Lower Chapel

St. Pancras, patron saint of vows. Around 1138 the palace at Castle Tyrol was reconstructed, with a single-storey chapel being built first. The chapel was dedicated to St. Pancras, who was venerated in the Middle Ages as the protector against perjury. The conversion of the chapel into a two-storey chapel, allowing a separate place of worship for the rulers, happened around 1285 under ruling prince Meinhard II. The feast days of the patron saint and the festivals in honour of the foundation of the church continued to be maintained over the centuries. Worth a closer look are the oldest medieval stained glass windows in Tyrol, the Gothic wall paintings and the Romanesque marble reliefs on the triumphal arch.

Crucifixion group, around 1330. As you enter the chapel, your eyes are immediately drawn to the large crucifixion group. When the group was last restored in 2002, small locally struck coins (a ‘Zehner’ and a ‘Berner’ from Merano, both dating from the late 13th century) were found in the heads of the auxiliary figures next to the Virgin Mary and John. Small offertory coins which the sculptor inserted as a thanksgiving for his successfully completed creation. There is a local legend which says that a piece of the cross falls off at the death of each ruling prince. This “miraculös cruzifix” (miraculous crucifix) was venerated over the centuries of decay by pilgrims and visitors to the chapel as a holy relic.