The Heilige Blut ‘Holy Blood’ Altar in Rothenburg’s St. Jakobskirche is a masterwork, and one of Rothenburg’s justifiably famous attractions.

This spectacular altar work is a complicated piece, with two large relief panels on the flanks showing Christ’s entry into Jerusalem and Christ praying in Gethsemane, and multi-tiered ranks of figures representing the Last Supper. The centerpiece is a crystal cross, containing a relic of the Holy Blood.

The Last Supper tableau is interesting: it’s an unusual case where the central figure is actually Judas, and not Jesus himself. And if you get a good angle, you can see that the figure of Judas is actually made from a separate piece of wood, and can be removed from the scene. Reportedly this figure was taken out on Good Friday, when Judas betrayed Jesus. A local vicar mentioned that this can be interpreted in a many ways, but one of the most compelling is that Christians shouldn’t villify Judas in particular; it was all of our sin that made Jesus’s death and suffering necessary.