Ah - beautiful Wieskirche! In a peaceful meadow near Steingaden at the southern end of the Romantic Road lies the fabulous Wieskirche (Wies Church) or Pilgrimage Church of Wies.
While on holiday, if your travel plans take you anywhere near Southern Bavaria, plan to visit Wieskirche.
Also known as "The Church in the Meadow", Wieskirche is one of the most famous Baroque churches in the world and is considered one of the most beautiful. Replete with Rococo sculptures and frescos, Wieskiche's splendor is unparalleled. The church and its bucolic location in the rolling foothills of the southern Bavarian Alps evoke a strong feeling of reverence and awe. Wieskirche should not be missed when touring Bavaria.
Each year thousands of people from around the world travel to Wieskirche. Many visit to appreciate the baroque architecture and intricate Rococo artwork created by Dominikus Zimmermann and his brother Johann Baptist Zimmermann of Wessobrunnin. Others travel to "The Church in the Meadow" to worship, pray, and seek meaning and direction in their lives.
Wieskirche is a functioning church and celebrates regular worship services. Days and times vary by season, but a schedule can be found on the official Wieskirche listed below. Concerts are also held in the church at various times during the year.
In 1983, Wieskirche was honored by the United Nations by being added to the World Heritage List maintained by UNESCO. Click here to see a huge version of the photo below in a new browser tab (Wikimedia Commons, public domain photo.)
Wieskirche's history began on June 14, 1738 when it is said that tears were seen on a wooden statue of the crucified Christ situated in a field in the small hamlet of Wies. The news quickly spread and masses of pilgrims from all over the world began traveling to Wieskirche to see the statue and to worship and pray.
To accommodate those traveling to the site, in 1740 a small chapel was built to house the statue. The chapel is still on the property today.
As the number of visiting pilgrims grew, the nearby Steingaden Abbey, later in the 1740s, decided to build the current Wieskirche. The church was designed by Dominikus Zimmermann and built by Abbot Marianus II Mayer.
Zimmermann so loved Wieskirche that he could not bear to leave it, so he built a small house next to the church, and lived there until his death.
The official name of the church is Pilgrimage Church of the Scourged Saviour - or Wallfahrtskirche zum Gegeißelten Heiland auf der Wies.
While in the area, stop in the nearby resort village of Steingaden. Stroll through the historic market town and see Welfenmünster, the church of the former Steingaden Monastery. The monastery was consecrated in 1176 and the present buildings that remain were built in the 17th century.
Visit the official Wieskirche website for more information. An English version of the site is available. As the website mentions, other fabulous tourist sites, such as Fussen and Neuschwanstein Castle, Linderhof Castle, and Ettal Abbey are close to Weis Church and should be considered when planning your holiday to Bavaria.
Please see our new webpage, Photographs of Wieskirche - the Church in the Meadow, for some lovely, large pictures of this magnificent church.
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