The Basilica originally had been built in gothic style, in the 17th century they added baroque elements. You can see the older gothic spire in the middle and to it`s left and to it`s right baroque spires. It`s church bell is the biggest one in Styria. The high altar`s design is by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach (who planned also the famous Karlskirche in Vienna).
It is Austria`s most important pilgrimage place. People worship the small holy Mary statue. It is called "Magna Mater Austriae". Legend has it that in the 12th century a monk from St. Lambrecht was sent to the Mariazell area. He took the Holy Mary statue with him on this journey. Suddenly a big rock blocked his way. When he put down the statue, the rock broke into two pieces, and the monk could pass through.
Do not miss to pay the "Schatzkammer" (treasure chamber) a visit. It is inside the Basilica, you just have to go upstairs. The entrance fee is EUR 3. Especially between the 16th and the 18th century it was very popular to promise some kind of a gift or donation to the church, for example in case you are healed from a sickness or saved from a danger. In the treasure chamber you can see numerous of those votive gifts, donated by citizens but also by kings and emperors. The oldest painting is of the year 1633. There are also very precious objects of art, small gold crowns for the Magna Mater Austriae, beautifully decorated "clothes" for the statue and a pearl rosary donated by the late pope. In the 18th century, under emperor Joseph II., this custom of donating crowns and clothes was forbidden as well as pilgrimage itself. Now it´s legal again ;).
In the courtyard you find the "Kerzengrotte", which is basically a room where you can enlighten a candle and pray in silence (at least if there aren`t too many tourists around you taking pictures :)) - it has a very nice atmosphere!
For all tourists, for the inhabitants, but to only for the many pilgrims, who come up to Mariazell, the basilica is the most important objective.
The church was built in three phases.
In the year 1200 began the construction works to a Romanesque church.
Later, in the 1340, was added a Gothic choir to the construction.
From this second style, is remained the middle tower with the main entrance.
The third phase of the construction in Baroque style was started from the famous constructor Domenico Sciassia, in 1644.
This white, beautiful church is an attraction to the million pilgrims that come every year, to Mariazell.
In 1330 Mariazell was mentioned as a place of pilgrimage in a document for the first time.
In the middle of the Basilica is the Gnadenkapelle, an artwork of gold and silver, with the Gnadenstatue (the statue of grace), an old sculpture of the 13th century.
The staue of the Madonna, whose healing powers reputedly helped King Louis of Hungary defeat the Turks in 1377.
The Gnadenstatue is dressed and crowned. It is to express the adoration for the Virgin Mary.
The statue of grace, since 850 years.
The Chapel is in the middle of the church placed.
It is an edifice of gold and silver that houses the statue of the Madonna.
This sacred place has seen the effects of the centuries:
The main choice is Romanesque.
The beams of the Gnadekapelle with the images of King Louis of Hungary are in Gothic style.
The extraordinary stucco decor is Baroque.
One cannot talk about Mariazell without saying something about the basilica.
That is the most important tourist attraction in the town.
It is a piece of jewellery that impresses, with its slim and fashionable line, its brightness, its splendid architecture, its marble embroideries, and its valuable treasures.
The church was erected in several styles.
The beginning of the church in the year 1157 was in the Romance style.
From 1340, began the construction of the Gothic church.
The construction works to the modern basilica, in the baroque style, began in the year 1644.
The famous master builder Domenico Sciassia created with it, one of the first church big constructions of the Austrian baroque.
The church was named, in the year 1907, as papal basilica.
The pilgrimage church, with a length of 85m and a width of 30m,
was erected into several construction steps.
The first church was Romanesque.
Its construction started in1200
The second (1340), was a Gothic church,
and the Gothic middle tower (90m) is its visible rest.
The present-day Basilica was built through rebuilding in the baroque time,
with which were begun 1644.
The church was made, 1907 the papal basilica.
The basilica in Mariazell is a very important place
for many pilgrims of everywhere.
Thousands of pilgrims come to Mariazell every year
to express their gratitude and to pray.
The middle tower of the basilica
is built in Gothic styles.
The construction of the Gothic church
began in the year 1363 and lasted until 1366.
The tower, in octagon form,
is also, a part of this building.
Most tourists, who come in Mariazell, visit the 1267m up Bürgeralpe.
In the year 1928, was built, on the Bürgeralpe, the first funicular of the Styria.
The gondola, with 25 places, drives with a speed of 5 m per second.
The rope has a length of 1432m.
The funicular drives in 10 minutes, over 6 supports, from the valley to the mountain station.
On the Bürgeralpe, there are numerous sport possibilities.
With 1267 m, on the mountain, there are a modern hotel and an inn.
The Basilica dominated the small town, Mariazell.
This church was founded in 1157 by the monk Magnus.
In the year 1200, began the construction works at a Romanesque church.
In 1340 a Gothic choir was added to the church.
In 1342 the Duke Albrecht donated an altar of the Virgin Mary for it.
From 1380 to 1396 the church was changed into a Gothic church under the order of King Louis of Hungary.
Some parts from this period of time can be seen: the pointed middle tower and some details of the Gnadenkapelle.
In the 17th century, the increase of the numbers of pilgrims made an extension of the small church necessary.
The famous constructor Domenico Sciassia started in 1644 to expand the church in Baroque style.
The main place of Mariazell is opposite from the church.
It is the knownest place in Mariazell.
The people come here to recover and to find peace.
Many pilgrims come every year to Mariazell, to show their beliefs and respect for the God.
Always is the Hauptplatz the venue for all.
There are every year, many events, and celebrations.
Many hotels and restaurants are around the place.
There is a narrow gauge train line that runs between between Mariazell and St. Pölten. It is a really scenic journey through gorgeous mountains. Fast trains run between St. Pölten and Vienna. I would strongly suggest taking a ride on this train for some great views. It doesn't matter which way you go.
Be aware that Mariazell train station isn't actually in Mariazell, it is in St. Sebastian. Apparently the train company built the line to St. Sebastian and then wanted to know which route to take into Mariazell. This caused a huge political issue in Mariazell which was never resolved so the track never went any further. St. Sebastian, however, is very close to Mariazell - an easy walking distance.
The one-way fare from Mariazell to Vienna is 17.50 Euros
The ski area on Bürgeralpe is very scenic even if you are not skiing and it is so easy to get to from Mariazell. Sandwiched in-between shops in the town is the lower cable car station. Pay your fee, hop in, and in 10 minutes you are on the slopes.
It stands high above the town and offers a beautiful view to town and surrounding area. The church was bilt in Romanesque style abuot 1200 and converted to a Gothic hall-church in the 14th century. In the 17th century the whole church was remodelled in Baroque style. The central tower, in mainly Gothic form, is flanked by two more Baroque towers with onion domes.
This church was founded in 1157. It is the most important pilgrimage site in Austria and also has great meaning for Catholics.
The statue, a carving from 1530, ist platziert directly under the dome, on a high column.
In front of her they used to do penance and make candle sacrifices.