Friday, April 16, 2010

Wies Church/Wieskirche, Steingaden, Germany

Wieskirche, Steingaden, Germany

Wies in German means meadow and this lovely church indeed does sit in the middle of a meadow. Wieskirche is a pilgrimage church. People from all over the world come to the Wies Church for many different reasons. Some come out of curiosity.  Some come to see what is considered the finast example of Roccoco artistry. The church is now listed as one of the UNESCO world heritage sites.  Some come to pray before the figure of the Scourged Saviour.  In 1738 tears were seen on a this wooden figure of Christ. This miracle resulted in a pilgrimage rush to see the sculpture. In 1740, a small chapel was built to house the statue but it was too small  for the number of pilgrims it attracted, and so Steingaden Abbey commissioned a separate shrine they called the Wieskirche. Many who have prayed in front of the statue of Jesus on the altar, have claimed that people have been miraculously cured of their diseases.  We saw many people in the church that day, sitting and quietly praying.

The high alter with the statue of the Scourged Saviour.

The organ.

The hand carved wooden pews.

The ceiling.

Seeing things through a child's eyes again on this trip has been such a treat.
At this particular alter, 2 year old Jonah saw the prayer candles and spontaneously burst into song.
"Happy Birthday to you," he sang from his little heart and then tried to blow the candles out!

Pilgrims and visitors to the Wieskirche will agree that the architect  Zimmermann made an unforgettable church. The builder of the church, Abbot Marianus II Mayer, said:

"Hoc loco habitat fortuna, hic quiescit cor."
(In this place abideth happiness, here the heart findeth peace)

Mac gave this visit to Wieskirche a thumbs up.
Tomorrow we are off to Ommeramergau, Germany.

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