A gallery, in which an organ has since been installed, extends over all three aisles in the transept.The nave is separated from the aisles by cylindrical masonry pillars (not monolithic columns), whose capitals are fine works of high Romanesque sculpture.Indeed, a thorough examination of the structure seems to have demonstrated conclusively that the entire portal was assembled in the late 12th century, simultaneously with the construction of the second church.
In the 1990s it was suggested that only the tympanum, archivolt, and jambs formed an original composition of the 12th century, while the remaining portions of the Schottenportal were assembled from spolia during the Renaissance.While this theory would have absolved art historians of the duty of interpreting the program as a unified whole, it has not met with wide acceptance.The most famous architectural element of the church is its north portal (the Schottenportal), which occupies a full third of the north wall, and is richly decorated with both ornamental and figural sculptures.The proper interpretation of this sculptural program has been debated since the beginning of the 19th century.The monastery managed to avoid dissolution during the Napoleonic period, a rare accomplishment.
It was demoted to a priory in 1820, but monks remained in residence until 1862, when the Bavarian government bought the property and turned it into a seminary for training Catholic priests.
The new western gate became known as the Jakobstor. James, a three-aisled basilica with three apses and two east towers, was dedicated in 1120. The monastic church was expanded beginning around 1150, under Abbot Gregor.
This second church, which stands today, was given a two-story transept or westwerk at the west end, an elaborate north portal, and a cloister to the south. Regensburg became an important center for the missionary work of Irish monks in Europe; the Scots Monastery in Vienna is one of its daughter foundations. Jakob monastery had close connections with the monastic school at Cashel back in Ireland and attracted the theologian Honorius of Autun (d.1151) towards the end of his life.
There are various indications that the left side, as one faces the portal, is more highly regarded than the right.
Its entablature carries a rich interlace, while that at right is undecorated; the arcade in the middle zone is filled by a row of human heads, while that at right is filled with those of animals.
At the lowest level, the door is framed at the center by richly decorated jambs, at each side of which stands a flat field interspersed with various relief sculptures.