In the context of the foundation of the university in 1477 the former parish church which had been mentioned for the first time in 1191 was transformed into a collegiate church. During that time – from 1470 to approximately 1490 – the today's church emerged in late Gothical style where the former Romanic building had been. The top of the tower was added only at the end of the 16th century.
As one of the most important churches in Württemberg – and due to the support of the Duke Eberhard im Bart of Württemberg – the collegiate church received an excellent decor: One of the nicest Gothic rod screens in South Germany, an altar of Dürer's pupil Hans Schäufelein, an resplendently decorated baptistery, a masterfully created lectern and impressive choir stalls. Around 1480 the master Peter Hemmel von Andlau from Strasbourg created the vitrails which are a gem.
The choir loft of the Collegiate Church served the Dynasty of Württemberg as a tomb; between 1450 and 1616 several sarcophagi were made by renowned sculptors of the late Gothic period and of the Renaissance. The tower, which is accessible from the choir loft, offers a wide view of the city.
Across from the Collegiate Church, number 15 in the lane Münzgasse, you will find the House of Cotta, the former address of the famous publishing house which released the works of Schiller and Goethe.