Visible from afar, at the prominent end of a narrow hill above Lachen stands the chapel of St. John.
It dates from the middle of the 15th century.
According to tradition, the round, 7/8 closed choir is the last remnant of the former castle Alt-Rapperswil. At the time of the destruction of the fortress, the castle chapel is said to have been spared for reasons of piety (according to Aegidius Tschudi). The present choir is said to be a part (round tower) of the old castle complex.
The archaeological excavations carried out in 1972 essentially confirmed this thesis.
To be seen on the choir altar in the center is the crowned Mother of God with the Child, standing on a crescent moon. To her right and left is John the Baptist, left as a bearded man, pointing to the Lamb of God on the book, left the youthful John the Evangelist, blessing the chalice.
The left wing shows the beheading of John the Baptist, whose head is brought to Herod's table by Salome.
On the right wing John the Evangelist on the island of Patmos, where he wrote the Apocalypse, looking towards the eagle and the apparition of Our Lady.
In the predella, the lower part of the shrine directly above the altar block, St. Notburga von Bühl (not the Tyrolean Notburga!) is depicted with her nine children
In the excerpt, John's head is presented on a silver bowl as the so-called St. John's bowl between the dragon-slayer George and the archangel Michael
Finely carved pinnacles with herbaceous acanthus close upwards the house of the saints.
In the two side altars the visitor is presented with numerous saints and their life stories.
On the left side altar we see from left to right: On the wing St. Leonhard with abbot's staff and chain, St. Nicholas with bishop's staff and three golden balls, in the niche St. Bartholomew, Mother Anne (Anna Selbdritt) and St. Verena.
On the right wing, St. Oswald with scepter and cup, on which sits a raven with a golden ring, and St. Lawrence.
On the altar base (predella) St. Vitus (Vitus) is depicted in the oil boiler over the fire.
With the altar closed, one can see images of the life and martyrdom of St. Vitus, who refused idolatry.
In the right side altar are depicted St. Wolfgang (center) and the apostolic princes Peter and Paul On the left wing St. Catherine with palm and wheel, and a St. bishop. on the right wing St. Anthony with staff, pouch book and pig and St. Margaret with cross staff and dragon.
In the predella, a relief shows the martyrdom of St. Apollonia, whose teeth are torn out by three henchmen in contemporary costume. Only the exterior of the wings and the figures in the chantry are taken from the core of the salvation event; the wing painting shows the beginning of Christ's life on earth with the Annunciation and its end with the Crucifixion in the chantry.
Above the choir entrance hangs in a magnificent frame a painting depicting the three saints John the Baptist, Anthony Eremita and Quirin of Neuss, who are invoked in a long inscription as helpers against plague and pestilence.
Photos: Gerhard Eichinger
View of Lachen and Lake Zurich and ...
... the highway
Way of St.James