Worth knowing about our beautiful region
In the northern part of Styria in the middle of the Alps Mariazell is located. There the most famous shrine of Saint Mary in the Middle of Europe is located. It is also the spiritual center of the catholic people in the Danube area. The monk Magnus brought a statue out of lime wood from the monastery of the benedicts St.Lambrecht to Mariazell. The small cell over this statue gave Mariazell its name.
At the year 1200 margrave Heinrich Vladislav from Moravia built the first church as a thank you for the healing of a bad disease. King Ludwig the Great from Hungary donated in the year 1370 a chapel, which is here until today, after his glory win against the enemies of religion of the East. So Mariazell and the “Magna Hungarorum Domina” got the biggest pilgrimage place for the Hungarians. As no other spiritual place Mariazell rested until today connected with the catholic people of Middle- and Eastern-Europe. The history of the pilgrimages to Mariazell is a part of the history of all Christians in the Western hemisphere.
In the middle of the wonderful alpine landscape, the basilica is located. The church was built by the famous Italian builder Domenico Sciassia in the 17th century.
The high altar was built as a thank you from emperor Karl the 6th. It was built after the plans of Johann B. Fischer von Erlach. The altar of favor was built from his son Emanuel. The silver fencing at this altar was a gift from the empress Maria Theresia.
The renovation of the two treasuries, the restauration of the galleries as well as the restauration of the art historic collection were part of the festival of the millennium in Austria.
The “Magna Mater Austriae”
The biggest church in honor of Saint Mary in Austria is today more than ever a symbol for all Christians. In the years 1975 until 1991 Mariazell also was the last resting place of cardinal Mindszentys, before he was buried in his country of birth in Esztergom. A highlight in the history of Mariazell was the pilgrimage of Pope Johannes Paul 2nd on 13th of September 1983.
Since the turning point in 1989 Mariazell got again the spiritual center of meeting between East and West. The European history and the togetherness of the catholic belief unite themselves in Mariazell. The peak of this unification was the “pilgrimage of people” celebrating the day of Catholics in the middle of Europe in May 2004.
The Madonna without dress you can watch on 8th of September and on 21st of December.
The tourism office Mariazell includes Mariazell, Mitterbach as well as the parts St.Sebastian, Halltal and Gußwerk.
St.Sebastian is a famous trip destination because of the impressing lake Erlaufsee. A special attraction in summer is a drive with the oldest steam railway track in the world.
The village Halltal has kept its traditional characteristics. Rare animals and plants can be watched there around the idyllic lake Hubertussee. This lake was built by the industrial family Krupp at the turn of century.
Gußwerk is the “door to the river Salza” in the region which has the most water and wood in Styria. This region invites you to cozy hiking tours and demanding tours in an unique nature and world of mountains.
Beautiful mountains and an unique flora turn Mitterbach and its surroundings to an ideal hiking area – especially popular are the gorges Ötschergräben and the alpine pasture Gemeindealpe (1626m – most popular mountain with a great view in the Voralpen). In summer there is a summer toboggan track.
The local mountain of the people in Mariazell and its surroundings is the Bürgeralpe. In winter it is a famous skiing area with family friendly slopes and lifts (chair lift, cable railway and ski tow). In summer it is an attraction because of its impressing view and the fun area Holzknechtland with Biberwasser, bike park Bikealps and Wakealps. (Keep in mind, that the cable railway isn’t working in winter 2018/19 and in summer 2019 due to renovation works). The region Mariazeller Land and its beauty and variety you get to know during a hiking tour in untouched nature.
The region Mariazeller Land is located in the North of Styria directly at the border to Lower Austria. There one of the biggest forests of Middle Europe is located. Because of the few habitants here and the lack of industry this area is until today a meeting point with untouched nature.
The center of the region Mariazeller Land is Mariazell with the Austrian national shrine the Magna Mater Austriae. The basilica and the statue of Saint Mary out of lime wood are important for pilgrims from everywhere since the 12th century. Mariazell is a holiday location with a long tradition. Since the beginning of the 20th century there was a harmonic development of summer and winter holiday.