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.

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?UnknownAugustinermuseum, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, Germany (Nr. 12133)
Altar of the Gold Ciborium877-899; Probably court workshop of Charles the BaldKing Arnulf of Carinthia, given to St. Emmeram, RegensburgResidenz, Munich, Germany
Met Museum 17.190.42a-d9th-12th cent.; UnknownUnknownMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, USA (17.190.42a-d)
Girona Altar10th cent.; Sant Pere de Rodes, CataloniaUnknownMuseu d’Art de Girona, Girona, Spain (Nr.20)
Oldenburg Altar10th cent.; Westphalia or Lower SaxonyUnknownLandesmuseum für Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte, Oldenburg, Germany (Nr.3575)
Moutiers-Sous-Argenton Altar10th/11th cent.; unknownUnknownChurch of Saint Rufin, Moutiers-Sous-Argenton, France
Paris Ic.1000-1050; Bamberg or Fulda, GermanyUnknownMusée de Cluny, Paris, France (Cl. 13072)
Hildesheim Ic.1007-1015; Hildesheim, GermanyUnknownDommuseum, Hildesheim, Germany (DS26)
Watterbach Altarc.1020; Bamberg or Fulda, GermanyProbably commissioned by HRE Henry IIBayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich, Germany (MA 198)
Paris IIc.1025-1075; Winchester, EnglandProbably commissioned by Judith of FlandersMusée de Cluny, Paris, France (Cl. 11459)

Want to follow my portable altar adventures and learn more about these fascinating objects? Have a question about them? Spotted a medieval portable altar in the wild? Find me on Twitter (@salu1292)!