Altötting – Heart of Bavaria – Shrine of EuropeThe pilgrimage town Altoetting is located in the lovely Upper-Bavarian Alpine region between Munich, Passau and Salzburg and at just a short distance to lake Chiemsee with the famous fairy tale castle Herrenchiemsee.
For more than 1250 years, this town has been the spiritual centre of Bavaria and for more than 500 years the most significant place of pilgrimage in Germany in veneration of the Virgin Mary. More than 1 million pilgrims and visitors per year seek the “Black Madonna”, a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary. Opposite the altar the hearts of the Bavarian Dukes, Kings and Electors are stored in richly decorated silver urns as a special sign of the deep and loyal ties to the Bavarian national Shrine. Among them also the heart of the fairy tale king Ludwig II:
Today, Altoetting is a vibrating pilgrimage centre with festive church services, candlelight processions and around Pentecost the arrival of numerous pilgrimage groups on foot
A visit in Altoetting should include a visit to the Jerusalem Panorama – a monumental cyclorama showing the Crucifixion of Christ as well as the Treasury and Pilgrimage museum which houses the bridal wreath of the famous Austrian Empress “Sissi” which she donated to the Madonna of Altoetting. Guided city tours in the footsteps of Emperors, Kings and Popes in English are as well available.
The region around Altoetting can be explored by foot on one of the numerous pilgrimage routes like the St. James’s way or by bicycle on the Benedict trail, connecting the places where Pope em. Benedict XVI spent his childhood and youth.
Altoetting is also linked with the big Marian Pilgrimage Shrines in Europe (Lourdes, Fatima, Loreto, Czestochowa, Mariazell) as one of the “Shrines of Europe”.
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