The parish church of Lana di Sotto is adorned by a particularly valuable gem: the Gothic high altar by Hans Schnatterpeck.
Hans Schnatterpeck, painter and workshop owner lived in Merano in the 15th century and created a true masterpiece just a few kilometres from his home. He was widely known at that time and had several journeymen who studied in his workshop. So in 1503 he was commissioned by Provost Peter Saltner of Lana di Sopra (Oberlana) to create a high altar for the newly built parish church of Lana di Sotto (Niederlana). In the following years the winged altar was realised by Hans Schnatterpeck with the help of his journeymen. He died around 1510.
The 14.10 m high and 7 m wide artwork was carved from chestnut wood and then gilded with ducat gold. 35 figures, some of which are up to 1.80 m tall, as well as the rare depiction of God with the body of Christ on his lap, called the Mercy Seat, decorate the altar. The outer sides of the wings were painted by Hans Schäufelein, a student of Dürer, with scenes of the Passion of Christ.
Schnatterpeck's work was extremely well paid with 1,600 (Rhenish) guilder: It was the highest sum ever paid in Tyrol for a Gothic winged altar and for which one could buy 8 loads of wine and 3 farms at that time. Today the altar, the largest winged altar in the Alpine region, is the highlight of the Assumption of Mary Parish Church in Lana di Sotto and is one of the most beautiful late Gothic works in South Tyrol. And how can it be reached? Lana di Sotto is situated about 11 km from Merano, a bus stop is only a few metres away. The parking possibilities are limited. The church itself is accessible only during a guided tour which takes place in summer on a regular basis.
Guided tours will be offered again from mid-May 2022.