Austria, Styria – Basilica in Mariazell
Despite we have visited well-known Austrian town of Mariazell many times, only recently we have managed to come in the time the basilica was opened. Thus, we have visited this jewel of pilgrimage from the inside.
Right at the beginning, I have to say that I regret to admit that we have only a few photos taken outside the church, because inside it is not allowed to take pictures. Unfortunately, even outside photos are not of the best quality because we visited Mariazell every time in the evening after skiing. Conditions for taking photos were not convenient. However, I believe that even a few photos we present you can lead you to imagine how wonderful this building is.
How to get there you can read in the article about the town of Mariazell, which can be found HERE.
Few places of pilgrimage in the world can boast such a unique history. According to legend was launched on 21 Mariazell prosince 1157th More about what the legend says, and how was the name of the town is also read in the aforementioned article, which you can find HERE.
Briefly on history
The beginning of the Romanesque chapel is considered the year 1200, which is part of the inscription above the main entrance. The first written mention of the name "Cell" is from the year 1243. According to historical sources, the Church of Our Dear Lady in Zell The beginning of the Romanesque chapel is considered the year 1200, which is part of the inscription above the main entrance. The first written mention of the name "Cell" from the year 1243 and according to historical sources, was already in 1330 the Church of Our Dear Lady in Zell much visited place of pilgrimage. Soon it got rights to have market. The year of 1399 was significant for this place. Pope Boniface IX. Pilgrims granted rights to collect full indulgences. There came more and more pilgrims and soon Mariazell was known far beyond its borders. Help of the merciful Mother in Mariazell at the time sought not only pilgrims Austria či Hungary, but also from France, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Croatia, Switzerland or Germany. Exceptional flourishing Mariazell experienced even after the Counter-Reformation, had served as a national temple of the Habsburgs. Originally Romanesque, but in that time, the Gothic church could not accommodate such a large number of pilgrims, so Abbot Benedict of Pierina of St Lambrecht contributed to its baroque extension,by which the church gained its characteristic appearance. This resulted in a pilgrimage basilica with a very interesting and special facade – there is still a Gothic tower between the baroque towers with cupolas.
Basilica in Mariazell in numbers
The expansion of the baroque building began around 1644 and lasted approximately 60 years. The original Gothic hall is 42 meters long, 20 meters wide and its height is 19 meters. The total length of the church, however, is up to an impressive 84 meters and width of 30 meters. Not even this unique architectural work avoided the devastating fire. It broke out in 1827. It destroyed the roof along with tower roof, but the interior of the church miraculously remained before the fire fortunately largely spared. Very important historical milestone was the year 1907 when the church was elevated to minor basilica. A year later, followed by the papal crowning gracious statue by a nuncio.
Although only about 2,000 permanent residents live in Mariazell, it is estimated that more than a million pilgrims a year visit it. Even today it is one of the largest pilgrimage sites in Europe.
Text and photo: O. Maňáková
After some considerable time we return to the charming Austrian state of Styria, which has long been a popular tourist destination. This time we will focus on cycling, but we will not miss other interesting activities or events that make Styria special.
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