Medieval Portable Altar Database

Welcome to the database! Here you will find information on known surviving medieval European portable altars. Click on an altar’s name to go to its information page, which contains specifics about iconography, inscriptions, and a bibliography for each altar.

The altars are arranged chronologically, so if you’re looking for a specific inscription or place made, you may want to search the page instead of scroll. All countries (both “where made” and “current location”) are based on modern geographic boundaries for the sake of consistency.

Additions are ongoing. Last updated: Dec. 11, 2020.

To view the current locations map, click here.

namedate & Where MadePatron or ArtistCurrent Location
Portable Altar of St. Cuthbert7th-8th cent., EnglandUnknownDurham Cathedral, Durham, England (DURCL 3.14.1)
Adelhauser AltarLate 8th cent., Regensburg?, GermanyUnknownAugustinermuseum, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, Germany (Nr. 12133)
Met Museum Altar9th-12th cent.; unknownUnknownMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, USA (17.190.42a-d)
Altar of the Gold Ciborium877-99; probably court workshop of Charles the Bald, GermanyKing Arnulf of Carinthia, given to St. Emmeram, RegensburgResidenzmuseum, Munich, Germany
Girona Altar10th cent.; Sant Pere de Rodes, Catalonia, SpainUnknownMuseu d’Art de Girona, Girona, Spain (Nr. 20)
Moutiers-Sous-Argenton Altar10th/11th cent.; FranceUnknownL’église Saint-Pierre, Moutiers-Sous-Argenton, France
Madrid Altar10th/11th cent., 12th cent. (textiles); near San Millán de la Cogolla, SpainUnknownMuseo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid, Spain (63936)
Oldenburg Altar1000-50; Westphalia or Lower Saxony, GermanyUnknownLandesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Oldenburg, Germany (Nr. 3575)
Paris – Cluny Ic.1000-50; Bamberg or Fulda, GermanyUnknownMusée de Cluny, Paris, France (Cl. 13072)
Hildesheim Ic.1007-15; Hildesheim, GermanyUnknownDommuseum, Hildesheim, Germany (DS26)
Altar of the Holy Crossc.1015/1020; GermanyCommissioned by HRE Henry IIResidenzmuseum, Munich, Germany
Watterbach Altarc.1020; Bamberg or Fulda, GermanyProbably commissioned by HRE Henry IIBayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich, Germany (MA 198)
Paris – Cluny IIc.1025-75; Winchester, EnglandProbably commissioned by Judith of FlandersMusée de Cluny, Paris, France (Cl. 11459)
Gertrude Altarc.1038-45; Lower Saxony, GermanyCommissioned by Countess Gertrude of BrunswickCleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, USA (Nr. 1931.462)
Svanhild Altarc.1050-75; Rhineland, possibly Cologne, GermanyOwned by Countess SvanhildStiftskirche, Melk, Austria
Dumbarton Oaks Altar1050-75; possibly Cologne, GermanyUnknownDumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C., USA (BZ 1937.16)
Darmstadt I1050-75; Rhineland, possibly Cologne, GermanyUnknownHessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany (Kg 54:221)
Osnabrück I1050-75 (reliefs), 1220-25 altar; Osnabrück, GermanyUnknownDomschatz und Diözesanmuseum, Osnabrück, Germany (DS73)
Berlin W2c.1075; Lower Saxony, GermanyUnknownKunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin, Germany (W2)
Darmstadt II1075-1100 (reliefs), 13th cent. (metal); Rhineland, possibly Cologne, GermanyUnknownHessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany (Kg 54:223)
Paris – Cluny IIIEarly 11th cent. (ivory), 11th-12th cent. (rest of altar); possibly Bamberg (ivory), Rhineland (altar), GermanyUnknownMusée de Cluny, Paris, France (Cl. 13067)
Gandersheim Altar11th cent.; probably Hildesheim, GermanyUnknownFrauenstift Gandersheim, Bad Gandersheim, Germany (Nr. 57)
Tongres Altar11th cent.; BelgiumUnknownMuseum der Basilika Notre Dame, Tongers, Belgium
Reykjavik Altar11th cent.; UnknownUnknownIsländisches Nationalmuseum, Reykjavik, Iceland (Nr. 10897)
Wassenberg Altar11th cent.; possibly Cologne, GermanyUnknownProbsteipfarrkirche St. Georg, Wassenberg, Germany
Willibrord Altar11th cent. (ivory panels, box), 12th cent. (top reliefs); Byzantium (Turkey) or GermanyGreen porphyry stone owned by St. Willibrord (688-738)Domschatz, Trier, Germany
Schnütgen I10th cent. (ground reliefs), 11th cent. (altar); Westphalia or Lower Saxony, GermanyUnknownSchnütgen Museum, Cologne, Germany (G13)
Brunswick I11th. cent.; Brunswick, GermanyUnknownStädtisches Museum, Brunswick, Germany (B79)
Eichstätt AltarEnd of 10th cent. (ivory panels), middle of 11th cent. (altar); Byzantium (Turkey) and Lower Saxony, GermanyUnknownBenediktinerinnenabtei St. Walburg, Eichstätt, Germany
Hanover Altar11th cent., 13th cent. (reliefs); Lower Saxony, GermanyUnknownKestner-Museum, Hanover, Germany (B124)
Paris – Louvre IEnd of 11th cent.; near Hildesheim, GermanyUnknownLouvre Museum, Paris, France (OA 8094)
Saint Faith Altarc.1087-1106; probably Conques, FranceUnknownTreasury of Ste. Foy, Conques, France
Adelvoldus AltarBy 1100; Brunswick or Hildesheim, GermanyGiven by Adelvoldus to the Church of St. Blaise in BrunswickKunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin, Germany (W8)
Walters Altar11th-12th cent.; Reichenau or Paderborn, GermanyUnknownWalters Art Museum, Baltimore, USA (Nr. 53-77)
Münster I11th-12th cent. (reliefs), 1250-1300 (beadwork), 16th cent. (altar); near Münster, GermanyUnknownDomkammer der Kathedralkirche St. Paulus, Münster, Germany (U.I/1)
Trier ILate 11th cent., middle 12th cent.; possibly Trier, GermanyUnknownDomschatz, Trier, Germany (Nr. 10)
Abdinghof Altar1100-07; Paderborn or Helmarshausen, GermanyAttributed to Roger of HelmarshausenDiözesanmuseum and Domschatzkammer, Paderborn, Germany (PR50)
Ourense Altarc.1105; SpainCommissioned by Abbot Pierre for Cellanova AbbeyMuseo Catedralicio de Ourense, Galicia, Spain
Bégon Altar1100; Conques, FranceMade by Pons (Bishop of Barbastre) under Abbot Bégon IIITreasury of Ste. Foy, Conques, France
Altar of Heinrich von Werlc.1100-20; Paderborn or Helmarshausen, GermanyMade by Roger of Helmarshausen for Bishop Heinrich von Werl of PaderbornDiözesanmuseum and Domschatzkammer, Paderborn, Germany (DS2)
Nuremberg Altar1111-44 (altar), 16th cent. (frame); Catanzaro, ItalyOwned/donated by Count Geoffrey of CatanzaroGermanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, Germany (KG796)
British Museum I1126-50; SpainUnknownBritish Museum, London, England (PE 1978,0502.4)
Eilbertus Altarc.1130-40; Cologne, GermanyMade by Eilbertus of CologneKunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin, Germany (W11)
British Museum IIc.1140-50; EnglandUnknownBritish Museum, London, England (1963,1107.1-4)
Altar of Sancha of León-Castillac.1144; León, SpainOwned by Sancha of León-CastillaMuseo de la Real Colegiata de San Isidoro, León, Spain (IIC-3-089-002-0008)
Stavelot Altarc.1150-60; Meuse Valley, BelgiumUnknownMusée royaux d’art et d’histoire, Brussels, Belgium (Nr. 1590)
Bamberg I “Paradise Altar”1150-75; Hildesheim, GermanyUnknownDiözesanmuseum, Bamberg, Germany (2722/18)
Münster II1150-75; near Hildesheim, GermanyUnknownWestfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster, Germany
St. Petersburg Altarc.1150-75; Cologne (ivory), Rhineland (altar), GermanyUnknownErmitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia (Nr. 168)
Osnabrück II1150-1200 and 1220-25; near Osnabrück, GermanyUnknownDomschatz und Diözesanmuseum, Osnabrück, Germany (Nr. 72)
Zurich Altar1150-1200 (enamels), 20th century (altar); Cologne, GermanyUnknownSchweizerisches Landesmuseum, Zurich, Switzerland (LM 29408)
Darmstadt III1150-1200; Lower Saxony, GermanyUnknownHessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany (Kg 54:258)
Feltre Altar1150-1200; Northern ItalyUnknownMuseo Diocesano Belluno-Feltre, Feltre, Italy
Darmstadt IV1150-1200 (ivory), 18th cent. (additions); Cologne, GermanyDonated by WolberoHessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany (Kg 54:321)
St. Geminiano Altarc.1150-1200; possibly Lower Saxony, GermanyUnknownMusei del Duomo, Modena, Italy
Berlin W12c.1155; Cologne or Hildesheim, GermanyUnknownKunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin, Germany (W12)
Brunswick IIc.1160; Brunswick or Hildesheim, GermanyUnknownStädtisches Museum, Braunschweig, Germany (B24)
St. Gregorius Altarc.1160; Cologne, GermanyUnknownSankt Servatius Schatzkammer, Siegburg, Germany
St. Mauritius Altarc.1160; Cologne, GermanyUnknownSankt Servatius Schatzkammer, Siegburg, Germany
Mönchengladbach Altarc.1160; probably Cologne, GermanyUnknownMünsterkirche St. Vitus, Mönchengladbach, Germany
Victoria & Albert Ic.1140-60; probably Hildesheim, GermanyUnknownVictoria and Albert Museum, London, England (10-1873)
Naples Altar1160-70; Northern Rhineland, GermanyUnknownMuseo Duca di Martina, Naples, Italy (Nr. 93)?
Paris – Louvre II1160-70 (metal), 1865-87 (altar); Hildesheim and Aachen, GermanyUnknownLouvre Museum, Paris, France (OA 8095)
Berlin W14c.1162; Hildesheim, GermanyUnknownKunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin, Germany (W14)
Fritzlar Altarc.1170; near Fulda or Fritzlar, GermanyUnknownDomschatz und Museum des St. Petri-Domes, Fritzlar, Germany
Berlin K4183c.1170-80; Cologne, GermanyUnknownKunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin, Germany K4183
Schnütgen IIc.1170-80; Cologne, GermanyUnknownSchnütchen Museum, Cologne, Germany
Oettingen Altar1170-80 and 1371; Rhineland, Cologne or Oettingen, GermanyUnknownDiözesanmuseum St. Afra, Augsburg, Germany (DM IV/1)
Xanten Altarc.1175-80 and 1724; probably Cologne, GermanyUnknownStiftsmuseum, Xanten, Germany (Lx17)
Hildesheim II1175-1200; Hildesheim, GermanyUnknownDommuseum, Hildesheim, Germany (DS24)
Hildesheim III1175-1200; Hildesheim, GermanyUnknownDommuseum, Hildesheim, Germany (DS25)
Agrigento Altar1175-1200; Kingdom of Jerusalem?UnknownMedia Museo Diocesano, Agrigento, Sicily, Italy
Bamberg IIc.1180; Cologne, GermanyUnknownDiözesanmuseum, Bamberg, Germany (2272/19)
Regensburg Altar1189; Regensburg, GermanyUnknownStadtpfarrkirchenstiftung St. Emmeram, Regensburg, Germany (1982/11)
Thidericus Altar1190-1200; Hildesheim, GermanyDonated by Abbot Thidericus of St. Godehard, HildesheimBritish Museum, London, England (PE 1902,0625.1)
Berlin W28Probably 12th cent.; Lower Saxony?, GermanyUnknownKunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin, Germany (W28)
Berlin W27Probably 12th cent.; the Levant?UnknownKunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin, Germany (W27)
Berlin W9Early 12th cent.; Lower Saxony, GermanyUnknownKunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin, Germany (W9)
Maastricht Altar12th cent.; probably Maastricht, the NetherlandsUnknownChurch of Saint-Servatius Schatzkammer, Maastricht, the Netherlands (Nr. 5.4.3)
Namur Altar12th cent.; Namur or Liège, BelgiumUnknownMusée diocésain et Trésor de la Cathédrale Saint-Aubain, Namur, Belgium (Nr. 11)
Freiburg II12th cent.; Lower Saxony, GermanyUnknownAugustinermuseum, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, Germany (K 9/M)
Andria AltarEnd of 12th cent.; Southern ItalyUnknownMuseo Diocesano di Andria, Andria, Italy
Berlin W5Late 12th/early 13th cent.; Italy or Byzantium (Turkey)UnknownKunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin, Germany (W5)
Freiburg IIILate 12th/early 13th cent.; possibly Aachen, GermanyUnknownAugustinermuseum, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, Germany (K 10/M)
Quedlinburg Altarc.1200; Sicily?, ItalyUnknownSchatzkammer der Stiftskirche St. Servatius, Quedlinburg, Germany (Nr. 44)
Berlin W4c.1200; Lower Saxony, GermanyUnknownKunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin, Germany (W4)
Cleveland Altarc.1200-20; Cologne, GermanyUnknownCleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, USA (Nr. 1927.29)
Munich Altar1200-50; possibly Regensburg, GermanyUnknownSchatzkammer der Residenz, Munich, Germany (Nr. 12)
Trento Altar1207-18; probably Trento, ItalyUnknownMuseo Diocesano Tridentino, Trento, Italy (Nr. 32)
Jacques de Vitry Altarc.1216-30; possibly Acre, the LevantOwned by Jacques de VitryMusée des Arts Anciens du Namurois, Namur, Belgium (TO25)
Narbonne Altar1273; Southern FranceMade by Qui de Pileo; probably for Pierre de MontbrunCathedrale de Saint Just et Saint Pasteur, Narbonne, France
Lyon Altar13th cent.; Byzantium (Turkey)UnknownCathedrale de Saint-Jean Baptiste, Lyon, France

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