Wieskirche Pilgrimage Church
The Pilgrimage Church of the Scourged Saviour at the foot of the Alps is considered a perfect example of Bavarian rococo architecture. Around one million visitors come here every year from all over the world – to look, marvel, pray, attend services, enjoy the summer concerts and, of course, for quiet contemplation.
he statue of the Scourged Saviour was erected in 1730 for a pilgrimage but was subsequently put into storage in an attic. In 1738 the peasant woman Maria Lory, having retrieved the statue, saw tears and drops of blood on the statue. The news quickly spread, more and more pilgrims came, and soon the wooden village chapel, built in 1740, was no longer enough to accommodate them all. The foundation stone for the current church was laid in 1746. Two brothers from neighbouring Wessobrunn were responsible for the realisation of this multifaceted work of art in the elaborately ornamental rococo style. The altarpiece is by the Munich court painter Balthasar August Albrecht while the statues of the four fathers of the western church – Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine and Gregory the Great – are the work of the Tyrolean sculptor Anton Sturm.
The church's exuberant interior decor is unparalleled in richness and refinement, with opulent stucco ornamentation by Dominikus Zimmermann and ceiling frescoes painted by his brother Johann Baptist Zimmermann, the court painter of the Bavarian Prince Elector. The gilded stucco garlands and the intricate trompe-l'œil fresco on the dome ceiling are masterpieces of human creativity and a moving testament to a deeply-held faith. Master builder Dominikus Zimmermann remained closely associated with the Wieskirche in Bavaria until his death in a house he built himself, which today serves as an inn.
UNESCO World Heritage since 1983
From the selection criteria
The Pilgrimage Church of Wies is considered a masterpiece of human creativity and an exceptional testimony to a civilization that has disappeared.