Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mariazell Basilica in Austria

Gruß aus Mariazell (Greetings from Mariazell)

Mariazell, 862 m, Stmk.
Gnadenkirche (Mariazell Basilica - Name of the Church)
gegen Hochschwab, 2278 m
gegen Student, 1534 m

postmarked in 2011 with a machine stamp

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Mariazell is a small city in Austria well known for winter sports. It is picturesquely situated in the valley of the Salza, amid the north Styrian Alps.

There are three basic legends about the founding of Mariazell and its development.

The legend of the towns founding says that in 1157, the St. Lambrecht Monk Magnus was sent to the area of the current town as a minister. When his way was blocked by a rock, he set down the Marian figurine he had brought with him, whereby the rock broke apart and left Magnus' way clear. On a nearby bank, he settled down, placed the figurine on a tree trunk, and built a cell out of wood, which served as both his chapel and his living quarters.

The second legend relates how Henry Margrave of Moravia and his wife, having been healed of severe gout through the help of Our Lady of Mariazell made a pilgrimage to that place around 1200. There they built the first stone church on the site of the wooden chapel.

The third legend recounts a victorious battle of the Hungarian King Ludwig I over a numerically superior Turkish army. Out of thanks he built the gothic church and endowed it with the "Schatzkammerbild" ("treasury image") that he saw laid upon his chest in a dream.


Marcie said...

Good to see a card from my country. Actually, if you ask me (and I am from Austria), Mariazell is best known for the basilica. It's a small area for skiing compared to the other wonderful places we have for skiing, and when I think of skiing, I would never think of Mariazell - even though I have skied there.

Union Printer said...

It's good to discover places like Mariazell. Even if it is not such a good place for skiing,(like Marcie says) I guess it is still worth visiting because of the basilica. :)