We are blessed to be able to hold our worship in the beautiful space of the historic Jakobskirche, one of the pilgrim churches on the route to Santiago de Compostela. Starting here pilgrims can walk the small pilgrimages through the middle part of Franconia or the entire way to Santiago de Compostela.
The Protestant Lutheran church St. Jakob (German for St. James) has a long history. The patron saint of the church is St. James, who with his brother St. John was among the disciples of Jesus. According to the legend, St. James proclaimed the Gospel as far as the Iberian islands. In Santiago de Compostela his grave is still honored today. St. James is the patron saint of pilgrims and travelers.
Around 1100 a king’s court was founded with a small Roman chapel. In 1209 Emperor Otto IV gave the German Order of Knights (Deutschritterorden) the chapel as a gift. The chapel was torn down to build a bigger church in its place. In a manuscript it is said that minnesinger Tannhäuser, famous because of the opera by Richard Wagner, was buried next to this church.
During the Reformation St. Jakob became a Protestant church in Nuremberg, even though it still belonged to the Roman Catholic German Order of Knights. All services were now following the Protestant order.
During the 30-year war the Swedish King Gustav Adolf disowned the German Order of Knights. During that time the church was renovated. The Peace of Westphalia returned the church to the Order. In 1810 St. Jakob became the third Protestant Lutheran church of the city.
During the Second World War St. Jakob was heavily damaged and mainly destroyed. After the war it was reconstructed, but only in 1951 part of it could be consecrated. In 1962 the rebuilding was finished.
The church contains many artifacts which were brought into safety before the church was destroyed. One of the finest is an Anna Selbdritt by Veit Stoß. Anna Selbdritt is the name of a specific form of sculpture showing Anna, the mother of Mary, together with Mary, often as young girl, and baby Jesus.
For more information on the church in German please visit http://jakobskirche-nuernberg.de/. For information on the church in English, please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Jakob,_Nuremberg
For more information on the Jakobsweg (the Way of St. James) in German, please visit http://www.jakobsweg.de/.
For information in English, please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camino_de_Santiago.