Shrine of Our Lady


Chapel of Sorrows

The Chapel of Sorrows is the oldest pilgrimage chapel, built at the end of the 15th century on the edge of the rock above-ground. Next to the chapel was also the house of the pilgrim’s priest (Bruderhaus).

Today, the chapel is integrated into the monastery's complex. The chapel was once painted inside and outside. Today only a small part of it is visible above the former entrance on the west wall (not accessible). The chapel has been rebuilt several times over the centuries.
On the wall of the windows hangs the so-called miraculous image, which reminds us of the salvage of the Junker Hans Thüring Reich of Reichenstein, In a scenic process (fall, discovery, rescue and return to the Landskron) the whole story is shown. The Reichenstein family adorned the chapel with its combined coat of arms. On the opposite wall is the large votive image of the municipalities of the area called “Leimental”, which reminds us that these communities, in wartime danger, put themselves always under the protection of the Mother of God Mary in the rock. The panels on the ceiling appeared as fragments during the restoration of the monastery but must originally have belonged to this chapel. They were re-installed as best they could. They are emblematic representations which point to the seven sorrows and joys of Mary.

Chapel of Saint Joseph

In the basilica behind the left side altar is the chapel of Saint Joseph. Joseph is depicted with a baroque statue on the left of one of the side walls and John the Baptist can be seen on the right. In the apse, restored in 1985/86, stands the altar, and behind it the Holy Family is depicted: Mary and Joseph with the baby Jesus, above God the Father and the Holy Spirit’s dove. On the side pedestals Joachim and Anne can be seen, the parents of Mary and Grandparents of Jesus. All these figures are from the 20th century and are attributed to the so-called Nazarene style.

On the right side wall and on the back wall are two pictures, which are from an older altar from the beginning of the 19th century. They were painted the painter Elisabeth Geyer from Burg im Leimental. They show two scenes from the life of St. Joseph. The oval picture depicts the rest of the Holy Family on the flight to Egypt, the circular picture depicts the Holy Family in Nazareth: Joseph in his workshop and Mary with the child Jesus in a beautiful "French" garden.

Chapel of Saint Anne

A little further away from the monastery’s complex is the chapel of Saint Anne on the edge of the forest. On the way to the chapel, along the edge of the forest, a 17th-century Way of the Cross with 14 stations of the Cross is laid out. The old stone crosses bear metal plates with etched depictions from the artist Ferdinand Schott from 1956.
When entering the open porch you have a good view inside the chapel. On the altar dominates a statue of the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne. The grandmother of Jesus, Anne, carries Maria on her arm, and the divine child on the other arm. This is how it has been since ancient times: grandmothers bear the family, hold it together, and give it, just by their existence, something to hold on.

Already in the first christian millenium, Anne was revered by the faithful. In the baroque period, which loved so many splendid processions and pleasures of all kinds, on the day of Saint Anne (July 26th) a large crowd of pilgrims went out to the holy grandmother of Jesus. In modern times, however, the devotion to Saint Anne disappeared. The parish of Metzerlen-Mariastein is for some time now coming again to Saint Anne on the evening of Saint Anne's day. This is a new beginning of the devotion to Saint Anne. There will hardly be a glorious baroque procession again. On the other hand, smaller groups of pilgrims appreciate the chapel for devotions and prayers (for example regular rosary prayer). The new forms are a simple testimony, just for our time, that in Jesus God has become one of us, surrounded by a family to which, of course, a good grandmother belongs.

A hexagonal dome, built around 1691 under Abbot Augustin Reutti, is attached to the older altar house (with frescoes from the 15th and 17th century). The dome was painted by Fridolin Dumeisen, a monk from Mariastein (died 1708). The baroque altar contains, on the left and right, the statues of John the Baptist and his father Zacharias (with the thurible), and above the statue of Anne a relief representing Mary's visit to Elizabeth.


Further reading: P. Lukas Schenker, Mariastein, Führer durch Wallfahrt und Kloster, 2014.