Places of worship in Europe

AUSTRIA

Mariazell

THE CHURCH

In 1907, the church was elevated to a minor basilica. Restoration work, begun in 1992, was completed in 2007. Pope Benedict XVI visits it in September of the same year.

The territory around Mariazell was donated to the Monastery of St. Lambert around 1103 and the monks built cells there to serve the local inhabitants. The city was founded in 1157, but its existence is documented only from 1243. A Marian altar was dedicated there in 1256.

In the fourteenth century, a large Gothic church already existed in this locality, but it was destroyed by a fire. From 1644 to 1683, it was rebuilt in Baroque style under the influence of the architect Domenico Sciassia. A tower and a dome of the same Baroque style were added.