The modern altar made of bright white Carrara marble appears simple and restrained. Feel free to approach it and bend down a little.
The heavy altar slab is supported by four stylised figures, identified by their insignia. They are: Peter with the key, Paul with a scroll, Saint Benedict, the founder of the Benedictine order, carrying a candle, and Saint Pirmin bearing a miniature church.
Between Peter and Paul, on the side facing the congregation, you can see two ears of grain and a loaf of bread split into quarters – a reference to the Eucharist, with its bread and wine. The side panels feature Cain and Abel from the Old Testament story. That’s also depicted in the famous mosaic located beneath the altar. From a stylised altar, smoke curls upwards, signifying that God has accepted Abel's sacrifice. On the opposite side, the smoke sinks to the ground: God has spurned Cain's sacrifice. The brothers’ feud takes its course and ends with Abel’s murder.
Finally, the back of the altar is devoted to the architectural development of Schuttern’s church. From its beginnings in 603 to the magnificent monastery church at its most extensive in 1771. The altar was erected in 1980 and was carved by the sculptor Hans Peter Wernet from Freiburg.
The square panels with the Stations of the Cross on either side of the nave are also from his workshop.
All depictions: © Historischer Verein Schuttern 603 e.V. / Gemeinde Friesenheim