See the Herrgottskirche, Fingerhutmuseum (Thimble Museum) & Lindleinturm
Creglingen in Germany’s Tauber Valley is famous for its Tilman Riemenschneider Marienaltar in the Herrgottskirche, the Fingerhutmuseum (Thimble Museum) and the odd Lindleinturm.
Tilman Riemenschneider’s famous Virgin Mary altar in Creglingen is world-famous and the main region to visit this small Tauber Valley town. The small Thimble Museum with a large collection may the only of its kind in the world. The Lindleimturm is an offbeat sights in Creglingen and a must for lovers of the odd and bizarre.
See the Herrgottkirche with Marienaltar in Creglingen
The main sight in Creglingen is without a doubt the Herrgottskirche (Lord’s Chapel), Kirchplatz 2, tel 07933-7453. The 14th-century Gothic chapel itself is unremarkable but the 10-m/33-ft Marienaltar (Altar of the Virgin Mary) by Tilman Riemenschneider is world-famous.
The Marienaltar carved around 1510 illustrates in minute detail the life of the Virgin Mary. Riemenschneider did the life-size figures himself as well as the predella scenes of the Epiphany and Jesus amongst the Learned.
After the Reformation, the church became Lutheran, which explains the excellent state of repair of the altar (as well as the admission fee). Protestants do not believe in the assumption of Mary, the central theme of the altar, and thus the altar was hidden away for three centuries.
The filigree shrine was designed for the best natural light effect on the celebration of the assumption of Mary. This is traditionally on August 15, but as the altar was made prior to the Gregorian calendar reform, the best day to visit is August 25.
Opening hours of the Hergottkirche in Creglingen are April to October Tuesday to Sunday from 9:15 am to 6 pm and from November to March Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to noon and 1 to 4 pm. The church is usually closed all January. Admission is €3.50. The church is around 2 km/1.5 miles outside town on the road to Münster – if hiking follow the Herrgottskirche road next to the stream.
Visit the Fingerhutmseum (Thimble Museum) in Creglingen
Adjacent to the Herrgottkirche is the private Fingerhutmuseum (Thimble Museum), Kohlesmühle 6, tel 07933-370. It claims to be the only thimble museum in the world and has over 3,500 items on display. Some of these small items, the German term literally translated is “finger hat”, are of incredible artistic merit. Many are of gold, silver, or porcelain; some with miniature paintings and inlays on the side. The oldest is 2,500 years old.
Opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday from April to October from 10 am to 12:30 pm and 2 to 5 pm and November to March from 1 to 4 pm. Admission is €2.50.
Note this museum will be closed from 1 January 2021 and may be open on advance request from March 2021.
See the Lindleinturm Museum in Creglingen
The old town of Creglingen is pretty too with many half-timbered houses, many built on top of ramparts. An interesting new museum is the Lindleinturm Museum, Stadtgraben 12, tel 07933-7237. It is in a small half-timbered house erected in 1795 on top of a medieval bastion. It was occupied from the 1920s to 1995 by Margarete Böttiger, an eccentric and argumentative woman.
Margarete Böttiger lived alone with numerous cats but made do without hot water and many other modern-day conveniences. After her death, at age 98, she left the house and a sum of money to the town on the provision that it be kept as a museum in the state it was at her death.
The rather unique Lindleinturm Museum can only be seen on a guided tour – a maximum of six persons in the house at any one time. Opening hours are Easter to October on Friday from 10 am to noon and weekends from 10 am to noon and 2 to 5 pm. (Other times possible upon advance request.) Admission is free.
Creglingen Tourist Office
Touristinformation Creglngen, An der Romantischen Straße 14, 97993 Creglingen, Germany, tel 07933-631.
Further Destinations & Information on the Tauber Valley in Germany
- Introduction and Transportation in the Liebliches Taubertal
- Wertheim – Outlet mall shopping at the confluence of the Tauber and Main Rivers.
- Tauberbischofsheim & Lauda Königshofen – Half-Timbered Townscapes
- Bad Mergentheim – Old Town, Spa & Stuppacher Madonna
- Deutschordenschloss – Teutonic Order Castle in Bad Mergentheim
- Weikersheim (Renaissance Schloss) & Röttingen
- Creglingen – Riemenschneider Altar & Thimble Museum
- Hotels & Restaurants – Where to Sleep and Eat in the Tauber Valley
- Tauber Valley Cultural Events and Outdoor Adventures