Regensburg founded by Celtic missionaries

The 12th Century church, the Schottenkirche St. Jakob, or Scots Church of St. James in Regensburg is a fascinating Romanesque church founded by Celtic missionaries. It is most noted for its north portal, and remains faithful to its rich northern heritage in its arts and architecture.  

In a hallucinatory touch worthy of M.C. Escher, the figure on the inner bottom right jamb grasps the two solid grooves and pulls them around his neck like a scarf.

In a hallucinatory touch worthy of M.C. Escher, the figure on the inner bottom right jamb grasps the two solid grooves and pulls them around his neck like a scarf.


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - An influx of Irish monks and missionaries into Germany in the 11th Century saw them setting up south of Regensburg's city walls. With the arrival of more monks, accommodations were found to be too small, and plans for a monastery were drawn up.

The monks began building their monastery around 1100. The east end of the Church of St. James survives is all that remains of this early building. Dedicated in 1120, the church was a three-aisled basilica with three apses and two east towers.

Under Abbot Gregor, the church was expanded around 1150. This second church, which remains today, was given a two-story transept at the west end, an elaborate north portal and a cloister to the south. Work was completed around 1185.

Regensburg became an important center for the missionary work of Irish monks in Europe. The St. Jakob monastery had strong ties with the monastic school at Cashel back in Ireland.

Shortly after the Scottish Reformation in 1577, a papal bull transferred the monastery from Irish to Scottish monks. The monastery was then in decline by that time, with a sole monk and one novice. The first Scottish abbot was Ninian Winzet (1518-92), an opponent of the reformer John Knox. Mary Queen of Scots ordered Abbot Winzet to train priests for Catholic missionary work in Scotland. The first priests were sent long after his death in 1623.

Most remarkably, the monastery avoided dissolution during the Napoleonic period. It was demoted to a priory in 1820, although monks remained until 1862, when the Bavarian government bought the property and turned it into a seminary for training Catholic priests.

A clear view of the Schottenkirche on account of tall trees on the north side and private buildings on the west and south sides. It is a basilica-style church with three aisles, twin east towers, and a two-story westwork.

The most interesting aspect of the Schottenkirche is certainly the "Schottenportal," a large and elaborately carved north portal dating from about 1180. Badly soiled due to pollution, it is protected from further damage by a large glass enclosure installed in 1999.

In a hallucinatory touch worthy of M.C. Escher, the figure on the inner bottom right jamb grasps the two solid grooves and pulls them around his neck like a scarf. The figure at top center right plays a stringed instrument; the one at bottom right holds a T-shaped staff associated with hermits, and the inner figure at top left holds a vessel draped with animal pelts.

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Keywords: Schottenkirche St. Jakob, monks, Ireland, church, Germany



NEWSLETTERS »

E-mail:       Zip Code: (ex. 90001)
Today's Headlines

Sign up for a roundup of the day's top stories. 5 days / week. See Sample

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

1 - 1 of 1 Comments

  1. mr smith
    1 year ago

    the irish saved europe during the dark ages only to be abandoned by germany now

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

More Greece (Footsteps of St. Paul)

Modern Greece traces its roots to the civilisation of ancient Greece, generally considered the cradle of Western civilization. It is the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, Western literature, political science and more.

Videos more

Agios Prokopios beach, Naxos Island, Greece

Agios Prokopios beach, Naxos ...

Naxos island, Greece

Naxos island, Greece

Agia Triada Monastery, Greece

Agia Triada Monastery, Greece

A visit to Patmos and the Monastery of St John

A visit to Patmos and the ...


Photos more

213

213

The beaches of Naxos

The beaches of Naxos

Roussanou Monastery

Roussanou Monastery

The Parthenon

The Parthenon


Topics more

The Parthenon
The Parthenon is a temple in the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their ...

Mount Athos
Mount Athos is a mountain on the eponymous peninsula in Macedonia, Greece. The peninsula is called the "Holy Mountain". In Classical times, the ...

Agia Triada Monastery
Agia Triada Monastery is a Greek Orthodox monastery in the Akrotiri peninsula in the Chania Prefecture, Crete, Greece. It also contains a ...


News more

The Coliseum continues to draw in tens of thousands of tourists every year.
Ancient architectural wonder of Rome

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM) • Catholic Online • 4/15/2014

The Coliseum is an elliptical amphitheater in the center of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is considered one ...



Stonehenge is the center of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds.
England's great Neolithic site

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM) • Catholic Online • 4/15/2014

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, about 3.2 kilometers (2.0 mi) west of Amesbury and 13 kilometers ...



The Parthenon, located in Athens, is a temple dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, who was the patron deity of the ancient city.
Ancient temple of the goddess Athena

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM) • Catholic Online • 4/11/2014

The Parthenon, an ancient temple in the Athenian Acropolis in Greece, was dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens ...





More Travel Destinations

Holy Land (Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jordan)
Britain & Ireland
Greece (Footsteps of St. Paul)
Fatima & Spain
Lourdes & France
Guadalupe & Mexico
Medjugorje & Central Europe
Rome, Vatican & Italy

Book your Trip Now