Examinging an Intricate 16th-Century Altar in Rothenburg, Germany
Religious or not, the Holy Blood Altar in St. Jacob's Church is bound to inspire. Three drops of Christ's blood are (reputedly) still securely protected in a crystal set inside a golden cross. The altar has large and impressively detailed carved-wood panels depicting the Last Supper, the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem, and the scene at the Mount of Olives. Whether the blood is truly the mortal remains of the messiah, a prophet, or just a man who lived a really long time ago, it's truly a humbling experience being before this magnificent altar. Another altar in the church is commonly mistaken for the Holy Blood Altar, because it's flashier and more colorful. However, the genuine one is tucked away upstairs—unobtrusive, simple, elegant, and exceptional, if only because it isn’t trying to be.