Almost one million pilgrims make the annual pilgrimage to Mariazell in the north of Styria. The goal of every one of them: seeing the Magna Mater Austriae with their own eyes. The pilgrimage routes to the largest place of pilgrimage in Central Europe are well signposted and lined with charming villages, small historic towns and countless sights.
A pilgrimage on the long-distance hiking trail no. 06 or on the Mariazell Founders' Route is a different kind of holiday: Because even if the pilgrims' motivation is different, all hikers embark on an impressive journey to themselves.
Many pilgrimage routes lead to Mariazell – and have done so for more than 800 years.
As early as the 12th century, pilgrims are said to have regularly made their way to the Magna Mater Austriae. Larger numbers of pilgrims are documented from 1330 onwards. At one time, secular courts imposed so-called "Zell journeys" as atonement for crimes. But in the course of time, pilgrims from neighbouring countries also increasingly came to Styria, without imposed penance. For the Habsburgs, the place of pilgrimage became a national shrine after the Counter-Reformation.
And today? Nowadays, many pilgrimage routes lead to Mariazell. They have grown in tradition over the years and are now an integral part of the European pilgrimage route network.
The Mariazell Pilgrims' Route Network 06 was opened in 1980. Since then, pilgrimage routes run through the federal states of Vienna, Lower Austria, Burgenland, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Carinthia and Styria. The network consists of several traditional pilgrimage routes such as the Via Sacra and covers an impressive total length of about 1,300 kilometres.
The Mariazell Pilgrims' Routes not only connect seven federal states – the route system also links the federal state capitals of Vienna, St. Pölten, Eisenstadt, Salzburg, Linz, Klagenfurt and Graz with Mariazell. The Carinthian and Styrian Mariazell Routes meet in Eibiswald and, from there on, lead to Mariazell via Graz, East Styria and Upper Styria.
The various Mariazell Routes are the right pilgrimage routes for all those who ...