Mariazell Basilica

Mariazell Basilica

Mariazell Basilica

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Description:
The Mariazell Basilica (also the Basilica MariƤ Geburt or in English the Basilica of the Birth of the Virgin Mary) is a Marian basilica in Mariazell, Austria. It is the most important pilgrimage destination in Austria and one of the most visited shrines in Europe. In the church, a miraculous wooden image of the Virgin Mary is honored.

Early history

The territory around Mariazell was given to the Monastery of St. Lambrecht around 1103, and the monks built cells there in order to serve the local residents. Legends give the town's founding day as December 21, 1157, but it is first documented in 1243. A Marian altar was dedicated there in 1266.

The Current Church Building

The Basilica of the MariƤ Geburt

In the fourteenth century, a gothic church stood at Mariazell with a 90 m high spire and an ogive portal. In 1420 and 1474, the church was destroyed by fire. The church building was later expanded and baroque-ified by Domenico Sciassia from 1644 to 1683. To the left and right of the gothic spire a baroque tower was built, the nave was lengthened and widened, and a dome was added on the eastern side. The high altar, consecrated in 1704, was designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach.

The twelve side chapels each contain a baroque altar. The plaster stucco work of the organ gallery and the 1737 organ console was created by the Viennese sculptor Johann Wagner in 1740.

In front of the main entrance are two life-sized lead statues created by......
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