The high altar, also called the Twelve Apostles Altar, in St. Jakob's Church is considered to be one of the finest in all of Germany. Its construction in 1446 was financed by a grant from Rothenburg's greatest mayor, Heinrich Toppler, who died in 1408. The paintings on the side panels were done by Friedrich Herlin. The wood carvings on the High Altar are the work of Swabian master carvers.
The six figures under the crucifix, shown in the photo above, represent six saints: Elizabeth, James, the Virgin Mary, John, Leonard, and Antonius the Hermit. St. James (Jakob in German) is the patron saint of the church.
The crucifix, shown in the photo above, is surrounded by four angels; the two angels on the right represent Faith and Prayer while the two on the left represent Unbelief and Doubt. The figure on the left, underneath the crucifix, is the Virgin Mary and the figure on the right is St. John.
Shown in the two photos above is the stone tabernacle where the Communion host is kept. In most Catholic churches, the tabernacle is located on the high altar, but here it is part of a beautiful stone sculpture which dates back to 1448. The area where the tabernacle is located is known as the sanctuary; in former times an escaped criminal who entered the sanctuary was allowed to go free, although he had to leave town.
On the wall to the right of the high altar, there is an early stone sculpture of Christ, which is shown in the photo below.
Shown in the photo above is a niche in the wall with benches in front of it; this is Toppler's chapel, dedicated to Heinrich Toppler. The word toppler means a gambler; note the pair of dice at the bottom of the painting on the wall.