The Salzburg Missal


The five volumes of the monumental feast missal of the Salzburg basilica, now in the Bavarian State Library, is among the most lavishly ornate, and probably the most costly, medieval missals in the world. Commissioned by the Salzburg Prince-Archbishop Bernhard of Rohr (1418–87, reigned 1466–82), an art lover and bibliophile, the manuscript was completed by 1494 under the rule of his successors. It contains 22 liturgical texts for the most important religious feasts to be celebrated in the Salzburg basilica. In the late 1450s, the Salzburg painter Ulrich Schreier began work on the magnificent miniatures, but soon after he had started Berthold Furtmeyr (circa 1435/40–circa 1501) was commissioned to continue. Furtmeyr decorated the volumes with splendid miniatures, and the missal is considered his mature artistic masterpiece. The extent of the work and the division of its 680 leaves into five volumes testify to the extraordinary demands of the commission. Written in large textura script, each volume is 38 centimeters tall and 28 centimeters wide, convenient to handle and at the same time impressive. Each volume contains liturgical texts and brightly colored illuminations. The first volume includes the three holy masses: the birth of Christ on December 25th, the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ on January 1st, and the feast of Epiphany on January 6th. The second volume contains liturgies for the Purification of the Virgin, the Annunciation, the Deposition of Saint Rupert, Holy Thursday, Easter, and the Ascension. The third volume includes the liturgies of Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, and the Assumption. The fourth volume contains the liturgies of Saint Augustine, the Nativity of Mary, the Translation of Saint Rupert, the Kermis of the Salzburg basilica, and the Translation of Saint Virgil. In the fifth volume, the Solemnity of All Saints, Saint Martin’s Day, and the Deposition of Saint Virgil on November 27th complete the liturgical year.

Date Created

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

Missale Salisburgense

Type of Item

Physical Description

Volume 1: 93 sheets, parchment; Volume 2: 201 sheets, parchment; Volume 3: 149 sheets, parchment; Volume 4: 148 sheets, parchment; Volume 5: 89 sheets, parchment : illustrations ; 38 x 28 centimeters


  • BSB shelfmarks: Clm 15708–15712 (i.e. V. 1 = BSB Clm 15708; V. 2 = BSB Clm 15709; V. 3 = BSB Clm 15710; V. 4 = BSB Clm 15711; V. 5 = BSB Clm 15712)

Last updated: October 17, 2017