September 2012
« Aug   Oct »

The Mariazell Basilica is a Marian basilica in Mariazell, Austria.

The Mariazell Basilica which is also known as the Basilica Mariä Geburt or in English the Basilica of the Birth of the Virgin Mary is a Marian basilica in Mariazell, Austria.

Overview of The Mariazell Basilica

• It is the most important pilgrimage destination in Austria.
• It is 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.
• The monks built cells there in order to serve the local residents.
• Legends give the town’s founding day as December 21, 1157.
• It is first documented in 1243.
• A Marian altar was dedicated there in 1266.

The Current Church Building

Gothic Portal
• In the fourteenth century, a gothic church stood at Mariazell.
• It was 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.
• 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, there are two life-sized lead statues.
• They were created by Balthasar Moll in 1757.
• To the left stands King Ludwig I of Hungary and to the right is Heinrich, Margrave of Moravia.
• In 1907, the pilgrimage church was elevated to a basilica minor.
• The basilica has been undergoing a general restoration since 1992.

Holy Image and Chapel
• The older part of the building was built in 1690.
• It contains the Gnadenkapelle.
• This chapel sits on the site of the first “cell”.
• It holds a Late Romanesque miraculous image of the Virgin Mary – the “Magna Mater Austria”.
• This is a 48 cm tall statuette made of linden.

Pilgrimage Development
• Pilgrims were already making their way to the Marian sanctuary in the 12th century.
• Larger numbers of pilgrims are documented beginning around 1330.
• In the following years increasing numbers of pilgrims came from neighboring lands.
• After the Counter-Reformation, the Habsburgs made Mariazell a national sanctuary.
• In 1783, Emperor Joseph II dissolved the monastery in Mariazell.
• In 1787, he completely banned pilgrimages. v there.
• After the early withdrawal of the restrictions, today around a million pilgrims visit Mariazell each year
• In May 2004, the Central European Catholic Day took place there.

Mariazell Basilica commemorative coin
• The Mariazell Basilica was recently selected as the main motif of a collectors’ coin.
• The Austrian Mariazell Basilica commemorative coin, minted on May 9, 2007.
• The coin shows the facade of the basilica with its characteristic central gothic tower flanked by two baroque towers.

Places to see in and around Austria

1. Lake Constance
• This is a big lake situated in Vorarlberg.
• This lake is shared with Switzerland and Germany.

2. Kaprun
• This is a part of the Europa Sport Region.

3. Pinswang
• This is one of the most ancient settlements of the North Tyrolean Ausserfern.
• This is on the border with Bavaria.
• It takes a short walk or drive to the famous King Ludwig’s castles.

4. Salzkammergut
St. Anton
• This is a popular ski resort in Austria.
• This resort is on the Vorarlberg-Tyrolean border.

5. Thermenland
• This is one of Austria’s warmest lakes.

6. Zell am See
• This is one of the most important alpine tourist towns in Austria.

7. High Mountain National Park
• This is in the Zimmertal Alps.
• It peaks up to 3476m, narrow gorges and steep cliffs.

8. National Park Thayatal
• This park combines beautiful valley landscapes with a variety of castles and ruined fortresses.

9. Grossglockner
• The country’s highest peak is called Grossglockner.
• It is located on the border between Carinthia and the East Tyrol.
• Grossglockner High Alpine Road, with its gorgeous panorama’s is highly recommended to get a great view.

10. Villgratental
• At the feet of mountain peaks you’ll find luscious valleys.
• This includes Villgratental.

11. River Danube
• The river Danube created some beautiful valley landscapes.
• Here you’ll now find famous vineyards.
• Wachau and Dunkelsteinerwald in Lower Austra are fine (and protected) examples.
• The valley landscapes and hillsides are dotted with countless picturesque villages.

12. Historical places

• Austria boasts a wealth of majestic architecture and historic structures.
• It was long a centre of power in the Holy Roman Empire.
• Here you will find palaces and magnificent city architecture.
• Addition to these you will find grand cathedrals, monasteries and churches.

• This is the country’s capital and most popular destination.
• It is packed with Medieval and Baroque structures.
• Schonbrunn Palace with its 1441 rooms is the absolute highlight.
• Tiergarten Schönbrunn, is the oldest zoo in the world.
• The 12th century St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the most prominent religious building.
• Salzburg combines delightful Alpine surroundings with a beautifully preserved historic center.
• Innsbruck, at the heart of Tyrol is a historical place. The Mariazell Basilica in Mariazell is one of the country’s most visited attractions and an important pilgrimage destination.

Murauer Bier
• The Murauer Brewery has a permament brewing museum.
• Turn up on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
• The tour includes the museum, brew house, a video presentation and a free Murauer beer or lemonade in any of their bars in the town.
• Price: 3€

Judenburg Sternenturm
• There is a (locally) famous planetarium.
• The town also has a town tower.
• It offers views of the entire area.

Burg Riegersberg
• This wonderfully preserved medieval castle is privately owned by the ruling family of Liechtenstein.
• Entry is cheap.
• The castle can be reached by walking up the original access path that winds its way through the castle’s defensive gates.
• There is a cable car which ascends the other side of the hill.

Zotter Chocolate
• Also near, Riegersberg is the Zotter chocolate factory.
• They make all their chocolate in an ethical and organic manner.
• The tour of the factory allows you to taste all of their varieties of chocolate (around 150).

Things to do there:

– Skiing and Snowboarding
– Cycle Touring
– Music
– Movies

• Most trails and mountain huts are maintained by the Austrian Alpine Club.
• Some are run by other equivalent organizations, such as the German, Dutch and Italian Alpine Clubs.
• Mountain huts are meant to be shelters, not hotels.
• During the high season (August), it’s a good idea to book in advance.
• Prices for the night are usually around 10-20€ (half for Alpine Club members).
• Meals and drinks are quite expensive.

Best time to visit / climate

– Austria has a temperate continental climate.
– Summers last from early June to mid-September.
– It can be hot in some years and rainy in others.
– Winters are cold in the lowlands and very harsh in the Alpine region.
– In alpine region the temperatures often drop below -10° C (14° F).
– Winters last from December to March.
– In the Alpine region large temperature fluctuations occur all year round and nights are chilly even in high summer.
– The area around Vienna often experiences strong easterly winds.
– The high season is August.

Location on Google Maps

View Larger Map

Or click and paste the URL below on your browser:,+8630+Mariazell,+Bruck+an+der+Mur+District,+Styria,+Austria&hl=en&geocode=FUz22AIdrL7pAA&hnear=Mariazell+Basilica,+8630+Mariazell,+Bruck+an+der+Mur+District,+Styria,+Austria&t=m&z=14

How to get to Austria?

1. By plane
• There are 6 airports in Austria with scheduled flights.
• The most important international airport is Vienna.
• This has connection to all major airports of the world.
• Other international airports include Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Linz, and Salzburg.
• They provide domestic flights as well as connections to some European countries.
• Those airports are particularly popular with cheap airlines such as Ryanair.
• For traveling to the western states it is recommended to use the very close Munich airport.
• The most common airports to visit Vorarlberg are Altenrhein (Austrian), Friedrichshafen (Ryanair, Intersky) and Zurich (Swiss).
• If visiting Austria for winter sports, choose airport considering cost and duration for the whole trip (plane+transfer).

2. By Bus
Eurolines Austria has bus schedules from Austria to all major European countries and back.

3. By Car
From Germany
– Motorway A8 from Munich to Salzburg.
– Motorway A93 from Rosenheim via Kufstein to Innsbruck, Tyrol.
– E43 (A96) from Leutkirch via Wangen to Bregenz, Vorarlberg.
– E56 from Regensburg via Passau to Linz, Upper Austria.
From Italy
– Motorway A23 to Villach, Carinthia.
– E54 via Brenner to Innsbruck, Tyrol.
From Slovenia
– E652 to Villach,Carinthia.
– E57 via Spielfeld to Graz, Styria.

4. By Train
• The OBB (Austrian Railways) operate high-speed ICE and RailJet trains from cities like Zurich,Munich,Frankfurt, Passau, and Budapest.
• Eurocity trains are the next fastest trains.
• Regional trains called EURegio and simplyRegionalzug are also avialible from all 8 of Austria’s neighbors.

Austria & the Alps 2000 – 2007 DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Austria Frommer’s Austria

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at
Hotels at
Hotels at

Blogs / Sites about Austria – The Basilica Mariazell

blogs at
Blogs at
blogs at
Blogs and reviews at

Images and photos of Austria – The Basilica Mariazell

Images at
Images at
Images at
Images at

Videos of Austria – The Basilica Mariazell

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>