lana schnatterpeck altar
lana schnatterpeck altar

Schnatterpeck Altar

A high altar by the sculptor Hans Schnatterpeck can be found in the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Church in Lana di Sotto

The Schnatterpeck Altar in Lana, a magnificent carved and gilded winged altar and dates back to the late Gothic. The altar was realised by the Swabian sculptor Hans Schnatterpeck and his journeyman in the years between 1503 and 1511, the only opus, which is from his atelier for sure. Schnatterpeck was richly paid for it - the 1,600 Rhenish guilder correspond with the then worth of three farmyards, plus eight hauls of wine. It was the highest amount, that was paid ever for a Gothic altar in Tyrol. The creation of a high altar in those days normally costed about 200 to 500 guilder.

On a surface of 14.10 m height and 7 m width, life of Jesus Christ is illustrated. It displays the birth of Messiah, Jesus in the Temple, the encounter with the Three Magi, the Coronation of the Virgin and the Throne of Grace as well as the Ten Virgins - the whole artwork counts 64 statues. The 35 altar figurines are not fixed, they were carved in chestnut wood and are 25 cm to 1.80 m high - the highest are the life-sized statues of the apostles Peter and Paul. The paintings in the winged altars were done by Hans Leonhard Schäuffelein, a later student of Albrecht Dürer.

Already in 1492 the late Gothic pilaster church was inaugurated and for this reason the Schnatterpeck Altar reached his original place of location only in a second step. During restoration of the altar in 1826 the décolleté of the figures were painted over. Due to lack of money the altar was not converted to Baroque style, so the Schnatterpeck Altar in the main still today is like it was created. Since the 16th century the altar is in the parish church of Lana di Sotto, also in time of war it was never removed. It is the largest altar of its kind in the entire Alpine area and one of the 5 largest in the German speaking area. From Ash Wednesday until Easter the Schnatterpeck Altar stays closed, the Passion images can be seen then on the outer wings.

Contact info

Opening times

During the winter months, the altar is accessible only for groups upon request, closed during Lent.

More information

The Schnatterpeck Altar is accessible during a guided tour: The guided tours are offered every year from April to the end of October, season start 2024 in mid-April.

The parish church of Lana di Sotto stays closed outside these hours and also during the guided tours. Church service (in German language) every Friday at 7 pm and Sunday at 10 am.

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