The church

Parish church of the Apostle St. James the Elder

Originally this chapel was a free-standing structure. From 1691 the gothic core was reconstructed, the west end of the nave was connected to the castle and the entire church redone in the baroque style. Three major fires (1730, 1760 and 1791) wreaked severe damage to the church, castle and to many houses in the township. The last comprehensive restoration was carried out in 1987.

The present furnishings were largely assembled by Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Most noteworthy is the high altar from the 17th century, in the centre of whose picture St. Catherine can seen flanked by St. Helena and St. Erasmus. In the sanctuary are a stone relief, the cloth of St. Veronica and the remains of the original gothic tabernacle from the 15th century. Above them hangs the former late baroque painting from the high altar “The Apparition to the Spaniards of the Apostle and Martyr St. James the Elder in the Battle with the Moors” by Martin Johann “Kremser Schmidt” (1788); opposite is another oil painting by M.J. Schmidt of the saints Joachim, Anna and Maria.

The side altars originate from Bavarian churches, whereby the altar on the right has a painting of the crucifixion of the apostle St. Peter signed by  M.J. Schmidt. The lefthand altar displays the burial of Christ and in front stands a statue of the Virgin Mary by the South Tyrolean Josef Rifesser in 1968. 

In 1911 the northern entrance was provided with a doorway of white marble taken from the ruins of an early baroque church in Istria. The statue in the doorway is of St. Francis de Sales – the  parish of Arstetten (founded in 1718) has been spiritually served since 1907 by the Congregation of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales (OSFS). Noteworthy too are the late baroque Stations of the Cross that are attributed to Paul Troger (1698-1762).

Also from the archduke's collection are the two 18th century bearer poles with the standard of St. Elisabeth and the Virgin Mary (the standard pole of the bakers' guild), and that of Ss. Eligius and Florian. Furthermore there are two rococo candelabras (c. 1750) to be seen down the front.

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