Maria Plain Pilgrimage Basilica

Prince Archbishop Max Gandolf von Khuenburg had this basilica built in 1674. Not only is it an emblem of Bergheim and a popular excursion destination, it also offers visitors a unique panorama extending from Salzburg City all the way to the Alps.

It is one of the most beloved pilgrimage destinations in veneration of the Virgin Mary, as well as a special source of spiritual power and a place of retreat. Just as it was back in the days of Mozart.

"On Sunday morning to Maria Plain, not out of devotion, but because of the beautiful views“
(quote from Leopold Mozart's letter to daughter Nannerl dated 3.9.1784)

 

 

Church History

  • 1633 The painting survived a fire at a war-ravaged bakery in Regen/Lower Bavaria virtually undamaged, as if by a miracle
  • The painting was acquired by Argula von Grimming (wife of the sheriff of Fürsteneck). After the death of his parents, son Rudolf withdrew with the painting to spend a secluded life at his Müllegg estate. The grange on the Plainberg (today's Hotel Gasthof Maria Plain) belonged to this estate. Subsequently put on display in the so-called "Urpsrungskapelle" chapel beginning in 1652 for the edification of a wave of pilgrims.
  • 1671 – 1674 Today's pilgrimage basilica was built by Giovanni Antonio Dario under Prince Archbishop Cardinal Max Gandolph von Khuenburg; it is home to many valuable art treasures by famous sculptors and painters, including Franz de Neve, Thomas Schwanthaler and his son Franz, Martin Johann (Kremser) Schmidt and Christoph Lederwasch.
  • 1681 Completion of the abbey building and founding of the order of "Maria Trost"
  • 1686 – 1692 Construction of chapels on the Mountain Calvary
  • 1732 The original picture was transferred to the church 
  • 1751 In fulfillment of a vow, the Salzburg archdiocese bestowed two valuable crowns upon the painting itself 
  • 1824 Maria Plain came under the authority of St. Peter's Abbey (Salzburg)
  • 1845 Introduction of the 40-hour prayer  
  • 1951 On its 200-year anniversary, the church was raised to the status of "Papal Basilica Minor" 
  • 1959 Purchase of new chimes (six bells in total); the largest is the "Bell for the Land's Missing" and weighs 3,700 kg; it was donated by the provincial war veterans' association.
  • 2013/14 Extensive renovations conducted in the interior of the basilica.

Mozart's Coronation Mass

Mozart's "Coronation Mass", which was performed at the ceremonial veneration of this painting, may well have its roots in the fact that Mozart would often play the music at Maria Plain during Sunday mass, and would sometimes also take advantage of those occasions to try out fragments of his own compositions. 

To this day, important musical events on the Salzburg cultural calendar continue to be performed here. (please refer to the Events Calendar)

Tip: The Coronation Mass itself is performed here annually on the 5th Sunday after Whitsuntide. Free admission.

Other worship services feature music from the Maria Plain Vocal Ensemble, the Maria Plain Baroque Orchestra as well as the "Plaint chant" ensemble: Sacred music in Maria Plain - up to date (GER)

Picture of the Virgin Mary, Maria Plain

Worship Services

Sundays & Public Holidays   Workdays
8 a.m.Parish mass8 a.m.Parish mass
9 a.m.Parish mass10 a.m. Parish mass
10 a.m.Pilgrimage mass
11:15 a.m.Parish mass Also on Saturdays
3 p.m.Rosary and blessing 3 p.m.Rosary and blessing

Access to tour buses with a max. height-clearance of 4 meters

  • coming from Munich/Villach:
    exit "Bergheim West" - 1st exit at the roundabout - after 20 meters, make a left before the bridge (you will see a brown sign for "Maria Plain")
  • coming from Vienna:
    exit "Salzburg Messe" - then immediately re-join the autobahn following signs for Wien/Linz, take the exit for "Bergheim West", then as above.

Bus parking is available to the right of Hotel Gasthof Maria Plain.
From there, take the stairs leading up next to the hotel or walk up via the small access road (5 min.)
(Access by car only permitted for bridal couples as well as the physically handicapped.)