Pilgrimage church Maria Elend in Embach
Popular pilgrimage site with spiritual centreThe pilgrimage church Maria Elend is among the best-known, most popular and, at the same time, oldest pilgrimage sites in the entire Pinzgau. Located slightly outside Embach’s village centre, a 30-minute walk through glorious nature leads to the church. Embach is also home to the Geistliches Zentrum (Eng. “Spiritual Centre”). The institution belonging to the Archdiocese of Salzburg offers a range of courses on such topics as fasting, personality development, meditation and spiritual guidance. Find further information and the current list of courses in German at www.geistliches-zentrum.at.
Ursula Penninger, a noble Taxenbach native, founded the first chapel back in 1552. According to lore, a blind and mentally handicapped 12-year-old girl who had got lost in Embach was found again after three days with her sight and mental health restored. After this, Ursula Penninger pledged to found a chapel and to make eternal mass donations. The popularity of Maria Elend in the 18th century (up to 30,000 pilgrims a year) resulted in the conversion of the chapel into a church. Its book of miracles listing all the miracles that occurred after Marian intercessions is particularly famous.
History of Maria Elend in Salzburg
The church was eventually torn down and transferred to Embach’s parish church, which is also home to the Gnadenbild, under archbishop Hieronymus Colloredo in 1785. The original chapel is located not far from the place where, according to legend, the girl was found, which is near the chapel of mercy. The adjacent Augenbründl is said to have special healing powers. Pilgrims wash their eyes here.
The pilgrimage to Maria Elend in Salzburg involves two stages. The first is a visit to Embach’s parish church with the original Gnadenbild of Maria Elend, followed by a 30-minute walk via Kalvarienberg chapel leading to today’s chapel of mercy outside the village.
For pilgrimage groups
Embach is open for bus traffic, although the Kirchbühel can only be reached on foot (approx. 50 m). The pilgrimage church Maria Elend can also be accessed by bus. Turn towards Rauris after 1.2 km. The chapel is always open and has space for 30 worshippers (including 20 seats).
Devotionals are always possible – even without prior notification. For groups over 30 persons, we recommend Holy Communion or a devotional in Embach’s parish church with a subsequent unhurried walk to the chapel of mercy.
Please contact Embach’s parish office (+43(0)6543/7218) or pastor Oswald Scherer (+43(0)676/8746/6591) about celebrating mass.
Combine your pilgrimage with a holiday in beautiful Embach – we are looking forward to receiving your non-binding enquiry.