Mariazell Basilica in Austria and Flights to Mariazell

Mariazell Basilica, Benedictus-Platz, Mariazell, Avstrija

Website of the Sanctuary

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8.00-18.00 weekdays - Sunday 18.30

It is a site of pilgrimage for Catholics from Austria and neighboring countries to its east. The object of veneration is an image of the Virgin Mary reputed to work miracles, carved in lime-tree wood.

With inhabitants numbering only 2000, one can nevertheless assume over one million pilgrims and visitors will come to Mariazell annually.

Mariazell Basilica in Austria and Flights to Mariazell

Coming to Mariazell and having the best stay:

Guides and tours in Vienna:

What to see at Mariazell Basilica

Chapel of St Michael

Leaving the basilica via the south exit one comes to the Chapel of St Michael. This Late Gothic octagonal building with round tracery windows dates from the end of the 15thcentury and in the past served as a chamel house for bones from the closed graveyard around the church. The undercroft still has this function.

The upper floor, with the stellar-ribbed vault, is used for masses and christenings. The altarpiece from 1754 depicts Saint Michael; the cross once stood in the basilica. After the fire in 1827, the roof of the Chapel of St Michael was replaced and was built lower down than the original roof.

Sigmundsberg chapel

Sigmundsberg Chapel stands on the site of old fortifications once controlling access to Mariazell. The church was built in 1471, then soon destroyed, and rebuilt in 1501 as a single-aisle Gothic mountain church with two bays and a chancel of five sides of an octagon.

The sextagonal wooden roof turret and the roof are from an earlier period. The altar picture of 1761 depicts Maria lactans upon a crescent moon. The chapel contained the Statue of Mercy for a temporary period after the fire of 1827.

St Sebastian’s Church

St Sebastian’s Church was designed and built after 1644 by the master builder of the Mariazell Basilica – Domenico Sciassia. The central building on a cross-shaped floor plan is the last station for pilgrims on the ‘via sacra’ from Vienna to Mariazell.

The martyrdom of the church patron is impressively depicted on the column before the high altar. Parts of the high altar were created in 1643 by Michael Honel and were originally intended for an altar in the basilica. Around 1730 the altar was altered and erected in St Sebastian’s Church.

The altar painting depicting the Assumption of the Virgin is by Fridericus Stilpp. Above the Coronation of the Virgin and statues of St John the Evangelist and St John the Baptist can be seen.

To the sides are the sculptures of St Lambert, the patron saint of Saint Lambrecht Monastery, and St Benedict. The internal pair of columns is decorated with high quality reliefs of the mystery of the rosary. The side-altars show St Roch and St Rosalia, who like St Sebastian are also honoured as patron saints against the plague.

Chapel of the Holy Spring

The Chapel of the Holy Spring was constructed near to the basilica in 1711 by Abbot Anton Stroz of Saint Lambrecht. The spring is claimed to have healing powers for eye ailments.

In the baroque altar is a seated Madonna with Child from the 15thcentury, to the left and right are statues of St Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Virgin. The healing water flows from vessels held by angels flanking the altar.

One enters the square building with two bays through a portal with a triangular gable. In the interior one sees a mirror ceiling with a surrounding cornice on flat pilasters. In the middle of the ceiling fresco, the Holy Spirit glides over the waters.

All further depictions also refer to the healing spring: Moses striking water from the rocks, Jesus with the Samaritan at the well, Naaman bathing in the Jordan, and the healing of the blind man at the pool of Siloe.

Brother Klaus Church

The Brother Klaus Church on the banks of the Hubertus Lake in the Walster area lies in the heart of an untouched landscape, nine kilometres from Mariazell. The building of the new church took place in 1966/67 in honour of St Nicholas of Flue.

Two Styrian artists, Rudolf Szyszkowitz (concreted glass windows) and Alexander Silveri (cast-iron portal), have immortalised themselves in this church. Nicholas of Flue (also known as Brother Klaus), born on the Flüeli near Sachseln in 1417, was a farmer, member of parliament and a judge. He retreated to Ranft, and as a hermit also exercised great political influence over the fortune of his country.

This little church is very popular for marriages and christenings.

The Significance of the Mariazell Basilica

Hardly any other pilgrimage site in the world can look back on such an impressive past. According to records, Mariazell was founded on December 21, 1157. An inscription above the main portal, giving the date 1200, means that we can assume that the building of the Romanesque chapel began at this time. The first documentary evidence of ‘Cell’ is from the year 1243.

A letter of indulgence, dated 1330, from Archbishop Friedrich III of Salzburg, is given as the source for the Church of Our Beloved Lady of Cell as a much-visited place of pilgrimage. By 1344 the community had received the rights of a market town.

The bestowal of city status in 1948 was not due to the size of the com­munity. But its importance as an ecclesiastical and cultural center acknowl­edged far beyond the borders of Austria. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, it is now possible for pilgrims from Austria’s neighboring countries to the south and east to again come unhindered to Mariazell.

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Chapel of St Michael

Leaving the basilica via the south exit one comes to the Chapel of St Michael. This Late Gothic octagonal building with round tracery windows dates from the end of the 15thcentury and in the past served as a chamel house for bones from the closed graveyard around the church. The undercroft still has this function.

The upper floor, with the stellar-ribbed vault, is used for masses and christenings. The altarpiece from 1754 depicts Saint Michael; the cross once stood in the basilica. After the fire in 1827, the roof of the Chapel of St Michael was replaced and was built lower down than the original roof.

Sigmundsberg chapel

Sigmundsberg Chapel stands on the site of old fortifications once controlling access to Mariazell. The church was built in 1471, then soon destroyed, and rebuilt in 1501 as a single-aisle Gothic mountain church with two bays and a chancel of five sides of an octagon. The sextagonal wooden roof turret and the roof are from an earlier period. The altar picture of 1761 depicts Maria lactans upon a crescent moon. The chapel contained the Statue of Mercy for a temporary period after the fire of 1827.

St Sebastian’s Church

St Sebastian’s Church was designed and built after 1644 by the master builder of the Mariazell Basilica – Domenico Sciassia. The central building on a cross-shaped floor plan is the last station for pilgrims on the ‘via sacra’ from Vienna to Mariazell.

The martyrdom of the church patron is impressively depicted on the column before the high altar. Parts of the high altar were created in 1643 by Michael Honel and were originally intended for an altar in the basilica. Around 1730 the altar was altered and erected in St Sebastian’s Church. The altar painting depicting the Assumption of the Virgin is by Fridericus Stilpp. Above the Coronation of the Virgin and statues of St John the Evangelist and St John the Baptist can be seen. To the sides are the sculptures of St Lambert, the patron saint of Saint Lambrecht Monastery, and St Benedict. The internal pair of columns is decorated with high quality reliefs of the mystery of the rosary. The side-altars show St Roch and St Rosalia, who like St Sebastian are also honoured as patron saints against the plague.

Chapel of the Holy Spring

The Chapel of the Holy Spring was constructed near to the basilica in 1711 by Abbot Anton Stroz of Saint Lambrecht. The spring is claimed to have healing powers for eye ailments. In the baroque altar is a seated Madonna with Child from the 15thcentury, to the left and right are statues of St Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Virgin. The healing water flows from vessels held by angels flanking the altar.

One enters the square building with two bays through a portal with a triangular gable. In the interior one sees a mirror ceiling with a surrounding cornice on flat pilasters. In the middle of the ceiling fresco, the Holy Spirit glides over the waters. All further depictions also refer to the healing spring: Moses striking water from the rocks, Jesus with the Samaritan at the well, Naaman bathing in the Jordan, and the healing of the blind man at the pool of Siloe.

Brother Klaus Church

The Brother Klaus Church on the banks of the Hubertus Lake in the Walster area lies in the heart of an untouched landscape, nine kilometres from Mariazell. The building of the new church took place in 1966/67 in honour of St Nicholas of Flue. Two Styrian artists, Rudolf Szyszkowitz (concreted glass windows) and Alexander Silveri (cast-iron portal), have immortalised themselves in this church. Nicholas of Flue (also known as Brother Klaus), born on the Flüeli near Sachseln in 1417, was a farmer, member of parliament and a judge. He retreated to Ranft, and as a hermit also exercised great political influence over the fortune of his country.

This little church is very popular for marriages and christenings.

There are airports in the following cities:

Wien – www.viennaairport.com
Graz – www.flughafen-graz.at
Salzburg – www.salzburg-airport.com
Klagenfurt – www.klagenfurt-airport.at
Innsbruck – www.flughafen-innsbruck.at

The national train service is available at:

www.oebb.at

This website provides connections by bus as well. – If you take a bus your station is called “Mariazell Busbahnhof (Postamt)”.

 

Schedule From May 1 to October 31
Mass Sunday and holidays 8 a.m., 8.30 a.m. (Karmel), 9.30 a.m. (parish mass in the parish hall), 10 a.m., 11.15 a.m., 6.30 p.m. Pilgrims’ masses also at other times (12 noon to 2 p.m.: lunch break)
Mass Weekdays 6 a.m. (July and August), 7 a.m. (Karmel), 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 11.15 a.m., 6.30 p.m. Pilgrims’ masses also at other times (12 noon to 2 p.m.: lunch break)
Confession Daily from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and by appointment
Rosary Daily at 6 p.m. with blessing
Blessing of the devotional objects Daily 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. hourly at the Madonna Column
Vehicle blessing Mai 1 to October 26: every Sunday and holidays at 2 p.m. at the secondary modern school parking area (access from Mariazell bypass)
Schedule November 1 to April 30
Masss Sundays and holidays 8 a.m., 8.30 a.m. (Karmel), 9.30 a.m. (parish mass in the parish hall), 11.15 a.m., 6.30 p.m. during Advent: 6 early mass (no mass at 8 a.m.)
Mass Weekdays 7 a.m. (Karmel), 8 a.m., 11.15 a.m., 6.30 p.m. during Advent: 6.00 early mass (no mass at 8.00 a.m.)
Confession Daily from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and by appointment
Rosary Daily at 6 p.m. with blessing
Blessing of the devotional objects 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. at the Madonna Column
Opening hours Treasure Chambers open from May 1 to October 26 Sunday and holidays: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (4 p.m.) Tuesday to Saturday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Opening hours Candle grotto Daily 7 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. (November to April irregular)
Opening hours Chapel of St Michael November 1 to April 30: closed Mai 1 to Oktober 31: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Legend tells of the following founding history

Abbot Otker from the Benedictine Monastery of Saint Lambrecht sent a monk by the name of Magnus in 1157 to the Mariazell area, which was among the monastery possessions. This monk was to attend to the spiritual welfare of the people living there. With permission from the abbot he was allowed to take with him on the long journey his Statue of the Virgin, which was carved in limewood. On the evening of December 21, a boulder blocked his path near to his destination. Magnus turned to the Mother of God for help and the boulder was split, making his way clear.

Arriving at his destination, the monk placed the statue on a tree stump and began to build a ‘cell’ which was to serve as both chapel and accom­modation. Maria at the Cell gave the community its name. The Statue of the Virgin became famous for its miraculous powers, and is still honoured today as the Magna Mater Austriae, the Great Mother of Austria.

The Significance of the Mariazell Pilgrimage Basilica

Hardly any other pilgrimage site in the world can look back on such an impressive past. According to records, Mariazell was founded on December 21, 1157. An inscription above the main portal, giving the date 1200, means that we can assume that the building of the Romanesque chapel began at this time. The first documentary evidence of ‘Cell’ is from the year 1243. A letter of indulgence, dated 1330, from Archbishop Friedrich III of Salzburg, is given as the source for the Church of Our Beloved Lady of Cell as a much visited place of pilgrimage. By 1344 the community had received the rights of a market town.

Of great importance for Mariazell was the awarding of a plenary indulgence by Pope Boniface IX in 1399. It was granted for the week following the octave of the Assumption of the Virgin and led to the cultivation of penitential rites and processions, which continued after the indulgence was revoked and are documented well into the baroque period. The stream of pilgrims constantly increased.

There were already around two dozen stalls for the sale of votive offerings by around 1400, and approximately one-hundred years later Maria­zell was known internationally as a place of pilgrimage. Pilgrims from the regions of what are today Bavaria, Bohemia, France, Italy, Croatia, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, but above all, Austria and Hungary, were even then actively seeking the help of the Mariazell Mother of Mercy.

Mariazell enjoyed a special heyday after the end of the Counter Reformation as a national shrine of the House of Habsburg, which not only placed its personal fate under the protection of Mariazell, but the entire country and its inhabitants. The example given by the ruling family moved the members of the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie, and finally the peasantry, to make pilgrimages to Mariazell.

The Gothic church could no longer accommodate the great number of pilgrims and Abbot Benedikt Pierin of Saint Lambrecht decided upon a baroque expansion that gave the church its characteristic appearance.

The bestowal of city status in 1948 was not due to the size of the com­munity, but its importance as an ecclesiastical and cultural centre acknowl­edged far beyond the borders of Austria. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, it is now possible for pilgrims from Austria’s neighbouring countries to the south and east to again come unhindered to Mariazell.

Posted in Austria and Europe

Tagged In Holy Doors of Mercy Locations,Mariazell and pilgrimage basilica