Amberg - Pilgrimage Church of Maria Hilf
At the time of the plague epidemic in Amberg in 1633-1634, a painting of Mariahilf by Lucas Cranach the Elder, donated by the rector of the Jesuit college in Amberg, was hung in a solemn procession on 3 September 1634 on the site of the present church of Our Lady Help of Amberg. After which the plague epidemic subsided. In 1641 a separate votive chapel was built on the site.
The growing number of pilgrims soon necessitated the building of a larger church. In 1697, the Amber master mason Georg Peimbl was commissioned to build a pilgrimage church according to the plans of Wolfgang Dientzenhofer. The nave was completed in 1703 and consecrated in 1711.
The town of Amberg has been repeatedly plagued by the plague. It was particularly severe in 1633 and 1634 during the Thirty Years' War, killing up to forty inhabitants a day and wiping out entire districts.
The rector of the Jesuit college in Amberg, Father Caspar Hell, donated the image of Grace, a copy of the famous image of Mariahilf by Lucas Cranach the Elder, which is in the Innsbruck cathedral.
On 3 September 1634, the painting was carried in a solemn procession to the hill (now Mariahilfberg), where it was hung in the tower of the former Amberg Castle. After which the plague receded.
In 1641, a separate votive chapel was built on the site, but it soon proved too small for the developing pilgrimages. After a fire, in which the love image was spared, reconstruction was begun, which was completed in 1651 with the consecration of the chapel.
The growing number of pilgrims soon necessitated the construction of a larger church, laying the foundation for one of the most important Marian pilgrimages in Bavaria.
In 1697, the Amber master mason Georg Peimbl was commissioned to build a pilgrimage church according to the plans of Wolfgang Dientzenhofer. The nave was completed in 1703 and consecrated in 1711. The tower and furnishings were completed in 1722.
The care of pilgrims and the administration of the church was carried out by the Franciscan Order.
In 1696-98, a small hospice was built together with the present Maria Hilf pilgrimage church as a branch Franciscan monastery so that the religious could stay on the mountain throughout the summer.
Like the monastery in the town, it was secularized in 1802, but in 1832 King Louis I authorized the restoration of the monastery on the mountain, where the Franciscans still reside today as administrators of the pilgrimage route.
The last extensive repairs were carried out in 1934 and 1976-1981.
Since 1 September 2007, the Franciscan monastery has been administered by the Polish Franciscan Fathers of the Religious Province of Our Lady of the Angels (Krakow).
The church building is a brick pillar structure made of sandstone blocks with a choir tower with an onion tower and a lantern and a façade with a pilaster arrangement and figural niches.
In 1716, the town of Amberg made contact with the painter Cosmas Damian Asam, who was working in Ensdorf and other places in the Upper Palatinate in that year. The town did not have the money to pay Asam the usual remuneration, but because he showed "special vision and benevolence" for the "praiseworthy place of worship" and was willing to settle for a smaller compensation, Asam was able to realize the rich pictorial decoration of the church. The reward was eventually paid by the city in instalments.
Giovanni Battista Carlone was the author of the stuccoes and the main altar. The image of Mercy is the central element of the main altar made of marble and stucco in 1703. The paintings on the side altars and in the chapel depict scenes from the New Testament and legends of the saints.
The impression of the interior space is also determined by a series of monumental stucco figures of biblical figures created by Paul d'Aglio in 1717.
Since 1 September 2007, the church has been administered by the Polish Franciscan Fathers of the Province of Our Lady of the Angels in Kraków.
Owners / users
Wallfahrtskirche Maria Hilf
Tel.: 09621 37606-0
|9. Juni 2023|