We have been at the pilgrimage church Maria Kirchental near St. Martin at the Salzburger Saalachtal. In St. Martin brown culture signs show the way to the church. If you like you can park your car in the centre. The parking lot near the tollgate is with costs. From there you can either walk up. There are some possibilities. You follow the street with cloister or you choose the hiking trail which goes up in nice curves through beautiful nature and across a brook. We choose the car. Toll for the private road for a car is 3,90 Euros.
On top there is nearly a small village with a handful of buildings. The huge old vicarage which today is the house of reflection and the old sacristan's house. Of course there is a souvenir shop and the obligatory church inn which here is called Kirchental Wirt.
The church itself lies nicely embedded at the end of the valley and the walk way has a special feeling about it. In the church you are magically attracted to the figure of Mary. Maybe this is because of the huge aureola or her facial expression.
Going behind the altar is imperative. A small way leads there which you overlook easily. Behind the altar there is an impressive skulpture and really really many votive pictures. The aureola of Mary casts a nice shadow.
The church is full of votive pictures. From all different centuries. Until today. The modern votive picture is still an oil painting but shows also an helicopter of the AA in it.
Every day a lot of pilgrims and palmers visit the church. There is a stamp for pilgrims from the Way of St. James and sehr are a lot of entries in the displayed guest book. I was concerned about some writings from pupils asking in nice school handwriting for good grades or a good school year. If you need churchly assistance for it nowadays…
But it seems to work. At least the many votive pictures or opulently designed candles testify for it.
The church is worth a visit. You feel very well in it. Everybody keeps calm an quiet which unfortunately nowadays is not self-evident in many churches which are also touristic attractions. The church is special. We really enjoyed our visit.