Pilgrimage church in the "Church Valley"
The "Pinzgau Cathedral"
The pilgrimage church “Maria Kirchental” in St. Martin’s Kirchental - thanks to its size and the two towers also known as "Pinzgau Cathedral" - is a rewarding destination all year round.
After a farmer sighted the Virgin Mary in the year 1670 and the worshipping of Mary in the following years in a wooden chapel, the “Pinzgau Cathedral” was completed in 1701 after a construction period of seven years. Since then, thousands of pilgrims make their way to this healing and spiritual location every year, to pray, plead or say thank you.
In the church – by prior appointment – you can look at the largest collection of votive tablets in all of Austria and the Alpine region together with the pastor. More than 1,200 of these votive images can be found in the church in Maria Kirchental and many of them in the museum established in 2004.
A votive image is a form of thanksgiving, which must contain three subjects: first the vow that is illustrated by the person at prey, then the miraculous image at which the vow is directed, and finally the request that gave rise to the vow. Maria Kirchental Church is home to many votive images from the 17th and 18th century, which are among the most precious in all of Austria! An impressive experience.
Every year, various pilgrimages from all across the country are organised to Maria Kirchental. One of the most interesting of these is surely the “Horse pilgrimage”. Soldiers and pack animals from the Austrian Armed Forces and the German Armed Forces go on a pilgrimage every year in June to Maria Kirchental with a religious service – an experience for young and old!
In summer you can walk into Kirchental on the romantic hiking trail on foot or drive by car until just before Maria Kirchental pilgrimage church.
In winter the road is closed to general traffic. Instead, the road can be used as a – floodlit toboggan run. Fun for the whole family!