Schottenkloster St. Jakob (Regensburg)

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Portal of the Schottenkirche St. Jakob

The Schottenkloster St. Jakob is a former Benedictine monastery in Regensburg in Bavaria in the diocese of Regensburg.


The Schottenkloster in Regensburg was founded in the course of a last wave of Irish monasteries on the European continent at the end of the 11th century. On the pilgrimage to Rome, the Irishman Marianus Scottus and his companions first founded the Weih-Sankt-Peter monastery in Regensburg around 1070 . As the branch soon became too small for the steadily growing community, a new monastery was built around 1110 in the west of the city. The apostle James the Elder and St. The monastery consecrated to Gertrud was founded with the help of Burgrave Otto von Regensburg and a respected citizen of the city.

Starting from the Regensburg monastery, an association of monasteries developed on the European continent, which were inhabited exclusively by Irish monks who lived according to the Rule of Benedict.

The association of these monasteries had been under the direction of the abbot of the Regensburg monastery Sankt Jakob since the early 13th century. After the monasteries of this Irish association perished during the Reformation, the monasteries in Regensburg, Erfurt and Würzburg were repopulated by Scottish Benedictines from 1515/16 onwards. The Regensburg monastery served as a training center for Scottish priests for the next three centuries.

Unlike the monasteries in Erfurt and Würzburg, which were dissolved in the course of secularization in 1803, the Regensburg monastery was retained because of its extraterritorial status after Regensburg passed to Bavaria in 1810. It was not until 1862 that the monastery was opened by Pope Pius IX at the insistence of the Regensburg bishop Ignatius of Senestrey due to a lack of personnel . dissolved and handed over to the diocese of Regensburg. After renovation work between 1866 and 1872, the diocese's seminary moved into the former monastery rooms.

Abbots of the St. Jakob Monastery (selection)

  • Ninian Winzet (1577–1592): confessor of the Scottish Queen Maria Stuart
  • Alexander Baillie (1646–1655): saved the monastery, which had been weakened personally and economically by the Thirty Years' War, from threatened dissolution by the Bishop of Regensburg
  • Bernhard Bailli († April 26, 1743): before his election, professor at the University of Salzburg
  • Bernard Stuart , 1743-1755
  • Placidus Fleming (1672–1720): new bloom of the monastery; Establish a seminar to train Scottish youth
  • Maurus Stuart, Dr. theol. et phil, professor in Erfurt († December 13, 1720)
  • Gallus Leith († October 18, 1775)
  • Benedikt Aburthnot (1737-1820): important mathematician and philosopher; was able to save the monastery from the impending dissolution during the secularization in 1803

Church and monastery buildings

A first church building was consecrated as early as 1120, but soon had to be demolished and rebuilt again except for the two towers and the side apses due to the dilapidation. It is not known when the new building, using the ashlar wall technique, was completed. This three-aisled basilica with west transept, which has remained almost unchanged to this day, is one of the most important Romanesque buildings in southern Germany. In addition to the high technical level of the construction, the sculpted capitals of the round pillars of the central nave and the main portal on the north side of the church, richly decorated with figurative and ornamental sculptures, are remarkable. The baroque redesign of the church at the end of the 17th century was limited to the vaulting of the side aisles and the installation of a baroque coffered ceiling in the central nave. After the monastery passed to the diocese of Regensburg, the church was reromanized in the sense of historicism. This restoration determines the impression of the interior to this day.

More information on the monastery church and the Schottenportal (north portal) in the article: St. Jakob (Regensburg) .

Of the monastery buildings from the Romanesque period, only the cloister in the south of the church has survived in its basic features. Subsequent alterations from the Gothic, Baroque and 19th century, with the exception of a few remains, barely show its original shape. Under Abbot Gallus, the east wing bordering today's Bismarckplatz with the outer gate and the west wing to the former monastery garden were built. The monastery buildings were fundamentally rebuilt after 1862 for the needs of the Regensburg seminary and expanded again in the 1930s (dining room, house chapel and south wing).

Care of science

The care of the sciences, especially the natural sciences, had a long tradition in the Regensburg Schottenkloster. This is also reflected in the fact that the Regensburg Scots monks had a decisive influence on intellectual life in Bavaria in the 18th century and were also involved in the founding of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences . In addition, monks of the monastery were several times - so z. B. the aforementioned abbots Bernhard Bailli and Maurus Stuart - active as professors at the universities in Salzburg and Erfurt.


  • Herbert A. Bock: The development of the St. Jakob monastery in Regensburg from its foundation at the end of the 11th century to the middle of the 14th century. Diploma thesis, University of Regensburg, 1972.
  • Helmut Flachenecker : Schottenklöster. Irish Benedictine convents in high medieval Germany (= sources and research from the field of history NS 18). Paderborn et al. 1995.
  • Helmut Flachenecker : Schottenklöster. In: Lexicon for Theology and Church. 3rd ed., Vol. 9, 2000, col. 243.
  • Johann Gruber: The Schottenkloster St. Jakob in Regensburg from the 16th century until its abolition in 1862. In: Contributions to the history of the diocese of Regensburg (2006) 133–188.
  • Ludwig Hammermayer : German Schottenklöster, Scottish Reformation, Catholic Reform and Counter-Reformation in Western and Central Europe (1560–1580). In: Journal for Bavarian State History 26 (1963) 131–255.
  • Ludwig Hammermayer: On the history of the Schottenabtei St. Jakob in Regensburg. In: Journal for Bavarian State History 22 (1959) 42–76.
  • Handbook of German Art Monuments. Bavaria V: Regensburg and the Upper Palatinate. Edited by Jolanda Drexler and Achim Hubel with the assistance of Astrid Debold-Kritter u. a., Munich / Berlin 1991, 509-513.
  • The art monuments of Bavaria. Upper Palatinate XXII: City of Regensburg. Vol. 2. Edited by Felix Mader, Munich 1933, 297–331.
  • Seminary St. Wolfgang Regensburg (ed.): Scoti peregrini in Sankt Jakob. 800 years of Irish-Scottish culture in Regensburg. Exhibition in the seminary of St. Wolfgang Regensburg, November 16, 2005 to February 2, 2006. Regensburg 2005, ISBN 3-7954-1775-9 .
  • Hermann Reidel: Iroschottische art and culture in Regensburg. European Relations and Influences in the Middle Ages. In: Medieval Regensburg in the center of Europe. Regensburg 2006.
  • Stefan Weber : Irish on the continent. The life of Marianus Scottus of Regensburg and the beginnings of the Irish "Schottenklöster". Heidelberg 2010.

Web links

Commons : Schottenkirche, Regensburg  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 49 ° 1 ′ 7 ″  N , 12 ° 5 ′ 18 ″  E