× Home Travel Ways of St. James Thoughts on Pilgrimage
hanged man unhanged shell symbol
hanged man unhanged legend Legenda Aurea hanged man unhanged
Barcelos (P) Calzada Canville La Rocque Colmar Unterlinden Laupertshausen Rothenburg / Tauber Tafers Überlingen / Bodensee
History and Stories Interesting things Whats new?
  ☰ Menu Flagge Deutsch Drapeau français British flag

1. Chapel of St Jakob an der Birs, Basel BS

Unfortunately, the illustrations were completely destroyed in the course of history and have only survived in the form of copies.

2. Antonier Church, Bern, BE

The fragmentary wall paintings in the former church of the Antonier Hospital in Bern depict a hanged man being assisted by a "saint". Based on the saint's attributes, this could be St Anthony. The interpretation of the sequence of images is controversial.

3. St Jakob Chapel, Breil/Brigels, Grisons

The altarpiece in the chapel, which was built in 1514, depicts St James and the miracle of the gallows. It shows a hanged man on the gallows, two pilgrims walking away from the viewer and two very small figures coming from a town. It is probably Toulouse on the Garonne.

4. Chapel of St James, Ermensee, LU

Ermensee belongs to the parish of Hitzkirch. The chapel was built in 1605. The paintings on the two altar wings depicting the gallows miracle and the chicken miracle also date from this time.

Altar in Ermensee

Left wing of the altar

Top left: Father and son move into the inn.
Top right: The innkeeper hides a golden cup in the pilgrims' luggage.
Bottom left: The next day, the innkeeper convicts the pilgrims of theft.
Bottom right: Conviction by the judge.

Right wing of the altar

Top left: The father prays before the altar of St James in Santiago de Compostela.
Above right: Back from the apostle's tomb, the father finds his son alive on the gallows.
Bottom left: Chicken miracle at the inn.
Bottom right: The innkeeper is hanged.


Ermensee, left panel Ermensee, right panel

5. Heiligkreuz Chapel, Mels SG

Originally, a fresco cycle with 9 illustrations told the legend of the gallows and chicken miracle. Only a few fragments of this still exist. The story can be reconstructed on the basis of tracings.

Here, father, mother and son are travelling as pilgrims. They stop at the inn and are welcomed by the landlord and his daughter. The innkeeper hides the cup. The pictures showing the conviction for theft, sentencing and hanging are completely missing. Father and mother make a pilgrimage to Santiago and pray to the apostle. On their return journey, they come to the gallows where St James is holding their son. Father and mother tell the people in the town about the miracle that St James has performed. The chicken miracle takes place at the inn in the presence of the judge. The innkeeper and his daughter are hanged. Father and mother return home from their pilgrimage.

6. Church of St James, Nuvilly FR

The first chapel on this site dates back to the 13th century. It was demolished in 1687 and replaced by a new one. The reredos of the main altar dates from 1690 and depicts St James on the altarpiece. The miracle of the chicken is depicted on the right at the apostle's feet.

7. Church of St Mauritius, Rüti bei Büren BE

Frescoes were uncovered on the south side of the choir. Eight pictures show the miracle of the gallows and the chicken miracle. They were partially destroyed by the later installation of a window.

8. Chapel of St James, Tafers FR

see : Tafers

9. Chapel of St James on Bösegg, Willisau LU

The chapel on the western border of the parish of Willisau dates from 1949 and replaces a simple previous building. Above the entrance are three panels depicting the miracle of the gallows and the chicken. It is a popular, primitive work from the 18th century.

Hühner- u. Galgenwunder Tafeln in Bösegg

The group of pilgrims with father, mother and son come from the Bösegg farm and set off on a pilgrimage to St James. In Spain, an evil innkeeper smuggles a golden cup into the pilgrims' luggage. The son is convicted as a thief, sentenced and hanged. Father and mother continue their pilgrimage to St James, where a voice tells them that their son is still alive. On their return journey, they find their son alive on the gallows. They report this to the bishop, who is roasting chickens. He doesn't believe the parents and when he thinks the son is just as dead as the chickens on the spit, two roasted chickens and a cockerel come to life and flutter away. From then on, the hens laid three eggs every year, from which two more hens and a cockerel hatched, and so on and so forth. The pilgrims cut a pole from the pimpernut tree and planted it at home.

10. St James' Chapel of the Augustinian Church, Zurich ZH

Fresco remains have been preserved in the sacristy of the Augustinian church, which originally belonged to the Chapel of St James.

Galgen- und Hühnerwunder, Fresko Fragment in der Sakristei der Augustinerkirche in Zürich

The left-hand picture shows the pilgrims asleep in bed while the innkeeper hides the cup in their robes. In the right-hand picture, the cup is discovered and the innkeeper's daughter is watching.